National Express have launched their newly acquired East Coast service with great fanfare but it is hard to see what is new and wonderful about it. The rolling stock etc is old GNER repainted-rather nicer than the old livery certainly but otherwise there is no evidence of much fresh investment. The crew members still sport GNER handbags and this applies to the distaff side as well and the ancient carriages with their manual locking, leaning-out-of-window -risking-decapitation-to-turn-external-handle-to-open-door technology. Same old loos with the mysterious rubber stamping devices on the paper strewn floors and that ancient sign discouraging flushing while the train is standing at the station. Is it more environmentally friendly to have one's crap scattered over Yorkshire at 85 mph than deposited gently with the precision of smart bomb between platforms 1 and 2 at York Station? Surely, anyhow, the wee* tanks are sealed so what does it matter where you crank the handle?
And the tired old crew announcements with 'station stop' 'service of dinner' 'late running' 'inconveniences** regretted' are still intoned, nasally, and expressionlessly, using the old GNER hymn sheets.
Oh yes.Internet connection is free-first class and bog standard alike. But as it takes from Embra to Ber Wick to log on-not much good to me.
* wee not as in small(Blog-ed)
** Also used for loos taken out of service en route.
(The image is of a National Express train arriving at York. Even if you click to enlarge the picture I fear you cannot see the loos being rapidly vacated before the train stops)
Labels: Loos, National Express