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Monday, July 14, 2014

Thank you East Coast!

Britain's railway gets a lot of bad press. Unfortunately, a lot of it is deserved. To counter this, here is a good news story.

This past weekend, York station was jammed with tourists, ordinary passengers, race-goers and trainspotters. On such busy days, police and security impose a lock-down of sorts, with ticket checks to help regulate the flow of people through the station. I've rarely seen the station so busy, and the smell of alcohol hung in the air. In this atmosphere, I wasn't sure if I would be able to access the platforms for some rail photography.

East Coast came to the rescue, as is outlined in this thank-you note I recently sent them:

"I wanted to thank East Coast for providing platform tickets so that non-travelling members of the public could access York station yesterday.

York has been especially busy with tourists and race-goers over the past few days and, with many people arriving by train, police and security have been operating ticket checks to control the flow of people through the station.

However, York station is also a popular destination for railway enthusiasts, including those who live in York (myself included) and did not have a ticket to travel. Since I didn't have a ticket to access the platforms yesterday, an East Coast employee kindly provided me with a platform ticket, which allowed me to spend several hours with my fellow enthusiasts on the station.

While issuing platform tickets is an ATOC requirement, I have been laughed off station platforms and refused entry before for requesting one (not at York or any other East Coast station, I hasten to add).

I really appreciate that the staff at York station took the time to offer platform tickets yesterday. It demonstrates their commitment not just to their passengers, but also to enthusiasts and to the wider public who wished to access the station.

Thank you for being so thoughtful, it is really appreciated."

Thank you again for a very sensible approach to a busy station. Railway stations have long been an important social space. I'm glad that East Coast continue to recognize this.

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