Monday, January 31, 2011

Le train c’est bon, oui? Non.

Hello folks.  The dust has settled after landing back in the UK and normal service (that is, a tendency to complain about trains) has resumed.  If you’re wanting another fix of “Live Slowly. Die Old” do stay tuned because I have some ‘reflections’ I’ll get around to posting at some point.

Proponents of a Nationalised Railway system in the UK often bleat about how good the French system is.  And I don’t doubt that their shiny TGVs are good if you have a desire to go from major city centre to major city centre.  But I have always been sceptical of the quality of their local and regional services, and if my experience just now is typical then I am right to question whether or not the French system is all it is cracked up to be.

I am looking at the options for travel between Hyeres and Marseille Airport.  These places are not that far apart, and as far as I can tell, we’re not talking the middle of nowhere.  But if I want to go by train, on a Friday, I have a choice of just three trains.  And the last one is at 13.06.  Is it that the French don’t do anything on a Friday afternoon?  Have I just picked an awkward example?  Or is it that they don’t really have anything they can call a train “service” after all?

Answers on a postcard…

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