Author Topic: Train updates, news and information  (Read 240092 times)

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Offline Editor

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Train updates, news and information
« on: March 13, 2002, 12:33:09 pm »
You can now check to see at a glance whether your train is running on time using the new box on the front page of this site. WAGN has given the Brookmans Park Newsletter permission to include this information, which comes direct from the company's database, in a box on the front page [/b] of this site. For full details click here [/b]. We hope to have the train times from Finsbury Park in the near future.  Is this addition to the site of any use?  It would be good to hear your views
« Last Edit: March 13, 2002, 12:33:46 pm by admin »
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John_fraser

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2002, 02:33:21 pm »
It’s usefulness is directly related to WAGN’s ability to warn of delays sufficiently in advance, as you need to look at the site before you start out on your journey. My experience of WAGN is that they can’t do this.

Good idea, and a nice bit of work. But sorry WAGN will fail you.

However if you put it on WAP... ;)
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2002, 04:10:26 pm »
The information is taken straight from the same source that the Potters Bar departure boards at the station are, so there should be reasonable notice - particularly for trains coming from London. Obviously, if you live a long way from the station it may not be too useful. However, even then if you see a lot of delays are on the current trains, it stands to reason your may well be late as well :-(

I am currently working on a wap version (so you can view it on your mobile phones for people who have no idea what we're talking about!) - watch this space. Hopefully I should have done it by the middle of next week

James
« Last Edit: March 13, 2002, 04:15:21 pm by James_Bentall »
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Offline jet

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2002, 04:58:34 pm »
At the risk of sounding sycophantic ( spelling?)
What a good service, I almost wish I used the trains.
Memories of getting there 1 min late and waiting for 29 mins in the cold.
regards
jet
 

Offline Aidan Winwood

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2002, 07:08:06 pm »
Hi Jet,

I too remember that feeling up until recently when I moved into the village - I can now walk straight home and switch the telly back on for another 20 minutes!

Aidan
 

Offline jet

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2002, 12:13:26 am »
Dear Aiden,
From where I come from we would call that dead sarcastic, brilliant!
I will see you in the Brookmans one day for a beer!
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jet
 

CPB

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2002, 12:42:34 am »
 ::)

Good & useful addition to site

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Offline MC

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2002, 01:04:23 am »
Great Idea. Two thoughts to add further value :
1) for those of us who didn't fall for the WAP hype (ie don't have WAP...) is there any way to send SMS messages to phones if nominated services are late? Probably asking a bit much I know
2) more realistically is it possible to show a range of train times on the front screen so that passengers could quickly see that the 08 is on time, the xx28 is 10 mins late and the xx38 iscancelled?

Great idea as it is though
 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2002, 10:58:03 am »
Mark

SMS costs money to send, so is a bit of a non starter! WAP Phones are quite cheap now you know ;)

We can't display any more information than is shown on the front page - this is all the information that WAGN provide at one time - sorry.

James
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Offline Carolyn

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2002, 02:44:13 pm »
Also agree this is a great addition to the site.

If WAGN can not or will not give you any more details, is it possoble to have a link to their site where a longer view of the timetable is hopefully available? It would be particularly good to check it before leaving the office.
ex resident - now living in New Zealand
 

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2002, 03:46:03 pm »
The information is taken from WAGN's site at

http://www.wagn.co.uk/wlive/departures/PottersBar.htm

National Rail provide a much longer in advance listing, but unfortunately it quite often does not show if trains are running late - tends just to say 'on time!'

http://rtti.nationalrail.co.uk/3017/18/18.htm

Trains calling at Brookmans Park have only been travelling for about half an hour max anyway, so it would be difficult for a rail company to work out if they are running later than this more than half an hour in advance.

