WHISPERING SMITH: Bring back old Thomas and the Fat Controller...

Chris Adam Smith
Chris Adam Smith

I do not pretend to fully understand all the complexities of the troubled Southern Rail situation, I doubt that anyone does, but I do know it was a rotten service long before any strike action.

Having said that, my gut tells me it does not bode well in the long run for Southern employees.

My firm belief is that Southern want to cut down on staffing in order to save money for the shareholders, who are in this case the government, and through them we the taxpayers.

Well, if saving money means we have an unsafe service and it is as bad as the one we had before, then don’t bother.

Keep us safe, improve the service and get on with getting us to work.

There really should not be any reason for management to allow the continued punishment of rail users by blaming the staff for their troubles and fighting a proxy war against the unions at the expense of the travelling public.

Saying that rail users should bear the brunt of the ticket price hike is also a nonsense when surely the commuters who are travelling to work help create the wealth that finances not only the railway but is also a huge chunk of the country’s GDP.

Here is a new take given me by a reader following recent comments: in March 1937, the Gazette published an article about the electrified third rail, of which the chairman of the railway company at that time was quoted as saying, “The low voltage does not involve in the case of a healthy person more than a sharp shock,” adding the reassurance that contact with said third rail was rarely fatal.

Today’s Southern reassures us that operating trains without safety trained guard/conductors does not put passengers at risk...


UNBELIEVABLE even Iceland are selling e-cig paraphernalia – have I missed a huge business opportunity here or will they all go up in smoke?


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