On Wednesday of Easter Week, I travelled between Ballymena and Coleraine with two small children on a weekly journey to visit an elderly mother - a rail journey of 50 minutes. For the second year running, we had the most appalling journey imaginable.
As with last year, when the public complained bitterly, there was exactly the same number of coaches (three) as there are on every normal weekday.
The train was packed like sardines with far more than could be coped with. There was not even spare standing room left on a single coach throughout the journey. Nearly every time the train braked, or stopped, passengers were falling into each other. Had there been an emergency stop, there could have been serious injuries.
My two little ones were often frightened, but coped admirably in the circumstances. For their own safety they, like some mothers with children who couldn't get seats, sat on the floor, which was the lesser of two evils.
This disgraceful and wanton disregard for customers' safety and comfort has to end now.
It is not rocket science; on public holiday weeks (and from June to September without exception), two extra coaches need to be added to the Belfast-north coast trains. With a little more forward planning and vigilance, the public could once again be treated with the respect it deserves. Or is Translink happy to enjoy the profits at the passengers' expense?
REGULAR RAIL USER