I made a train journey today

  Forum Editor 17:26 28 Feb 2018

London (Paddington) to Slough for a meeting.

I won't bore you with a catalogue of the delays, misinformation and plain inefficiencies I encountered and heard about - all blamed on 'adverse weather conditions' but I can tell you that the simple journey which I have done many times became a nightmare as soon as I left the warm, efficient embrace of the good old London Underground system and entered the hell that is the British overland rail system on a freezing, snowy day.

A few inches of the white stuff seems to send rail operators into a world of their own, where the needs of passengers are forgotten, and technical faults 'due to adverse weather conditions' reign supreme.

Other countries in Europe (and beyond) seem to cope with far worse, and do it without all this fuss - why can't we? I'm sure there are rail experts who will tell me I don't know what I'm talking about, and I'm prepared to be educated.

  john bunyan 17:41 28 Feb 2018

Forum Editor

Before retiring from my "civvy" job, I lived in the Netherlands for 10 years. Often took a tram from my apartment to a main rail station then on to Rotterdam. The tram and the trains were never late. I don't think things were better in BR days. We are poor at this

  [DELETED] 17:42 28 Feb 2018

Bring back the signalman, levers that used to smash the ice of the points when the lever is pulled, none of these point motors that are not man enough for the job, signals operated with a bit of wire and a lever and an Absolute Block system that doesn't rely on track circuits that get shorted out with the first bit of snow and turn the signal into a red aspect.

The only problem is, is when the signalman can't turn up because of the snow ;)

  canarieslover 18:06 28 Feb 2018

Our biggest problem, especially in the southern half of the country, is that snow is a rarity so do we invest in all the equipment to see us through a couple of weeks every few years. Railways aren't the only failures in bad weather as airports are even worse. Last time we had any decent amount of snow in the south I was stranded in Lanzarote for an extra couple of days due to Gatwick being closed. That was six years ago and on return I bought a snow shovel as a precaution. Today is the first time I have used it since then. If I had shareholders I would probably have been castigated for making that investment, (£2.50), that saw such little use. I don't know how much it would cost to buy, install and maintain all the equipment necessary to keep us running efficiently at all times but with the little use it would get in the south it would be hard to justify it.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:08 28 Feb 2018

This weather has been predicted for over a week.

The procedures are there, there is equipment in place, so its just down to bad management if there are a lot of prolems. A few can be expected as its impossible to cater for every eventuality

  Menzie 19:51 28 Feb 2018

And here I sit in Canada with all this snow equipment and unnaturally warm weather.

It's 16 degrees today, the outdoors ice rink has melted away over the past few days and the ploughs, gritters and ice solution spreaders are all parked up with nothing to do.

I like it. :-)

  bumpkin 20:13 28 Feb 2018

*London (Paddington) to Slough *

My son uses that train route every day and came home early because of the disruption. Caused by what, very little snow in this area that we have seen.

  Cymro. 14:37 02 Mar 2018

Well at least F.E. you had the good sense to use the train rather than drive in such weather. Sorry you had a bad journey I am rather a fan of train travel

  Forum Editor 16:47 02 Mar 2018


I often use trains. Apart from the fact that I find it useful to have the time to work, I am - like you - a fan of rail travel. One of my daughters lives in Truro, and rather than fly or drive down to Cornwall to visit I take the train - it's an enjoyable way to spend five hours and see something of our wonderful countryside.

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