Anorak News | International Rail Enquiries

International Rail Enquiries

by | 5th, August 2004

‘LIKE us, many of you are intrigued by the increasingly familiar sight of thousands of rail commuters travelling to work on top of ancient steam trains.

‘Change at Crewe for Bangalore, Madras…’

The reason for this is that the Government’s integrated transport policy has integrated parts of Mumbai and Bangalore in India, places where such sights are commonplace.

As the Express says, many callers to the National Rail Enquiries Service information line will have been surprised to hear the call centre drone on the other end of the receiver pause at the mention of Cambridge.

Unfamiliar with such exotic names – and we may also include Birmingham, Cardiff and Melton Mowbray in the list of far-flung destinations – the Indian worker is stumped.

And Which? Magazine has discovered to its horror that, from a list of 20 standard questions fielded by its researchers, the bemused Indian operatives failed to answer 15.

This is clearly a massive improvement on the yet darker days of British Rail when simple questions were routinely met with a grunt and then an informative ‘Dunno’.

But even though Which? noted that Indian staff were ‘consistent, patient, friendly and polite’, they were also, in the main, utterly useless.

So in an effort to simplify things, we’ve set up our own Anorak Rail Services Enterprise.

Callers dialling into our service will be put thought to Nigel, our man with a spotter’s pad, who’ll be able to tell you when your train left the factory, how many carriages are on it (with numbers) and when the engine first went into service.

Sadly, he will not be able to give you an accurate time of departure or arrival, since such information is based on pure guesswork and our Nigel only deals in hard facts…’

Posted: 5th, August 2004 | In: Tabloids Comment | TrackBack | Permalink