I have (almost) got a WAP version working - it is working on some mobiles but not others - hopefully it will be sorted by the weekend.
James Bentall, Brookmans Park, Herts.
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Offline Carolyn

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2002, 05:29:39 pm »
Thank you. I have now added  
    http://www.wagn.co.uk/wlive/departures/finsburypark.htm
to my favorites - it didn't work with Moorgate, but this is a great help :)
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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2002, 06:36:16 pm »
James, I have a new phone. Did you get a WAP train timetable set up?
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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #13 on: May 08, 2002, 07:21:02 pm »
Yes... and no! :D

It seems to work with my phone (Nokia 6210), but I can't seem to get it to work with anyone elses that I have tried!!

If anyone wants to see if it does work with their phone, and help me test it, please email me (yabb_brookmans@jimney.org.uk), and I'll send back what you need to do to access it.

Cheers,

James
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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #14 on: May 08, 2002, 09:03:10 pm »
Just a reminder that there is a permanent link on the front page of www.brookmans.com offering the latest data from WAGN regarding train due at Brookmans Park. It is on the left hand side under 'Latest Travel Times' and is entitled 'Trains within next hour'.  There is also a link 'Buses within next hour' although this is not dynamic (meaning that it will not show if a bus is cancelled or delayed).  The train times will show whether the train is cancelled or delayed because that info is coming directly from the WAGN database (as long as that database is working that is).   :)
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Offline Birch

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #15 on: May 09, 2002, 03:15:05 pm »
Being vaguely newish to the area (Welham Green), there are times when using a bus would be useful.  I researched that the 610 would go to Enfield through the village and into Hatfield when I first moved here. Last year, my mother found out that during the afternoon they had cut buses through the village and last week when my husband needed to use the bus to get to work it too seemed to be cut.

Does anyone know how you can find out which buses run where and when?

Birch
 

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #16 on: May 09, 2002, 04:10:58 pm »
As someone who relies on public transport a lot, don't get me started on the busses...

University Bus, who run the two local services that serve Welham Green and Brookmans Park (610 and 636) seem to have very strange ideas about keeping customers informed. I too got caught up last year when they re routed 636 for a week - only after waiting at a bus stop for 20 minutes I found out when someone who was passing told me!

I phoned the company up at the time - they're not allowed to put notices on bus stops, cos they don't own them, they don't have a website you can check, and basically only put notices in the busses themselves about the changes to routes. I asked what I was to do as I was an infrequent traveller and was basically advised to ring up the company before every journey I made to check the bus was running. When I pointed out that most of the time I wanted to travel before their office was open they didn't have an answer...

There was also an occasion 2 years ago when they changed the number, route and timings of the busses, but failed to tell anyone about it, and kept the old timetables up for a good 3 weeks afterwards.

I've also waited for the bus, got on it, however been unable to travel because I only had a 5 pound note and the driver didn't have enough change for the 80p fare.

If you live in Welham Green and want to do shopping etc by bus, I would strongly advise getting the Sovereign one to St Albans which is a LOT more reliable (IMHO) - if you need to go to Hatfield, get the train!

For what it's worth, you can contact universitybus by calling (01707) 268012. However, they sometimes don't answer and don't seem to know what an answerphone is.

One other thing to be wary of with the busses and trains - WAGN made a big thing a few months ago of being able to buy 'through' tickets from train stations which allow you to, say buy one ticket at Finsbury Park, get off the train and use the same ticket to go by bus from a station somewhere. UniversityBus will NOT accept those tickets as they are a private company, making them practically useless for the local area.

This is probably one of the issues that students and local residents are completely in agreement - one student (not me I hasten to add!) set up http://www.come.to/universitybus to say what he thinks - a large proportion of the students at the University would agree with him.

I'll get off my high horse now  :)

James
« Last Edit: May 09, 2002, 04:21:00 pm by James_Bentall »
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John_fraser

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2002, 12:02:57 am »
Or not in this case. This is taken from the Strategic Rail Authority’s Consultation document on “Capacity Utilisation Policy” -  5 September 2002

http://www.sra.gov.uk/sra/publications/consult_docs/2002_09_05/cup_consultation_document.pdf

"From a purely operational perspective the most efficient use of capacity on a railway occurs when trains have similar performance characteristics, such as on metro services and TGV lines in France. A mix of different train services with varying characteristics (such as speed or stopping patterns) on a route uses capacity less efficiently because a faster train “catches up” a slower one. Services that cross the path of other services at junctions may also use up a disproportionate amount of capacity. Unless there is sufficient spare capacity to accommodate late running trains, it can be difficult to recover from operational problems. Network resilience – its ability to handle (even minor) disruption – is a critical factor."

