In my view

I must admit to have been saddened by the loss of the Forfar railway station all these yours ago.

I deemed it to be a pretty short-sighted decision by the governments of the time, given that it was pretty obvious that grid-lock would come to our towns and cities as more and more people took to four wheels.

However, a rare foray on the railway the other week really opened my eyes as to how shoddy our present-day service is compared to that available on the other side of the Channel.

People often say you get what you pay for, but that doesn’t stack up as far as railway journeys are concerned. You pay through the nose for a ticket - in some cases three-and-a-half-times what it costs for an equivalent journey on the continent - and often you can’t get the luxury of a seat on a packed rush-hour service.

Surely it is utterly unacceptable to be stumping up £94.20 for a return journey between Edinburgh and Leeds, only to find yourself squeezed up against the luggage rack in the corridor of a carriageway for half the journey!

Yes, there are times when trains can become a little overcrowded and you have to put up with situations outwith the normal - but not every day!

If we can land on the moon, shift massive armies from one country to another in a matter of days and get festivals and major sporting events down to the last minor detail, then those responsible for our rail services can come up with a way in which those who choose or have to travel by rail can do so with the guarantee of a seat at least 99% of the time. Passengers really shouldn’t have to stand for the service I experienced the other week!