Service is back on track


The trains and the railways have been a constant, for anguish, misery, distress and undoubted swearings for a very long time. I must say that I think times are changing –  time-keeping and passenger care are more evident now.

As many of you will know, the dilemma of getting from one platform to another to catch the connection up to London from our station in Rye is nail-biting at times.

So I really felt I wanted to express my thanks to the railway staff of South East and Southern Railways. After a fall, I am now still on one crutch but can manage the train but walking is slower than before.

The action that railway staff put into place to achieve my arrival on time from the delayed 15:37 from St Pancras to Ashford and make that all important connection from platform 6 and onto 1C to make the the 16:25 Hastings train to get to Rye, was most impressive and left me very happy.

The staff were exemplary. The guard had phoned forward to warn that I was hobbling and may take a little longer. The staff at Ashford had the lift up to platform 1C open and ready and the train to Rye was perhaps delayed by two minutes until I “leapt” aboard. Result!

Aaah I hear you think. That doesn’t often happen but I have been meaning to write a piece about assistance on the railways for some time for those with mobility or other problems that can make travel on the railways such a nightmare.

I hope all are aware that should you use a wheelchair or a mobility vehicle inform the relevant railway companies, in Rye, possibly 24 hours ahead.

Rye is of course Southern Rail and if going further afield say from Ashford towards London, Southeastern Railways are the people to contact. Staff will be on attendance to enable a ramp to be put in place to allow access and then later to allow you to disembark and check that you are safely on your way, usually with a smile.

If your disability is “less severe “or temporary you can still have assistance. The offer of a wheelchair from the platform is almost always available if the guard / conductor / manager has been told on that day and it would be of help in your travel. I have found that as I accessed the train I have often been offered help by railway staff as well as so many kind members of the public.

I do hope that my recommendation is enough for anyone to give it a try and not let travelling for any reason (even social) be used as an excuse not to.

Image Credits: Nick Forman .

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