Friday, December 21, 2007

Hey, I've got an idea! Why don't we shut down all the trains in Britain for Christmas?

Well, someone thought it was a good idea, apparently.

Still, I've taken a few trains lately, and can't recommend anything better calculated to turn holiday spirit into a murderous frenzy.

"Why can't we have trains at Christmas?"

Leslie Plommer
Thursday December 20, 2007
The Guardian

For new arrivals to these shores, Britain presents many learning opportunities. The festive season is no exception. There is no point, for instance, in trying to act on our railway companies' annual exhortations to book early for "Christmas services". Similarly, anybody who foresees "Christmas rail travel" betokening a trip from A to B on a train, is about to discover the "replacement bus service".
Christmas Day service is, in a word, zero. And Boxing Day, next-to-zero. Indeed, so eroded has the timetable become across the whole festive season that Britons now accept this as normal. But why? Can we not have proper railways that carry us around the country seeing (and crucially, fleeing) our loved ones at Christmas?

Travel chaos as 18m hit the roads for Christmas getaway - and airports face strike action

Britain is in danger of grinding to a halt as severe traffic jams, railway closures and airport strikes threaten to scupper the Christmas getaway.

The great getaway begins today, with 18million taking to the roads as they prepare to spend Christmas with loved ones. However it is expected to lead to heavy congestion.

Railway engineering work over the next ten days will force the closure of two of the country's major lines.