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Graham the Train Manager – what is a train manager?

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 9 October 2012

When did a linesman become an assistant referee? When did a salesman become a sales “consultant?” I do not know but consultant sounds sort of important. Salesman…oooh you mean a bloke who speaks estuary English and tries to flog you things you do not want? No that is a sales consultant. But he can’t be like that because he is not a salesman he is a sales consultant. And that brings me to Graham.

Stepping on the Great First Western train Graham, who says that he is the “train manager” informs us all that we must read the safety instructions (also in Braille) next to our seat. I have never read them and the bloke opposite confesses that he has not either. We both agree that we want to live life dangerously. Has anyone ever read them?

After a long explanation about in which carriages you can use your mobile in Graham says that he will be around shortly to inspect our tickets as part of his “revenue control” function. So Graham is a ticket collector? What does he do other than check tickets ( something that machine at Bristol Temple Meads has already done) and come on to the tannoy to tell us about safety instructions, that we cannot use our mobile in coach G and that as we alight at Bath Spa ( or wherever) we should do so carefully? Maybe I shall alight at Paddington recklessly just to see what he does? Would that damage “revenue control?” Hmmm, one to ponder all day I think.

We have just had Steve on the tannoy. He is our “customer host.” That is to say I can buy a cup of coffee or a bland and expensive bacon sandwich from him. So Steve the “customer host” mans the buffet bar and Graham the “train manager” collects tickets (in order to control revenue). Whatever. I speed onto London for my date with Jim Ellerton who says he is “executive chairman” of Sefton Resources. Heck if that is how he wants to describe himself who am I to argue?

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
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