Rail service has way to go still

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Good news indeed for rail travellers on East Midlands Trains (ET, January 20, 2012) regarding the 92.5 per cent punctuality figure.

My understanding, however, is that East Midlands Trains regards as “on time” any train arriving or departing within 15 minutes of its scheduled slot; so maybe not such good news.

Also, no mention of the fact that if you were to take a journey of exactly the same distance, but from Huntingdon to London on First Capital Connect, you’d be able to get a walk-up price at the ticket office a third cheaper than the East Midlands journey, on better trains, and with a more regular service, which also allows for travel earlier in the morning and later into the night in the week and through the weekend.

Take the same journey from Northampton to London and you’ll find that service cheaper and more regular, too.

And any suggestion that East Midlands’ customers can take advantage of pre-booking special offers is nonsense, since they are restrictive to the point of being worthless, and better offers are available for the alternative lines in any case.

Is this “good news”?

Brian Stoat

Wellingborough Road,