The ArgusMPs get a taste of life on the trains (From The Argus)

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MPs get a taste of life on the trains

The Argus: Trains Minister Stephen Hammond with Simon Kirby MP (left) at Brighton station as part of a campaign for improvements to the London-Brighton service Trains Minister Stephen Hammond with Simon Kirby MP (left) at Brighton station as part of a campaign for improvements to the London-Brighton service

TWO MPs took to the train yesterday morning to try out the London commute.

Simon Kirby, MP for Brighton Kemptown and Peacehaven, was joined by Rail Minister Stephen Hammond on a service from Brighton to experience the conditions faced by commuters.

Mr Kirby feels there need to be more carriages on the route, better wifi and improved cleanliness.

He also raised the issue of the reinstatement of the Lewes to Uckfield line, which he feels would ease congestion and provide a diversionary route during maintenance of the Brighton main line.

Mr Kirby said: “As someone who regularly uses trains to travel between Brighton and London, I have experience of the issues that commuters face, and I thought that it was only right that the rail minister experience these too.

“This commute will give Stephen Hammond a much greater understanding of commuter issues.”

Richard Rowland, performance manager at First Capital Connect, said: “We've increased the size of our train fleet by 50% and invested £350,000 deep cleaning every carriage, which has just seen satisfaction on this route rise by 18%.

“But that's not enough – we need more trains for capacity and an end to the rail bottleneck at London Bridge for punctuality.”

Mr Rowland said a £6.5 billion Thameslink Programme upgrade will deliver this.

Southern Railway, which also operates trains from Brighton Station, added 20,000 extra peak seats a week to Gatwick Express services to Brighton and invested £250million in new trains and spent £20million refurbishing its existing fleet.

A spokeswoman for Southern Railway said: “We share our passengers’ frustration with the recent disappointing performance and are working with Network Rail to do everything we can to improve the punctuality of our services.”

Comments (5)

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4:34pm Tue 15 Jul 14

stevo!! says...

"Right, we've been on a train....what else do the smelly oiks do?"
"Right, we've been on a train....what else do the smelly oiks do?" stevo!!
  • Score: 5

5:11pm Tue 15 Jul 14

rolivan says...

It would seem Mr Hammond was left speechless.
It would seem Mr Hammond was left speechless. rolivan
  • Score: 1

5:35pm Tue 15 Jul 14

The Gorse Whisperer says...

It is interesting that this is all they have to say for themselves. I was also on this train along with Mr Kirby and Mr Hammond, and the real reason the train was delayed was due to the behaviour of the MPs. I will be fair to Mr Hammond, he was relatively restrained and had the dignity to appear alarmed at some of Simon Kirby's more surprising antics. Although Kirby made a great display of examining the train as it left the station, within ten minutes he was tapping his feet alternately on the floor in a stacatto rhythm, letting out the occasional hiss or growl, and then when the trolley came down he leapt on it and threw the cups all over the carriage and it was at that point Mr Hammond cuts the communication cord and then we pass a haystack that is on fire in the field and I consider it to be a bad omen so I went to get him off the trolley and I knocked over the hot flask of coffee which came very close to scalding two passengers and a small dog had it not been for my reflexes as I grabbed the coffee flask with the heel of my foot and pushed it back onto the floor. Mr Kirby began to hoot and shriek, standing upon the trolley like a russian dancer waiting to leap. As the train ground to a halt Mr Hammond threw open the doors and we both careered out of the train on the trolley, crashing out onto the gravel. Kirby at this point pulled out a chain mail glove from his inside jacket pocket and began swinging it at me in wild swipes. I leaped back to the safety of the train, and in a futile gesture Mr Hammond attempted to subdue his parliamentary colleague. As they locked themselves into a bloody fight on the tracks, my fellow passengers pushed the door shut and the train gradually began moving again. They regarded me with awkward looks and I stared back through the window, quite unable to believe what had just happened. I have spoken to the train company and they will be giving me a full refund for both halves of my return.
It is interesting that this is all they have to say for themselves. I was also on this train along with Mr Kirby and Mr Hammond, and the real reason the train was delayed was due to the behaviour of the MPs. I will be fair to Mr Hammond, he was relatively restrained and had the dignity to appear alarmed at some of Simon Kirby's more surprising antics. Although Kirby made a great display of examining the train as it left the station, within ten minutes he was tapping his feet alternately on the floor in a stacatto rhythm, letting out the occasional hiss or growl, and then when the trolley came down he leapt on it and threw the cups all over the carriage and it was at that point Mr Hammond cuts the communication cord and then we pass a haystack that is on fire in the field and I consider it to be a bad omen so I went to get him off the trolley and I knocked over the hot flask of coffee which came very close to scalding two passengers and a small dog had it not been for my reflexes as I grabbed the coffee flask with the heel of my foot and pushed it back onto the floor. Mr Kirby began to hoot and shriek, standing upon the trolley like a russian dancer waiting to leap. As the train ground to a halt Mr Hammond threw open the doors and we both careered out of the train on the trolley, crashing out onto the gravel. Kirby at this point pulled out a chain mail glove from his inside jacket pocket and began swinging it at me in wild swipes. I leaped back to the safety of the train, and in a futile gesture Mr Hammond attempted to subdue his parliamentary colleague. As they locked themselves into a bloody fight on the tracks, my fellow passengers pushed the door shut and the train gradually began moving again. They regarded me with awkward looks and I stared back through the window, quite unable to believe what had just happened. I have spoken to the train company and they will be giving me a full refund for both halves of my return. The Gorse Whisperer
  • Score: 6

