True stories from the Great Railway Disaster

A weekly chronicle of the absurdities caused by the privatisation programme: No 46; So you want to catch your connection?
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The Independent Online
ROGER IREDALE travels daily from Whaley Bridge to Manchester's Oxford Road station, changing at Stockport. It is a simple walk across the platform, and if the trains are on time they coincide - so passengers can transfer in seconds. Dr Iredale says: "Traditionally, if the arriving train has been slightly delayed station staff have waited while passengers run across."

Recently Dr Iredale has noticed that the through train has not waited. He even found that station staff deliberately closed the doors just as passengers rushed up to them.

He has discovered Railtrack fines the station operators if they delay a train. Dr Iredale says: "The new railway operators are only interested in getting trains out of stations, whether they have passengers or not. This was the very criticismprivatisation was meant to answer."