True stories from the Great Railway Disaster No 33: So you want to consult the timetable?

A weekly chronicle of the absurdities caused by the Government's privatisation programme
Click to follow
JIM GROZIER found himself at Three Bridges station in Sussex recently and sought to find out what trains were available for London. On Platform Three, he was confronted with a poster simply headed "Train Times", which actually shows all Network SouthCentral trains together with those for Thameslink, but only as far as London Bridge. Further destinations such as Luton and Bedford are left out. There is no explanatory note.

Over on Platform Two there is another timetable headed "The Trains" which shows all Thameslink services, including those to Luton and Bedford but omits all Network SouthCentral services. Again this is not explained. Common sense appears to prevail on Platform Five, as the two timetables appear side by side but in the ticket hall, there is no information on Thameslink, only on Network SouthCentral trains under a heading bearing the company's logo.

Mr Grozier, who lives in Brighton, is worried that this timetable separation will soon reach the South Coast, where there are six train companies operating services. He suggests that if each company had a separate timetable and separate weekend engineering works posters, travellers would have to consult 12 documents before taking a train.

"Now that would be a boost for the motor industry", Mr Grozier comments.