As I mentioned in a previous blog, I got back from the UK just a while ago. As usual, I tend to ride a lot of trains while there. Be it a heritage railway (see the blog entry here) or a regular "service" train, I tend to enjoy them all. The United Kingdom railway system has it's peculiar quirks and generally I take all of them in stride: wether it's the inane, unfathonable fare system, the whole franchising idea in general, or the lack of interoperability of the rolling stock. Once in a blue moon however, even I need to sit down and ask myself: which idiot came up with this?
And so it was on a trip from London Saint Pancras Station to Kettering on East Midlands Trains. The company uses the Class 222 diesel electric multiple unit trains for this run. Commonly known as "Meridian", these were built by Bombardier Transportation and are capable of 125 miles per hour. Each coach has a Cummins underfloor diesel motor, powering a generator, which supplies the current to the electric motors. Apparently these units are quite reliable, however I have never been a fan of DMUs for long distance services. Sitting on top of a loud, vibrating diesel engine for hours is not my idea of a pleasent journey. Even in First Class the 222s are cramped and uncomfortable. And then there is this:
In this day and age with CAD, is it really that difficult to line up the seats with the windows? Upon entering the coach and first seeing this I thought this was just one row of seats with this issue. But no, every other row is just like that:
Of course with my luck I had gotten a reserved seat with a stunning view of the beige colored side wall! Fortunately the coach was virtually empty and I managed to get a seat with a window. Who the devil came up with this lay out design?