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Selina Scott: Rail-ity show is way off the track.

Byline: Selina Scott

SOMETIMES I think ScotRail don't want to make a profit. GNER is little better.

With the weekend logjam on the Forth Bridge, more and more of us are being forced to go by train.

Since travelling in carriages resembling cattle trucks with drunken football fans isn't my bag, reluctantly I usually stump up and travel Business Class.

But don't think that's any guarantee of a seat.

Last week I got on at Dundee but since there were no seats available in the one Business Class section I had to travel steerage.

The helpful attendant wrote something on my ticket and said if I handed it in to the office I'd get a rebate.

Attempts at Waverley and Dundee to get my few quid back failed miserably.

Forms have to be filled in and the whole thing sent to somebody somewhere else. Life is too short.

Last week I thought GNER might be a better bet. Again I stumped up for Business Class.

I got a seat OK. But the only one available was in the smoking section.

Maybe a free cup of coffee would make me feel better.

Then came the announcement: 'We regret that due to circumstances beyond our control there will be no trolley service.'

What was it Robert Louis Stevenson said about it being better to travel hopefully than to arrive?

Still, it's good to know the guys at the top have got their priorities right.

I see that Network Rail, the 'not-for-profit' company which is supposed to look after tracks and stations, is awarding its top five guys pounds 400,000 in bonuses.

The firm makes a pounds 750million loss and misses most of its punctuality targets.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 6, 2004
Words:284
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