So this morning at 4am my alarm went off. I had to give a presentation at a conference in Edinburgh today and was flying Heathrow at 6.55am. So as I always do when I am in this position, I checked the train times on First Capital Connect. Click here to see what happened - http://www.firstcapitalconnect.co.uk/ - Well I'd forgotten that they'd lost the franchise and today was day one of the new mob. Would it really have been to hard for FCC just to redirect customers to the new page (here http://www.thameslinkrailway.com/your-journey/live-running-thameslink/MIL/departures/ ) but First don't really give a toss about customers. They never have. I for one am glad to see the back of them. I've no idea if the new mob will be any better, but it would be hard to be worse.
What I cannot understand is just how unhelpfull the First site actually is. Even last week, there was nothing to help you. So groggy eyed. I had to muck around for ten minutes, when all I wanted was a quick tea and a shower, but there I was mucking around trying to find the new page.
Of course it isn't the end of the world. It was just annoying that last Friday the train info link worked and there was not a sausage on it about the new service. Today there was nothing on the old site.
I just hope that Govia, the new operator have a better idea of what a railway should do than First.
Here are my top five First Capital Cock ups.
1. Cutting the number of trains from Mill Hill to St Pancras from eight to four per hour in rush hour (now reinstated to 5/6)
2. Letting the network virtually collapse due to lack of drivers.
3. Abolishing the automatic refund for season ticket holders for bad service
4. Painting City Thameslink platforms with paint which became dangerously slippery in the rain.
5. Abolishing the practice of adding extra stops for fast trains when slow trains are cancelled and cancelling stops on slow trains when they are running late.
Only time will tell. Cross your fingers