Travel Test
Farewell Virgin Trains, I enjoyed the journey

Farewell Virgin Trains, I enjoyed the journey

It began on March 9, 1997, and it will end on December 7, 2019 – but how will we remember Virgin’s tenure of the Intercity West Coast franchise?   Virgin Trains joins Barry Evans and Mr Blobby in our cultural memory   VISITED: Since Virgin took on the Intercity West Coast franchise in 1997 SERVICE:...
The railway should cherish its enthusiasts

The railway should cherish its enthusiasts

For a long time the railway shunted enthusiasts like myself into the sidings, but the revival of the Rail Riders Club shows that times have changed   Railway accessory and clothing supplier Bufferbeam, obtained Trademark protection on all of the Rail Riders’ logos   Back in 1993, I was interviewed for the last ever British...
Mr Williams, I urge you to read this book

Mr Williams, I urge you to read this book

My friend John Nelson has drawn on his 50 years of experience to write an insider’s story of Britain’s railway through privatisation to the present day     Hold the front page, Keith Williams, don’t press ‘Send’ on your review just yet. There’s a new book in town, Losing Track, written by one of the...
Mental health - are we making things worse?

Mental health – are we making things worse?

We must work to ensure that we don’t negatively impact the mental health of our staff. It’s the right the thing to do, and it’s good for customers     Mental health has definitely been one of the big discussion points of 2019. Even those with absolutely zero interest at the beginning of the year...
Uncertainty is weighing heavily on our people

Uncertainty is weighing heavily on our people

Tens of thousands of passenger transport workers are wondering who they will be working for – and the Williams Review is adding to this instability, writes Alex Warner.     Business psychologists would have a field day with the current state of Britain’s rail industry right now. They’d be alarmed not only about the lack...
A new generation of talent in the spotlight

A new generation of talent in the spotlight

Together with Passenger Transport and a panel of judges, I have compiled a list of 40 dynamic passenger transport professionals under the age of 40     In the next issue of this quite remarkable magazine, Flash Forward Consulting (of which I am the founder and owner, I’ll have you know) is co-producing an exciting...
Give Mark a break, rail managers need support

Give Mark a break, rail managers need support

GTR manager Mark Boon didn’t deserve the vilification he received for turfing Standard Class ticket holders out of First. He and others need help. Alex Warner offers his view   The tweet that exposed Mark Boon   Beleaguered boss Charles Horton has departed troubled franchise GTR, so now it seems that humble middle manager Mark...
Get on board! CityZap could be the future

Get on board! CityZap could be the future

Leeds to Manchester has been looked at and dismissed by bus operators many times over the years – but Transdev Blazefield had a zappy new idea   Linking Leeds and Manchester, every hour   VISITED: 15th November 2017 SERVICE: The first CityZap route has linked Leeds and York since March 2016, using SatNav technology. Last...
The bus industry and the diversity challenge

The bus industry and the diversity challenge

A visit to last week’s ALBUM Conference in Blackpool left me pondering the lack of diversity among the senior ranks of the bus industry, and what should be done about it   More fool Blackpool Transport boss, Jane Cole for inviting me to present at the ALBUM Conference in Blackpool last week. I had a...
Southern take their eye off the ball at Selhurst

Southern take their eye off the ball at Selhurst

I know it’s fashionable to criticise Southern, but a recent display at Selhurst reminds us that its a long way from being a Premier League operator – writes Alex Warner   Southern: troubled   VISITED: 26th April 2017 SERVICE: Southern is the brand name used by Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) on the Southern routes of...
Choose life, choose a career... choose buses?

Choose life, choose a career… choose buses?

Stuffy, traditional and facing extinction. Why should young people join the bus industry, and why should those who still have a choice decide to stay? Alex Warner offers his view   A familiar sight?: The dyed-in-the-wool, uninspiring attitudes of some ‘old farts’ can have a debilitating effect   Firstly an apology to Arriva’s bus big...
‘Sorry’ has become  an over-used word

‘Sorry’ has become an over-used word

We used to be an industry that struggled to say ‘sorry’ for failing customers, now it’s a word that is used so often that at times it has become noise, writes Alex Warner     Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word by Blue featuring Elton John is my favourite song of all time –...