Short trains

I go to uni in North Wales but am from Milton Keynes way originally. Luckily, every hour there is a direct Virgin train from my uni station to MK :j however every other train is an Arriva Wales train that changes at Chester.

The Virgin trains are always a minimum of 6 carriages, and often (at peak times) 12 carriages long. They're comfy and clean and well, it's a joy to travel on them. Expensive food on board but a nice variety and I've never had a problem with them in the two years I've used them regularly.

However, the Arriva trains are horrendous. They're cold, the carriages are from the 70s, the staff are often rude and the seats are horrid to sit on. The worst thing by far is that they are never more than two carriages long - even at peak times. If you're getting on that train, you have to scrum with everyone else, and if there's no more room - tough tits, you should've been quicker. It doesn't matter whether you have a reserved ticket or not, once that train is filled it's going. This means you can lose £60 because you got shoved to the back of the queue by impatient drunk people who are only travelling to the next stop (by which they could wait 10 minutes and get the next train).

It rarely happens but there are just some trains that aren't worth even thinking about getting. Coming back into uni is even worse; as the line supplies people heading all the way to Holyhead but also people going to Rhyl/Flint/Prestatyn who live there and have been into Chester for a day of shopping. This means that 9/10 times there is not enough room for all the passengers who want to get on the train.

A) If I have to get on one of these smaller trains, and I can't physically get on it, what do I do about my ticket if it's for that train and connection only?

B) Is there anyone I can complain to about this service? Would anything happen if I did?
£2023 in 2023 challenge - £17.79 January

Comments

  • I'd like to know this too. I don't travel regularly , but when i do travel down to Wales from Manchester i have to get the Arriva Wales trains and i can laos say they're disgusting sometimes.

    It's normally only the Sunday trains which are from the 70s on this trip, when you're travelling 2 and 1/2 hours you don't want to be sitting on a train with no air-con barley no windows and floors/seats that smell like urine!

    The arriva that goes to Chester is foul, i doubt anything can be done but i think it's disgusting.

    I hope you find something to sort this, as it's not very nice and i thin if you've paid money and reserved a seat you should be able to sit in it!
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  • giraffe69
    giraffe69 Posts: 3,547
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    If you have reserved a seat and there is someone sitting in it who declines to move when asked to then get the guard to take some action.

    Why can't you "physically get on it" however crowded it is. If you give up don't ever try the Northern Line at King's Cross in the height of the rush hour!
  • giraffe69 wrote: »
    If you have reserved a seat and there is someone sitting in it who declines to move when asked to then get the guard to take some action.

    Why can't you "physically get on it" however crowded it is. If you give up don't ever try the Northern Line at King's Cross in the height of the rush hour!

    Because there's 45 people trying to get on at each door and if you're at the back of the queue, with a massive suitcase, you physically can't get on. It's not a case of pushing when half the people trying to get on are OAPs and the other half are massive Welsh mountain lads!

    I also have quite bad anxiety so crowded situations are really hard for me to deal with - have had many a panic attack on an overcrowded train in the past :o but that's really irrelevant and I don't expect anyone to do anything about that XD
    £2023 in 2023 challenge - £17.79 January

  • LouE
    LouE Posts: 42 Forumite
    You can complain to arriva wales, http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/customerservices/

    I work for a train company and im pretty sure you dont pay for the seat, even the reservation, you pay to get from A to B. i agree though if you have a reservation and cannot get to it speak to the guard.
  • LouE wrote: »
    You can complain to arriva wales, http://www.arrivatrainswales.co.uk/customerservices/

    I work for a train company and im pretty sure you dont pay for the seat, even the reservation, you pay to get from A to B. i agree though if you have a reservation and cannot get to it speak to the guard.

    Thank you for the link :)

    I think I was a bit unclear - Virgin trains I *think* garauntee you on the train if you have a reservation, but Arrivas do not do seat booking and so it doesn't really matter if you have the seat on your ticket or not. However if I can't get on the train and the guard is all the way down the other end of the platform, in the crush at the other carriage, I don't see how I can tell them I have to get that train?

    Basically, I'm worried I won't get on it because I can't force myself on it, and I'll get fined for not having the right ticket later on.
    £2023 in 2023 challenge - £17.79 January


  • It rarely happens but there are just some trains that aren't worth even thinking about getting. Coming back into uni is even worse; as the line supplies people heading all the way to Holyhead but also people going to Rhyl/Flint/Prestatyn who live there and have been into Chester for a day of shopping. This means that 9/10 times there is not enough room for all the passengers who want to get on the train.

    A) If I have to get on one of these smaller trains, and I can't physically get on it, what do I do about my ticket if it's for that train and connection only?

    I guess your options are:
    i) identify which of those Arriva trains are likely to be the crowded ones and avoid them
    ii) Book on the through Virgin services where possible
    iii) Book the N Wales-Chester leg of your ticket as one valid on any service, giving you plenty of time to get a train that connects to your Chester-MKC Virgin reserved service
    iv) If worst comes to worst, take photos/videos of the overcrowded Arriva service you were reserved on but (physically) unable to board (with the departure boards visible and showing the time of your intended train); thus if you miss your reserved connecting service you should have evidence of being delayed on your prior connection and allow you to get the next Virgin train to MKC.
    B) Is there anyone I can complain to about this service? Would anything happen if I did?

    Unfortunately it's not like there are spare trains lying around for Arriva to use. Things like service patterns and train lengths are determined in (often minute) detail by the Department for Transport, so it may be worth complaining to them and your local MP, as well as Arriva themselves.
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