I spent £200 on a train ticket to have no seat, no WiFi and no toilet

i spent £200 on a train ticket to have no seat, no wifi and no toilet

We’ve all got so used to the trains in this country being completely useless (Picture: Aaron Chown/PA)

‘I made a mistake this weekend’ is something I’ve uttered on many a Monday morning in my adult life.

I’m sure I’m not alone in that, either.

As I’ve got older, said mistakes have varied from drinking too much, hooking up with the wrong people, draining my overdraft, and committing to things (and people) that I shouldn’t be committing to.

But Monday just gone, I was cursing myself for a mistake that I’ve made many times in the past. One that I should be old enough to know better than; one that surely everyone knows to avoid…

I bought a ticket to use a train in this country, naively believing that it would have working toilets, WiFi, food and water, and that it would run and arrive on time.

I know. I’m ashamed.

It feels mad to pay huge amounts of money for a train and not be able to just assume you’ll get what you’ve paid for.

But that’s travelling by rail in Britain – we’ve all got so used to the trains in this country being completely useless, despite the amount of taxpayer money being invested.

More than most, I should know not to trust what trains have become in Britain. I grew up in a commuter town with rail travel being a constant factor in my weekends.

Plus, as a working comedian of nearly 10 years, I’ve spent much of my career relying on, and indeed being let down, by trains in this country.

i spent £200 on a train ticket to have no seat, no wifi and no toilet

I just want to be able to get to Dundee and back in less time than it would take to get to Athens (Picture: Jacob Hawley)

Recently, I was heading from London to Dundee for a wedding, and while a Ryanair flight was available, I’ve enough climate guilt to go by rail.

I forked out nearly £200 for the privilege and, most stupidly of all, told myself in the days leading up to it: ‘Take it easy with work this week, leave some for the train.’

Of course I couldn’t get any work done.

Even at 6am, it was overflowing with people. I crammed myself into a seat before giving it up to an elderly lady whose seat was seemingly taken by a tourist who didn’t speak English.

Of course there were no staff around to sort this, so I hunkered down at the end of a carriage, next to a toilet that was inevitably and yet thankfully out of order. I turned my bag into a makeshift desk, took out my laptop, and… the WiFi didn’t work.

I just about got a personal hotspot going from my phone, and went to get a coffee to drink while I worked.

Of course – the shop had connection problems of its own, and staff couldn’t serve food or drink as their payment system wasn’t functioning.

Years ago I’d huff and puff; email customer service, attempt refunds, maybe even complain to any staff I could find.

Now, I’ve given up. And let’s be honest, we all have, haven’t we?

We’ve given up on trains working, we’re used to cars being the only option for getting anywhere, and worst of all, domestic flights are the norm now rather than being seen as the absurdity that they are.

Billions of public funds have been invested into rail. Our country has a tradition of rail travel that goes back centuries, and the infrastructure is there for rail travel to be a faster and more enjoyable way of getting around the country.

And yet the private companies who now own our rail networks have completely destroyed them as a reliable resource.

You can’t rely on them, you can’t enjoy them, and most of the time we just accept that you probably can’t use them.

And strangest of all, if you try to voice these opinions on the internet, there are train fans queueing up to defend them.

I was on an on a train recently and watched a pensioner innocently try to use a different provider’s ticket to use the train. Their ticket had got them through the necessary barriers and they were sat in a near empty carriage, late at night, waiting to go home.

How do you feel about train travel in Britain? Have your say in the comments belowComment Now

The ticket inspector seemed to take enjoyment in quite loudly remonstrating them for having a ticket for the wrong brand of train.

After posting on X to voice my dismay at the situation, hundreds of weird people told me that the pensioner was in the wrong and that they deserved to be fined, while the train company tweeted an automated response to me, pointing me in the direction of their useless FAQs.

What’s going on? Why are people celebrating the mess that our rail network has become?

The country is falling apart – there’s sewage in our waters, and nurses queueing for food banks. Now the trains don’t work either. And we’re just accepting it? Not just that, many seem to be enjoying it?

To me, the trains seem to be a metaphor for everything else that’s broken in the UK.

The Conservative Party has privatised it to the point of death and as a confused, tired and skint public body, we don’t know what to do and so we busy ourselves by fighting with each other.

This might sound like a call for revolution, for taking up arms and fighting back. Perhaps that’s what I want.