Now I may be reading too much into this, but how long before they suggest that the trains would run better if they shut the smaller stations? Actually I’m getting so paranoid that it wouldn’t surprise me if they suggest shutting all the stations to get the trains to run on time!

“The ghost of a steam train, echoes down my track
It's at the moment bound for nowhere, just going round and round”
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Offline James Bentall

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2002, 05:24:16 pm »
I would presume that would mean that in a situation like we have in Brookmans Park, the middle two tracks would be reserved for the GNER fast trains, and WAGN trains would all be all station trains on the slower outside lines. Can't see it happening somehow :)

James
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Offline sasquartch

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #19 on: September 18, 2002, 06:57:08 pm »
I'm starting a new job in London next week which means for the first time I'll be travelling on the train to work.
I understand that on Tuesday next week there is a 24 hour Tube strike from 20:00 Tuesday.
This isn't a huge problem to me as I can walk from Kings X to Praed Street (Paddington W2 area) in about 40 minutes.
However, I did wonder what other BP residents did when there were no trains running from BP, either as a result of strikes or disasters such as the PB or Hatfield tragedies.
Perhaps it might be possible to have some sort of 'club' where things like car sharing could be investigated.
Any ideas ?
As I'm new to commuting by train I'm not sure what to expect but judging by some of the threads on the forum I'm not expecting an easy time, especially in the winter.

 

Offline James Bentall

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #20 on: September 19, 2002, 12:55:35 am »
WAGN do have their moments, but I don't really think they are _that_ bad. I admit if people have been travelling on the line for a long time - say over five years, they may remember better days, but for people like me who have been commuting less than a year, I find the service 'acceptable'.

From having talked to other people during the Potters Bar crash, alternatives people used were

(i) Car to High Barnet/Cockfosters and underground
(ii) Car to Cheshunt and train in to London from there
(iii) Catch the replacement busses WAGN were running.

See you on the platform sometime soon no doubt....

James
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Larry

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #21 on: September 20, 2002, 04:27:07 pm »
A lot of people moan about the state of the railways, and let's be fair - they're crap.
However, people often blame the privitasation of British Rail for this.. referring to BR as "The good old days".

Let's just consider how much has changed since then?

Hmm.. fair enough, BR trains were generally a lot more reliable, but let's face it, the standard was a lot lower.

Of course this is because as a public service it was not run for profit, therefore it was cheaper and upkeep of the trains was not really a priority (lest we forget the stench of urine on our daily commute..)

But now the trains are a lot nicer, plus you allegedly have a choice of rail company (in some parts of the country anyway..)

It's blatant to see WAGN have no idea how to operate a train company.
I have spent many frustrating hours waiting for a train to turn up, just to hear another announcement that the next train due has ALSO been cancelled due to technical fault/lack of drivers/other problems..

I remember one night while out on the lash in Potters Bar they cancelled the last two trains out and being short on cash and unable to refund my ticket, I had to walk home. In the rain.

This is where BR was better - they actually put ticket revenue where it was needed - into maintaining the system from which they were generated!)

One final note: I've seen a few people moaning about ticket prices and why they shouldn't have to subsidise other people's fares.. have you noticed how expensive it is to go anywhere by train these days? I wonder what percentage of that goes to pay fat cat bosses salaries..

I think what needs to be done here is public action - like in america when people refused to buy gas at all on tuesdays (or something like that) until the price increase was removed..

If we all refuse to use/buy tickets from WAGN for one day a week, they will soon bow to our collective might and give us what we want - a service actually worth paying for.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2002, 04:32:55 pm by admin »
 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2002, 03:34:14 pm »
Having now had two strikes on the tube I enquired about the possibility of a refund from WAGN because of this. BP station advised that I should contact the tube, however their website advised contacting WAGN. I emailed WAGN and eventually received a reply which is probably a standard text.

