Rockin’, rollin’, ridin’, on the way to Thame; all bound for London town; every ride’s the same – to be sung, of course, to the tune of The Seekers’ Morningtown Ride.

My ditty alludes – as you may have guessed – to bumpy journeys to the capital as experienced by Chiltern Railways’ passengers on the Oxford to Marylebone run (and, indeed, on the return).

Nervous traveller I have never been, but sometimes I wonder – as the train lurches and judders along the tracks – if all is entirely as it should be. Is something wrong with the permanent way, perhaps, or with the train’s undercarriage?

I expressed curiosity and moderate concern about this in a Gray Matter column headlined “Am I going off the rails?” in September of last year. I commented on a jolting motion on the outward journey around Thame and Haddenham Parkway and the severe speed restriction imposed on the return through the same section. Were these connected?

A few days after it appeared, I was contacted by Chiltern’s public relations department with a message from the company’s operations and safety director, Gavin Panter.

He told me: “Thank you for choosing to travel with us from Oxford as opposed to travelling with Great Western Railway. We’re very proud of the service we offer our customers . . . so we’re sorry to hear you had a bad experience travelling on our trains.

“Let me assure you that safety is our number one priority and we will always put this above anything else. We’re working very closely with Network Rail to improve areas of poor track quality on our route as we know that not only is this essential for safety, it is also important to ensure our customers have a smooth journey.

“Following on from the unprecedented hot weather, there has been a number of track faults recently reported on our line and together with Network Rail these have been acted upon, so it’s very likely that what you experienced is a result of the training of our drivers to spot these faults and report to Network Rail, so that cautionary measures can be put in place.

“ I’d like to offer you a cab ride so we can explain more about what we do to keep trains safe.”

This was a generous invitation and I immediately expressed my willingness to accept it. I proposed various dates, none of which worked for Chiltern – a state of affairs that continued for some months and into 2019.

That I was hardly inflexible in the matter may be judged from two emails I sent on January 10. The first read: “My diary is pretty empty in the coming month, with commitments only on January 18, 22, February 5 and 6.

“I presume what is being proposed is a journey during the daylight hours. It might be useful [to] you to know that on both January 22 and February 6 I shall be travelling to London (with Chiltern) for evening performances at Covent Garden.”

The second said: “Further to my earlier message, I have just accepted an invitation to a private view at the V&A on January 30, starting at 10am, so this suggests another date [for] a cab ride.”

It wasn’t to be. Nor could a trip be done on dates I proposed in January and early February.

I came up with more and the press officer told me: “Thank you for your email and apologies for the delay in getting back to you . . . I sent on your inquiry to the Driver Depot Manager so hopefully he’ll come back to us soon regarding dates – I specifically mentioned the 28th February so will let you know as soon as possible. I’ll be in touch when I have more news!”

After this came complete silence.

On October 16, with the intention of writing this in mind, I emailed the press people: “This [February message] seems to be the last heard by me on the subject. Did the Driver Depot Manager ever come back?”

An answer quickly followed: “Last I heard they were trying to sort out dates with the Driver Manager. I’m out of the office tomorrow but I’ll catch up with him about this on Friday when I’m back.”

Nearly two weeks on, I have heard nothing.

I have a theory – which I shan’t be sharing – about Chiltern’s apparent disinclination to act on their invitation. Readers may have ideas too. Meanwhile, lurches continue.