Monday, August 4, 2008

Train travel in Spain sucks!

When those words from the title came out from me, I can't believe it either. First of all, getting a train ticket in August is impossible. The one night I tried to get a ticket in advanced, there were 250 people in front of me! I went the next morning, the line was short, only about 3 people ahead of me, but of course, I couldn't get the ticket I wanted because it was fully booked. I had to do a different route instead.

Secondly, the day I arrive to catch my train, everyone's luggage had to go through the xray machine! What's ironic is, they don't have a metal detector. So they don't allow guns, knives, explosives, etc (the usual) but they don't have a metal detector for passengers?! I could have took out my pocket knife and put it in my trouser's pocket and would have gotten away without any problem.

Thirdly, boarding the train is a pain. Passengers can't wait in the platform and had to wait in line till the gate opens. That's actually fine but the whole process is like boarding an airplane* where there's actually an attendant who takes your train ticket, scans it and give you your ticket/pass. What's annoying is people who buy their tickets online has problems with the documents, and as a result, is holding up the line.

Why can't it be a simple process, just like any other country where one can just go on to the designated platform, hop on board to the coach and seat assigned, wait for the conductor to come up to you, ask for your ticket, checks it and stamps it, and you're on your way to you next destination.

*( Riding the train in Spain is indeed like flying on board an aircraft. They have entertainment on board the train, and a crew members who passes out earphone is a little box. (Pictured above) One of the reason I take the train is because I don't have to wait in line and go through the security at the airport. Oh, and the crew member do actually kick you out of your seat when you're not sitting at your assigned seat. I actually don't care how good the service is as long as it gets me to my next destination. Life can be so much better when you don't try to complicate things. )

3 comments:

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Giggle Giggly said...

It seems like you have had a real stressful time taking the train!!!

Matt said...

I would assume all the train hassles have something to do with a little incident that happened in Madrid around March of '04.

You can't really be inconspicuous with a bomb in your trousers normally...:)