There are things the go beyond the reach of the human intellect and challenge the human wit. To reach the workplace I use a local train from a local private company. Now riding a train on long standing railway should be a pretty well defined business. By itself a train is quite a deterministic object. There are no traffic jams, commuters are, more or less, always the same, waiting for the carriages about in the same position along the track.
So why a train should be late on a daily basis? The only chance that comes to mind is the time table being wrong. But if the time table has just been changed then it couldn’t be the cause.
But the mysteries don’t stop here. For example, an empty train should be a lot more expensive to ride than a full one. At least for the incontestable fact that a paying commuter bring to the company more money than an empty seat. So the mystery is why everyday an empty train (the (in)famous) Malpensa Express) travels in front of thousands of depressed commuter eyes without letting them in?
The idea is that the Malpensa Express is for travellers going to and from the Malpensa airport. Nonetheless is an empty train that eats up railway time and space (and this is very scarce being a single track railway). On the contrary the commuters train is usually full, reaching its destination hardly with the space for a pin.
Another interesting mystery is how the delay statistics are computed. The mean delay which entitles commuters for a (little) refund is computed as the mean of the delays for the same railway line. Apart that the same commuter hardly spreads her rides uniformly on all the trains, but the damage that the company is causing to the society for the bad service is bound to the delay per person. I mean an empty train late is basically causing no problem, since no one is arriving late at the workplace. On the contrary a train carrying one thousands people late for 5 minutes is causing 5 thousands minutes of delay to the society considered as a whole.