For the first time in a long time I took the train to work today instead of driving. I know, I know, one 20 minute trip on the tracks does not a carbon footprint shrink but hey, we all have to start somewhere.
My experience wasn’t designed to encourage me to do it again. It wasn’t the state of the train, which was clean and reasonably comfortable for such a short journey. Nor was it punctuality. Both ways the train departed and arrived on time. It wasn’t even the dilapidated state of the drafty station with discarded pages of the Metro blowing all over the shop. No, it was the attitude of the staff.The bloke at the ticket desk was thoroughly disinterested.
- When I asked what time the next train was, he had a stab a 9 o’clock when it was at 8.53 precisely which is a big difference when you’re tapping your foot wanting it to get a move on.
- The ticket collector on the return who told me I should have had two tickets, one outward and one inward, which I can’t see the point of since even the one ticket proves that you’ve paid for the return trip, which at £2.65 was a bit of a bargain, but bloody rude about it he was.
- Then when I got to my car (having paid £1.50 to park for the day) there was a penalty notice on the windscreen. It was actually to tell me I’d parked in a restricted area and not to park there again, although the handwritten note did say ‘please’, but I swear there was nothing to say I shouldn’t park there
But the point of this post isn’t to complain about Northern Rail, rather than the reason why I took the train in the first place and some pretty web design that followed as a result, at least it seemed to me.
I heard on the news this morning that there was a major fire in Manchester city centre, not far from where I work, which usually means traffic chaos, so my decision to take the train wasn’t entirely selfless and green. As it happened, the predicted chaos didn’t materialise, presumably because everyone else saw the news and stayed away.
The interesting bit for me though was the coverage in the Manchester Evening News. Click on the gallery of photographs and instead of a pop-up window, the main page fades back and the gallery reveals itself one after one. Checking the source code, it’s clever use of Java script. Well I found it impressive.