I’m currently on the 11:52 Great (sic) Northern Trains service from Kings Cross to Cambridge. I’m in First Class. The compartment is a tip – strewn with litter and the tables are filthy. It has the kind of carpet that you stick to in places. The ticket collector has just been and gone, and I pointed out the state of the place. She shrugged. I enquired if anyone ever cleaned it. “Only if there’s time.”, she said.
I pointed out that this really wasn’t good enough, especially for a first class compartment. It wasn’t Northern Train’s fault, came the reply. Apparently “It’s because of the customers, we put up notices but they still drop litter.”
In a normal compartment I’d have some sympathy with this; in First Class it’s not really the right attitude. I’ve seen at least three Northern Trains staff crewing the train; one of them could clear it. Why else am I paying three times the price for the ticket? For a table I don’t want to use without using anti-bacterial cleaner first (which I forgot to pack silly me).
I brought the state of the compartment to the attention couple of Northern Trains customer service representative ticket barrier. Apparently the turn-around at Kings Cross is too short to do anything about cleaning the whole train. I pointed out that I was talking about a dozen seats and two tables in a tiny First Class compartment and they fully understood my point, agreed it was indeed unacceptable, and apologised for the ticket inspector. So Norther Trains – are you listening?