Praise where due

It doesn’t take much to say “thank you”. It’s only two words, yet they are so rarely used these days it… ohh hang on, I’m beginning to sound like Lynn Truss. Suffice to say that we are all quick to complain, myself included, and today I want to buck that trend.

I would like to say thank you and well done to First ScotRail.

Train companies get a lot of bad press, deservedly so on many occasion, but you don’t read about them when they are efficient, clean and run on time. When they have improved communications to the point that I get a text message sent to my phone if a morning train is delayed, and an email sent to my work address if the evening train is delayed.

Yes the trains can still get cramped but they are more running these days and unlike the masses of idiots who cram onto the 5.12pm train home, I wait until the 5.19pm train, stroll on and pick a seat. The inspectors are more frequent, and if there are any problems the driver will tells us if he knows what it is, and how long we will be delayed for, AND he tells us if he doesn’t know. That last bit is important.

The biggest problem I’ve always had with public transport is the lack of communication. I’m fairly realistic, I know that not every train can be empty, nor that every train will be the newest model with the nice armrests and tables, that’s ok. What I really couldn’t stand was the not knowing. The train is late. Why? The train has stopped between stations. Why? How long will we be sitting here? All questions which you can pre-empt and First ScotRail seem to have gotten that message.

So, well done. As we leave the winter months behind, I can happily say that I can count, on the fingers of one hand, the number of times a train was delayed or cancelled —Last year the number was much higher, a good three or four hands worth if not more— and even then I always knew why it had happened, usually before I arrived at the station, and how long it was going to take to fix. Bravo.