If you are getting well and truly fed up with sitting in traffic while travelling all over the borough of Southend, things could be about to change – a Southend News Network investigation has revealed that there are plans in place to construct an underground railway network with connections to major residential and business areas all over the borough. It is hoped that the new railway will reduce traffic and improve the air quality all over the borough of Southend On Sea and the surrounding areas.
According to the leaked emails, telephone calls and overheard conversations that a Southend News Network reporter has had access to, the first line to be built will follow the current London Road route between Hadleigh Bus Depot, Chalkwell Park and Southend Town Centre, before heading to the south and following the seafront to East Beach. Modern electric trains will be in service across the route, with single fares starting at £4.50.
However, before the first metre of tunnel has actually been dug out, a dispute is already brewing between the two major companies who are looking to run trains. Due to a legal issue, both Premier Trains and Tardus Trains have been awarded contracts to operate on the same underground line, but tickets will not be transferable between the two services without buying a special type of return ticket – it is rumoured that this will be called ‘The Squid’ and nobody seems to have any idea where this name has come from.
It seems that this dual-operator setup won’t be the only issue for the railway. While cash will be taken at ticket offices across the network, there will be a maximum amount of coinage allowed per transaction – no coins below 20p in value will be accepted. Also, to ensure that Southend’s existing bus companies do not lose a significant amount of revenue, there will only be one train in each direction per hour after 9pm and services will stop at 11pm.
In another development, we can also reveal that the train drivers will be based at a central hub station directly underneath the existing bus station in Central Southend, with the majority of services having a change of driver here. For Health and Safety reasons, train drivers will be allowed to take up to 15 minutes to pack up their belongings and give up their seat to the incoming driver – this will allow drivers to communicate any vital information to each other, while also having a bit of a laugh and a joke at the expense of the hard-pressed passengers who probably already had to wait 45 minutes for a train in the first place.
Passengers taking the seafront line towards Shoeburyness should also be aware that 3 out of 4 train services in this area will terminate at the small village of Sorry Not In Service.
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