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The National Rail Equiries helpline aren't exactly helpful are they? I was going to Wembley Arena to see a concert and had decided to take the train rather than risk a parking nightmare and the possibility of being stuck on the motorway etc. It was pretty much a one off gig and I really didnt want to be late for this one.
I had no trouble finding out the train times on the Chiltern Railways website using the journey planner, despite the fact that it was powered by thetrainline. For those who havent experienced this site on a bad day, it can be a complete nightmare. As it happens, according to the journey planner my trip to Wembley looked straightforward with one change at High Wycombe. The total time for the journey was estimated to be an hour, but being cautious and on the advice of the venue information site I decided Id check with National Rail Enquiries helpline that there wasnt going to be a delay due to track works.
I experienced a bit of a delay getting through to one of their agents, but this was to be expected because I did call in my lunch hour and I would expect the helpline service to be quite busy. I didnt catch the name of the person who dealt with my query because he spat it out and moved on before I had the chance to take it in. I should have realised at that point that it was going to be a very much one sided conversation.
I explained where I was travelling from and where I was travelling to, and that I was just making sure that my journey wasnt going to be affected by track replacement works. I was just about to provide more detail on the route I was taking, i.e. changing at High Wycombe when I was interrupted and told that I would have to go in to Marylebone and take the underground out to Wembley. Maybe I needed to rephrase my question slightly because this person wasnt capable of dealing with customer enquiries on an individual basis!
I tried again to explain that I already had a route planned and that I was going to make a change at High Wycombe. However, this person just could not accept that I knew where I was going and how to get there, and insisted that I would HAVE to go to Marylebone first. This would mean I would arrive at Wembley at more like 8 Oclock, nearly an hour later than the way I wanted to go!
I gave up on this 'helpline' in the end, and just asked if there were any known issues in the Wembley area, to which he responded not that they were aware of. Tomorrow I shall travel to Wembley via High Wycombe as I originally planned and not the way that National Rail Enquiries helpline suggested I should. Ill just have to hope that it all goes according to plan as far as the engineering works are concerned.