6:15pm Tue 15 Jul 14

stevo!! says...

The Gorse Whisperer wrote:
It is interesting that this is all they have to say for themselves. I was also on this train along with Mr Kirby and Mr Hammond, and the real reason the train was delayed was due to the behaviour of the MPs. I will be fair to Mr Hammond, he was relatively restrained and had the dignity to appear alarmed at some of Simon Kirby's more surprising antics. Although Kirby made a great display of examining the train as it left the station, within ten minutes he was tapping his feet alternately on the floor in a stacatto rhythm, letting out the occasional hiss or growl, and then when the trolley came down he leapt on it and threw the cups all over the carriage and it was at that point Mr Hammond cuts the communication cord and then we pass a haystack that is on fire in the field and I consider it to be a bad omen so I went to get him off the trolley and I knocked over the hot flask of coffee which came very close to scalding two passengers and a small dog had it not been for my reflexes as I grabbed the coffee flask with the heel of my foot and pushed it back onto the floor. Mr Kirby began to hoot and shriek, standing upon the trolley like a russian dancer waiting to leap. As the train ground to a halt Mr Hammond threw open the doors and we both careered out of the train on the trolley, crashing out onto the gravel. Kirby at this point pulled out a chain mail glove from his inside jacket pocket and began swinging it at me in wild swipes. I leaped back to the safety of the train, and in a futile gesture Mr Hammond attempted to subdue his parliamentary colleague. As they locked themselves into a bloody fight on the tracks, my fellow passengers pushed the door shut and the train gradually began moving again. They regarded me with awkward looks and I stared back through the window, quite unable to believe what had just happened. I have spoken to the train company and they will be giving me a full refund for both halves of my return.
Sounds legit......
[quote][p][bold]The Gorse Whisperer[/bold] wrote: It is interesting that this is all they have to say for themselves. I was also on this train along with Mr Kirby and Mr Hammond, and the real reason the train was delayed was due to the behaviour of the MPs. I will be fair to Mr Hammond, he was relatively restrained and had the dignity to appear alarmed at some of Simon Kirby's more surprising antics. Although Kirby made a great display of examining the train as it left the station, within ten minutes he was tapping his feet alternately on the floor in a stacatto rhythm, letting out the occasional hiss or growl, and then when the trolley came down he leapt on it and threw the cups all over the carriage and it was at that point Mr Hammond cuts the communication cord and then we pass a haystack that is on fire in the field and I consider it to be a bad omen so I went to get him off the trolley and I knocked over the hot flask of coffee which came very close to scalding two passengers and a small dog had it not been for my reflexes as I grabbed the coffee flask with the heel of my foot and pushed it back onto the floor. Mr Kirby began to hoot and shriek, standing upon the trolley like a russian dancer waiting to leap. As the train ground to a halt Mr Hammond threw open the doors and we both careered out of the train on the trolley, crashing out onto the gravel. Kirby at this point pulled out a chain mail glove from his inside jacket pocket and began swinging it at me in wild swipes. I leaped back to the safety of the train, and in a futile gesture Mr Hammond attempted to subdue his parliamentary colleague. As they locked themselves into a bloody fight on the tracks, my fellow passengers pushed the door shut and the train gradually began moving again. They regarded me with awkward looks and I stared back through the window, quite unable to believe what had just happened. I have spoken to the train company and they will be giving me a full refund for both halves of my return.[/p][/quote]Sounds legit...... stevo!!
  • Score: 2

9:03pm Tue 15 Jul 14

cynic_the says...

funny how they picked a nice warm morning in mid July.

try it in mid January....
funny how they picked a nice warm morning in mid July. try it in mid January.... cynic_the
  • Score: 4
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