-----------------------------------------------------------
Ref: 128653

Date: 10 October 2002


Thank you for your communication dated 27 September 2002, the contents of
which I note.

I note your query regarding the payment of compensation in the wake of LUL
strikes.  As the situation is still ongoing, I would therefore recommend
that you contact us again when the strike action has been finalised and
compensation arrangements agreed.

Yours sincerely

Lisa Brotherton
Customer Relations Assistant
This is not an official line of communication for Customer Relations, WAGN
Railway Ltd.

To ensure you get a response to your communication

Please ensure all correspondence is addressed via ONE of the following:

Customer Relations                                       Fax:      01223 453 606
WAGN Railway Ltd                                       Email:   email@wagnrail.co.uk
Station Road                                      
Cambridge
CB1 2JW                                                   

All modes of correspondence are treated equally and will be dealt with in
strict order of date of receipt.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Has anyone got a refund out of WAGN on this or any previous occasion ?
Despite WAGN putting up all sorts of posters around the station I can't see any reference to this matter.

 

Offline sasquartch

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #23 on: November 14, 2002, 11:22:46 am »
I've received a response from WAGN regarding refunds for tube strikes.

I will be receiving the princely sum of £6.40 to compensate me for the two strike days within the next 28 days.

Not a great deal but something I suppose ! The principle is more important to me than the actual money.

Has anyone else got a refund ?
 

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #24 on: March 06, 2003, 10:26:53 pm »
Well I had to go into London today so instead of my usual drive to Cockfosters and tubing it I thought I would try the overhead at PB purely for research purposes.
First pull into the general car park, to find that they want £5 for over 6 hours, well although I was only going to be say 4 hours, what with the risk of delays I did not want to be caught for a fine.
So off to the station car park, the only spots were in the far end and having driven almost back to BP I got out only to find that they want £3 before 10 am and £1 after, no problem 2 minute wait and £2 saved, however all this is carefully planed so that you miss the fast train to Kings X by 2 minutes(ish) so wait for the slow train and realise that might has well got it at BP IF I could buy a ticket. I really did not want to find the machine did not work, whatever and I do not trust permits to travel having witnessed lots of altecations.
So here we are a commuter area? The nearest main line wants to tell us when to use it and rip us off for early travel and parking
The Town it is in does not want us to park there without ripping us off.
The strange thing was that all car parks etc were full, they must be making a fortune.
Then next shock £7.50 for an off peak travel card, I am sure it was only £6 2 years ago.
The reason for  this post is to point out that the whole thing is conceived to make things as costly and  awful as possible.
It is only by having a break from it you realise how horrible it has all become over a short period of time.
Regulars probably have not noticed how they have been stealthily ripped off, its little by little until its a lot.
A bit like the EU but thats another matter.
regards,
jet
As for the stink and filth of the trains >:(
if I hear one more person say " I am on my mobile at Finsbury Park" again I will scream, do they really think the person on the other end cares :(
Beat that for a rant ;)
 

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2003, 12:48:19 am »
It's not a rant. I'd be surprised if you find anyone who disagrees with you.
 

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2003, 01:02:33 pm »
I've been commuting for nearly six months now and actually it works pretty well for me. I walk to the station at BP so don't have any issues with parking. The 07:58 train has been running on time for a few weeks now.

Even in the snow I was only late by about 40 minutes. I know of people who took 4 hours to get home from Hemel by car. Last week there was a problem with the overhead lines and trains were terminating at New Southgate. Yet a coach was waiting and delivered me back to BP station only a little late.

Yes, the railways could be better but I actually think they do a reasonable job. It can be argued that they're expensive but I don't think I'd be able to drive to London any cheaper when all the running costs are taken into account, certainly no quicker. And I can easily pop out at lunchtime on a bus, all paid for with the Travelcard. I actually received a refund from WAGN of over £100 the other day.

