First-class train carriages axed
(The Telegraph 1 October 2022)
Sadly, there will be no more first-class carriages on the UK’s many rail lines.
Commuters have not been happy when standing in packed trains and looking at empty first-class seats. Some have had the temerity to make their displeasure known. As a result, Southeastern, the company that runs more than 1,500 services into London every day, has been forced to take action and do away with all first-class seats.
Reading this Telegraph article. I was reminded of my many first-class journeys as a rather scruffy teenager. Every summer, I would take the train from London down to Dover to start a hitch-hiking holiday in Europe.
Sitting comfortably, usually on my own, with my rather old, army-surplus, rucksack at my feet, I would wait for the attendant when he came to throw me out. A wave of my first-class ticket was enough to send him on his way.
No, I was not rich. My father, Alav HaShalom, worked as an architect for British Railways, as it was then known. One of the benefits given to employees and their immediate families was free first-class travel on both the British and European rail systems. We made sure to make good use of this perk.
It seems strange to me that the railways have now decided to pander to those who cannot afford one of life’s luxuries at the expense of those who can. Where will this end?
Driving an Aston Martin? No more – this is offensive to anyone driving an ADO15. (That’s what the Mini was first called when it came off the production line in 1959.)
Caught in a restaurant eating a large Japanese Wagyu Beef Boneless Ribeye? This tasty steak goes for just $1,500. No more – you can eat baked beans on toast like the rest of us mortals.
A glass of wine. About to take a sip of your 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon? At $500,000 for a bottle, it should be better than the supermarket’s special offer of the day. But have a thought for the common folk before you drink.
Perhaps the faceless officials behind the carriage cutting should remember the words of W. S. Gilbert …..
“When everyone is somebody, then no one is anybody.” (The Gondoliers)
I nearly added a picture of my Aston Martin but I don’t want to upset my readers and will just leave the “Featured Image” blank.