Or, perhaps, I just want to be able to get to Dundee and back in less time and for less money than it would take to get to Athens.

On reflection, I’d be happy if I could’ve written this article with functioning train WiFi.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing [email protected].

Share your views in the comments below.

Get your need-to-know latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more by signing up to Metro's News Updates newsletter

OTHER NEWS

3 hrs ago

Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy 'getting fed up' with owner Jerry Jones: report

3 hrs ago

Who Should Steelers Hope Wins Training Camp QB Battle?

3 hrs ago

Goaltender's dad talks up the Oilers' chances of lifting the Stanley Cup

3 hrs ago

Phillies turn rare 1-3-5 triple play against Tigers, 1st since 1929

3 hrs ago

Discount Burger Check? Chiefs' Reid Shares Hilarious Commercial Story

3 hrs ago

'Devastating loss': Digital lending library, Internet Archive, removes 500,000 books after being sued by publishers

3 hrs ago

Iga Swiatek vs Coco Gauff vs Aryna Sabalenka vs Elena Rybakina: WTA ‘Big 4’ state of play ahead of Wimbledon

3 hrs ago

Would a Toronto byelection loss spell doom for Trudeau?

3 hrs ago

BlackSuit ransomware gang blamed for ongoing car dealership outages

3 hrs ago

'Unreal' injury-time equaliser saves football powerhouse

3 hrs ago

Nigel Farage accused of cosying up to the Kremlin by former NATO boss

3 hrs ago

Dagestan, in southern Russia, has a history of violence. Why does it keeps happening?

3 hrs ago

Marines revive a World War II airfield on Peleliu in Pacific pivot

3 hrs ago

Fortnite Brings Tilted Towers and Other Fan Favorite Locations, But With a Twist

3 hrs ago

Shadow of the Erdtree Puts the Cherry on Top of Elden Rings Main Strength

3 hrs ago

Anger erupts as Albo's governor-general is awarded payrise

3 hrs ago

Charo Makes Rare Public Appearance at Project Angel Food Event: 'Life Is Beautiful' (Exclusive)

3 hrs ago

Boozed-up England fans sing '10 German bombers' chant in Cologne

3 hrs ago

Show Respect: ‘Boys are surprised we talk about this, it’s become normalised’

3 hrs ago

After clash with prosecutor, judge reserves ruling on restricting Trump’s rhetoric about agents’ classified documents search

3 hrs ago

Peter Dutton’s nuclear plan ‘doesn’t deliver’ any ‘energy price decrease’ until 2040

3 hrs ago

Where to watch Netherlands vs. Austria live stream, TV channel, lineups, prediction for Euro 2024 match

3 hrs ago

China lunar probe to return to Earth with samples

3 hrs ago

Report: Knicks’ OG Anunoby declines player option, enters unrestricted free agency

3 hrs ago

Saints offensive line ranked 19th in the NFL

3 hrs ago

Senators acquire goaltender Linus Ullmark from Bruins

3 hrs ago

Why Qld feels like home for the Blues

3 hrs ago

Seahawks waive 3 undrafted free agents, make UFL champ signing official

3 hrs ago

Andrew Scott Frantically Runs to Hear Taylor Swift's ‘Style' at 'Eras Tour'

3 hrs ago

England’s Test series v New Zealand: Date, kick-off time and TV channel

3 hrs ago

Bills' McDermott Says Von Miller Has ‘Something to Prove’

3 hrs ago

US prosecutors want Boeing to face criminal charges

3 hrs ago

Finance Minister Michael McGrath set to become Ireland's new EU Commissioner

3 hrs ago

Red-hot Cardinals get huge boost in return of star catcher

3 hrs ago

How police use the mail to spy on you: 60,000 cases in last decade with little pushback

3 hrs ago

These 3 Republicans are Trump’s most likely VP picks

3 hrs ago

Roy Jones Jr. announces his son, DeAndre, died by suicide

3 hrs ago

Luxury Gyms, Like Equinox and Life Time, Are Taking Over Big Retail Spaces

3 hrs ago

Automobili Pininfarina PURA Vision wins prestigious Red Dot Award: Design Concept 2024

3 hrs ago

Pop legend Robbie Williams wears his AFL jersey to see if he still gets recognised in London - with some very surprising results