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Progress on the Rails

Shiny new stiles at Newcastle Central Station

As you can see by the photo on the right, Newcastle Central Station now has itself a shiny new set of people control booths. Apparently the idea behind this is to keep scruffs without tickets away from the trains. It certainly can’t be to stop them boarding trains without tickets as they pester the life out of people every single time I get on the train for their tickets.

Unless there’s a more sinister background to this?  Reducing staff levels on the trains? Allowing them to employ hapless, untrained kids without fear of them being attacked by ruthless, ticketless passengers perhaps?

Crappy old lounge at Newcastle Central StationThe problem with all of this is priorities… clearly the rail authorities feel that this is where they want to spend their money. The fact that when waiting in Newcastle station you generally end up freezing your PARTS OFF unless you happen to have an open first class ticket (they don’t let the unwashed riff-raff with discounted tickets into the first class lounge, the only place that is even remotely warm in the station apart from Burger King. The only other place is the excuse for a lounge you see on the right, a few plate glass windows and a large sign that says “no eating, drinking or smoking” -  I’m surprised they don’t add “or having sex or breathing”

So they COULD have spent the money on a decent “second class” lounge for us commoners, OR they could have spent the money on a TOILET (the attached pub doesn’t take kindly to non-customers using their facilities) – or HEY – Packet of mini-cheddars destined for jamming behind a sign somewhere at Newcastle Central Stationhere’s a thought – how about some BINS!!!  Having encouraged us to buy food and drinks, once out of the shop we’re faced with a total absence of anywhere to put our rubbish… leading most of us – and I include myself as a matter of principle, to find little nooks and crannies to shove our empty packaging. Hey – if they don’t like it – give us some bins!

Still at least now we won’t have to suffer the INDIGNITY of standing next to someone who doesn’t have a ticket.  That’ll be a relief then.

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