When I discovered there was a train straight from Crofton Park to St. Pancras (and back) I cannot express how happy it made me. It seems to be some sort of semi-secret that plenty of people just don't seem to know anything about, probably because it's too useful.
Of course nothing is so simple.
So whilst it is theoretically so, so useful the fact is that it never seems to be running when I actually need it. First it was the weekends. Nothing. Then it was the snow, delay, cancellation and just plain disappearing act. Third, on a snow free weekday, gone again.
I'm not sure whether it's actually worse to have a phantom train or just get it simply removed from the timetable. Certainly transport for London does not seem to be a 100% reliable guide as to whether it's running or not.
A few days ago I was waiting on the platform at St Pancras and the announcement came that the train had been cancelled. I'm now so convinced of the company's incompetence I actually decided to stay where I was. What happens? Yes, it actually turned up, after everyone on the platform had been told to find an alternative route about five minutes before.
This cannot go on. If the train companies cannot run a reliable service where do they get off increasing the fares at a time when inflation is below zero? Time to stop messing about and renationalise the lot. Well, that's my view anyway.