Saturday, 24 March 2018

Mystery Shopper at the Spring Gala

Well maybe not such a mystery as I had my name badge on! Saturday started a bit damp but we arrived at BL safely. Good signs into the car park, yet using my chaimans privelidge we sneaked into the staff car park. Military train parked up looked very impressive. Friendly troops welcomed us and posed for pictures.

We were invited onto the footplate of the S160 and given a good explanation of the workings. Trains seemed to be running late but there were no explanations, maybe something to be sharpened up. 

Eventually the train to Norton arrived and we joined the QB section.

The journey to Norton and back felt quite dragged out. A lot of waiting around and a hour and twenty minutes later saw us back where we started at BL. A very efficient service on the QB saw us devour steak and ale pies followed by cheesecake. Slight confusion over the menu saw us being offered salmon, but this was later cancelled!

Our train was delayed at CH with an overheating lubricator but this appeared to be rapidly fixed and we were kept well informed throughout.

The QB was reasonably well filled but I couldn't help thinking that more tables could have been occupied if there had been some better advertising on the platforms.

Currently sat at Williton station. Double headed panniers just arrived on the up service. Things seem to be running about 20 minutes late, but its a gala. Everybody is enjoying themselves and they don't seem to mind.

Overall impression is good. Staff very friendly and helpful. A good train service and a variety of motive power. Great food on QB which was the highlight. A real buzz about the railway and a great atmosphere all round. Well done to everybody.

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