Wessex AlphaLine Trains – They’re NOT “Getting There”!

For the past 9 or 10 weeks I have travelled every Friday evening on the 18:22 Wessex trains, “AlphaLine” service from Bristol Temple Meads to Southampton, where I change trains to Poole.

This train links two major cities and is timed to catch the commuter traffic at the end of the week. The first time I caught this train, just two carriages turned up. It was alreay packed – having already come down from Cardiff Central. There must have been around 120-140 people waiting at Bristol. Needless to say, it was crowded well beyond merely “packed”! At the time, I thought this must be an abberation – a short train because of some fault somewhere. Now I know this is not the case!

Every week without fail, the same two coach train arrives to accommodate around (I estimate) 500 passengers. Now is the time I start complaining! I took the above picture last night. I personally was wedged between the two carriages in the corridor. There were people standing throughout the train and all the gangways and passageways were crammed with people and luggage; yet we were all paying full price for this journey!

Wessex Trains – this is not good enough! I expect a seat at least most of the time, but every week without is taking the mickey. The profit you guys must be making on this trip; you lay on two carriages and take around 500 full fares!

The announcement at the station reports “There is a trolley service of drinks and light refreshments on this train” and yes, the man and his trolley are there alright but the chance of him moving down the train is zero. I happened to be wedged in near him last week and he reports he has never once managed to move through the train until at least Salisbury.

I could go on to speak about the safety angle but frankly the thought scares me. I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions from the picture.

If you wish to comment, Wessex Trains, I’ll gladly post your reply here!


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