A concerned reader, Adam, writes:
"As a Birchington resident who reads your blog, I would just like to mention a couple of incidents in the past week which highlight Southeastern Trains contempt for the general public.
Firstly, whilst waiting for the Birchington – Victoria connection last Wednesday evening I was shocked to see two girls running across the train track between the platforms of Birchington station. Some boys were throwing stuff onto the third rail nearly causing one girl to nearly fall straight onto it. When they boarded the train they were bragging about it and mentioned they were surprised to see stuff explode because they didn’t realise the electric power was on.
The point of this really is about two things:
1. The lack of any security presence at small stations (and on trains), a small price to pay for the ridiculous increase in fares across the local network.
2. As the rail franchise is not the Government’s responsibility it should be up to these rail companies to spend money on education about rail safety and be held to account for their uncaring attitude towards the public
Secondly, the usual pre-dominance of engineering works at weekends is hardly a good way to promote those nice Thanet posters on display around Denmark Hill, etc. Unfortunately, to get to work for Saturday night in London, I had to ring Southeastern four times to get replacement bus information only to be told at each turn by different people that all the trains were running like clockwork from Birchington, and National Rail Enquiries gave the same info. Telling them that I was watching a 1940s replacement double decker going creaking past my window seemed to have zero impact on my argument.
To be honest, these companies have such disdain for the public that commuting between Thanet and London has become like a nightmare on perpetual loop."