Commuting Dilemma

With the Olympics now under way, today is the first test for the travel network as thousands of people converge on the Olympic Park in Stratford, adding to the millions that commute into London each day for work.

My train line is one that goes through Stratford and as a result it means changes to my trains so that Southeastern can run a service every eight minutes from St Pancras to Stratford and Ebbsfleet.

In the morning, it’s not much of an issue. They’ve moved my train forward by one minute and added in one extra stop along the way. And, as I found out this morning, they’ve also had the good sense to double the number of carriages to 12, so it appeared slightly less busy than normal, although I guess some people may be staying away from London as well.

So it was plain sailing into work today and I was only a couple of minutes later than I normally am. However, I sense that going home may not be as easy…

My trains home have been reduced to just one an hour and as they already have 12 carriages anyway, they can’t compensate for the reduction in service by adding extra carriages. There will also be (hundreds of?) people going to the Olympic Park and as I walked out of St Pancras this morning I noticed that barriers have been set up outside so it looks like there’s going to be some kind of queueing process in place to enter the station. Hopefully, they’ll have separate queues for spectators and commuters.

So there’s two options for the journey home today. The first is to leave at my normal time and see what happens, and the second is to anticipate armageddon and leave the office early.

At the moment it’s a tough call between the two, because part of me wants to see what would happen if I did nothing, but with an hour to wait for a train if I miss it, that could be a royal pain in the arse! Hmmm, decisions, decisions…