Waiting for my train to Glasgow this morning, I noticed that Bigtown Station had had some work done. Mostly, this seems to be about improving accessibility: buttons to automagically open the doors, hearing loop signs and – my personal favourite – individual walking stick holders at the ticket windows so you can come in and make long and involved theoretical inquiries about buying tickets (‘I’m no buying any the day, mind, because I’ve come out wi’out my money, but if I were to buy one…’*) without holding up the queue of people who’ve come to buy actual tickets any further by having to search around for your cane afterwards. They’ve still not put in a ticket machine (could a ticket machine sell purely theoretical tickets? I think not) although there is an Irn Bru one, of course. And nor have they tackled the real accessibility issue which is that there are hardly any bloody trains. So a 90 minute appointment in Glasgow has turned into a full day’s travel with epic amounts of hanging around – at Bigtown Station (in case I get stuck in the queue behind someone wishing to discuss the metaphysics of possible ticket purchase and miss the morning’s train) – in Glasgow, at Bishopbriggs, and of course on the incredibly-scenic-but-not-particularly fast chunter there and back on the train.

Hmmm. I was waxing lyrical about the slow pace of life around here just a couple of days ago, wasn’t I? It just doesn’t fit too well with having to be somewhere – anywhere – at a particular time.

Oh, and it’s started raining again. I knew life would be worse under the Tories

*I really wish I were making this up

9 Responses to Upgraded

  1. My local station was fitted with automatic doors on the main (only) entrance a couple of years ago. When I walk past the station on my way to the shops, the doors open – and this happens whenever anybody walks by. It must be a chillly hell working in that station.

  2. disgruntled says:

    Ah, but did you also get walking stick holders?

  3. Ross Angus says:

    How about a quantum ticket machine, which allows you to buy a ticket in another universe?

  4. Dom says:

    My local station has a couple of shelters, a bike rack, a help point thingy, a TV showing you when the next train is due (ever hour unless its Sunday when it’s every 2) and… that’s it.

    Bigtown station is pretty basic too, plus the clock tower on the outside is 5 minutes fast which always gets me thinking I’m going to miss my train on the way home.

  5. The Paperboy says:

    My former local station had wheelchair accessibility nailed down good & proper. There were steps to the platform where the disabled help point was… The platform without the help point was perfectly set up for wheelchair accessibility though.

    No idea what the big plan was there.

  6. disgruntled says:

    Ross – is that not what Irn Bru is for?
    Dom – but it’s got more trains than ours does. Every hour? luxury!
    Paperboy – could it be for the people who’ve got off the train onto the non-accessible platform and now need help getting off?

  7. Dom says:

    Well technically it’s 2 an hour as there’s a train going in either direction (OK… the same train going to Sherringham and then, 20 minutes later, heading back to Norwich). You’re telling me Bigtown has less trains than somewhere in deepest darkest Norfolk?

  8. Dom says:

    Heh – might need to compare timetables but I’m beginning to suspect the Poppy line (which is a steam train operated by enthusiasts) may operate more services than you have 😀

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