Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'All These Dirty Old Trains Need to Be Replaced'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'All These Dirty Old Trains Need to Be Replaced'

Article excerpt

EILEEN HAWES lives in Hernhill, Kent, with her dog Max. Each day she drives to nearby Faversham to catch a Connex Kent Coast train to Victoria.

The journey should last between 70 and 90 minutes. She then takes the Victoria line to Oxford Circus and walks to Bond Street, where she works as a manager at Phillips Auctioneers. She has been commuting for nearly 20 years and is one of around 2,000 people using Faversham station every day. Here is her diary of a week using the line:

Monday:

Journey in: caught the 7.14am train, which left Faversham on time but ground to a halt outside a station past Rochester and sat there for several minutes.

An announcement told us there was a defective train ahead at Longfield and a points failure at Beckenham. The train had to be diverted via Catford Loop and we eventually lurched into Victoria at 9.07am - nearly 40 minutes late.

The one saving grace was that there were plenty of seats.

Journey home: boarded the 5.27pm and had to stand. The train waited in the station for 20 minutes because the crew had not arrived, and one woman got annoyed and left. After a busy day I was not relishing the prospect of stand-Monday ing so I was happy to take her seat. The crew eventually turned up and the train left the station, packed, at 5.48pm and got to Faversham at 7.20pm - half an hour late.

Journey in: drove to the station and found a space in a nearby street. I once saw a car being broken into at the station car park and I haven't used it since. The journey was pretty uneventful and the train left on time.

Journey home: caught the 5.27pm and was just settling down with a puzzle book when I heard a mobile phone going - one of those really awful rings. It belonged to the man next to me, and he barked into it loudly for about five minutes. Very annoying.

Journey in: got the 7.02am to Cannon Street, which left on time. There were a few seats and nobody was standing. As usual, I did the crossword in the Telegraph and had a flick through the Metro. …

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