Monday, 21 March 2011

Beardie Rail unveils 'simplified' catering offer

This from the late W E Johns...

Beardie rail has finally thrown in the towel and provided menus on its services.

It has gone further by providing food on some of them too, although you will need to be an aficionado of railway geography to understand whether you will get a Kipper or a cuppa.

This is because of the footnotes, which would be a credit to the Sunday table 65, circa 1973. But more later.

To begin (literally), one has to choose whether one is on a 'Breakfast' or 'Light Breakfast' train.

This is not determined by the time of day; rather the time that the train started its journey.

Thus, if one is feeling peckish at Preston, then the 10:17 departure has crossed the line and only a light breakfast will be served.
If, however one waits until 11:56, ('full') breakfast will be served as the train leaves Glasgow before the 1000 watershed. Of course, Lancastrians expecting to tuck in to a mid day lunch might be perplexed to find a full breakfast (these days sans black pudding) on offer.

It doesn't stop there.

Trains between 11:00-17:00 and after 19:00 have what are optimistically described as 'a choice of two seasonal hot options (that's the stuff that lurks in vats on the trolley, clad in tin foil) and sandwiches'.

Between 17:00 and 19:00 an evening meal is served, leading to a whole string of possible anomalies across the WCML.

However, Beardie has a clever plan to outwit even the greatest pedant.

This is a return to the 12-hour clock on the menu, together with a disclaimer that 'times are approximate and may vary according to your journey'.

Thanks for that!

Now to the footnotes...

*on Wolverhampton-Euston, cereal served in First Class Lounge only (translation-you've missed out stupid)
** selected services only (cheese and biscuits).

And the best for last...

'Customers travelling between London and Milton Keynes may enjoy a cup of tea/coffee' (translation-'that is all you deserve. We already have to share the revenue with London Midland. And don't anyone else think they will get anything until after MK going north').

The outcome of the latter means that it is practically impossible for some London to Coventry passengers to enjoy a relaxed meal if they are on a train which calls at Milton Keynes.