I'm completely against charging for station carparks, but the actual trains are generally OK. Not sure that 'stink and filth' is really that accurate.

Yes, people at Finsbury Park might be a little annoying with their mobile phones but is that really an issue ? (Solution: transfer onto the underground at Highbury and Islington, dry and warm and being underground mobile phones won't work  ;))

The transport system could always be better but think sometimes think people don't always give it a fair chance.
 

John_fraser

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2003, 01:52:25 pm »
I’m almost tempted to disagree with JET and MC on principle, but can’t. Not only are we being ripped off, but the service is appalling. Would anyone care to name a country with a worse, or even just as bad public transport system as we have?

The parking restrictions in Potter’s Bar were expanded a few years ago. The only reason for this, that I can see, was to force people into the car parks i.e. It was revenue generating. Other examples of the unfriendliness of Potters Bar to commuters is that after about eight the walkway trough to the buss station is closed. So if, due to ‘service disruptions,’ you got a fast train to Potters Bar and want to get a cab rather than wait for a mythical slow train, you have to walk around the station. Frequently in the rain. If optimism, inexperience or lack of cash means you decide to wait on the platform for the slow train, you will find that the waiting room is locked.

At the other end of the line, I see Kings Cross has been fitted out with some new displays to replace the main indicator board. These were clearly installed by someone who never uses the trains, because they only give scheduled departure times and don’t give an estimated departure time. Great if, like me, you arrive at 23:16 to see a fast and a slow train due to have departed several minutes before, still showing on the board. Which do you run for and have you enough time to buy some supper on the way? But at least King’s Cross has notice boards. How many years have they been out of action at Moorgate?

The trains themselves, while not ‘filthy’ sure aren’t clean. A number leak in wet weather, which makes choosing a seat an interesting challenge in the morning.

So that’s my rant. Not just ‘un user friendly’ positively user hostile. So long as public transport is treated as a business and run for – government subsidised – profit, passengers will be treated as a source of revenue. As most of us have no alternative but to use the trains, we will be fleeced at every opportunity. Public transport needs to be run as a service, something that helps the economy perform. Just like how roads and road building are justified.
 

Offline Carolyn

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2003, 03:24:52 pm »
Credentials: 22 years of commuting! Including 6 from Potters Bar and 8 from Alexandra Palace on the same line.

Opinion:  On the whole not a bad service.  We have had a lot of problems in the last year or so but I still think the service on this line is much better than for some of my collegues.  The car park at Potters Bar is less busy this winter than for the previous couple of years, but I don’t know why. The earlier the train you get the cleaner it is - implication it is the commuters themselves who drop the litter, spill drinks and leave newspapers in any state on any chair - annoying.  Potters Bar waiting rooms are only open when the station is manned.  They have had the normal problems with vandalism and I prefer to have windowed, lit clean waiting rooms during “normal” travel hours than the opposite all the time.

My experience of the New York commuter services was very unpleasant, dirty and slow.  However the year I spent commuting in France was a pleasure so long as I left Paris to go home by 7:30pm. After that it is so very slow and only old stock seemed to be out – but then again I knew very few people who worked the sort of hours we do in London.

Not a rant – just some comments!
See you on the train soon John – its been a while since we met on a train
ex resident - now living in New Zealand
 

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Re: Train updates, news and information
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2003, 04:51:20 pm »
I think that you would not notice the general smell if you use the trains a lot, not wishing to be rude but commuters do have a smell about them,picked up from all around them, sorry.
My day yesterday entailed five site visits, the cost was £7.50 train, £1, park £18, taxis ( only way, buses do not go from where you are to where you want to be) and of course car to from station say £3, total £30 ish.
In the car the petrol cost would have been about £12, with no walking but a lot more stressfull perhaps.
The point of my post was to indicate that the railways serve themselves, not their clients.
In most other business's the clients requirement is paramount, or you don't get the work!
Is it possible to wear a suit more than once after a public transport journey?
regards,
jet
I think after witnising the lurching etc on the tube between some stations that it is only the weight of the overcrowding that prevents de railing >:(
 

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