Sunday, 21 February 2010

Pee break

Over the loudspeaker: "We are sorry to inform you that the toilets on
this service are out of order". Cue group of little old ladies giggling.
"The next available toilets will be in one hour's time". Travelling
grannies no longer giggling.
"Should you need to avail yourself of the platform facilities, please
make yourself known to the conductor and we will delay departure for
you". Travelling grannies now looking completely mortified.
"We apologise for inconvenience". Travelling Granny: "They'll be
apologising for incontinence in an hour." Cue group of little old
ladies giggling again.

Friday, 19 February 2010

The train guys are bored...

Almost every day this week, the train has flashed up that it's late and then arrives on time causing panic. Train Buddy sends this report:

Yesterday was the usual giggle fest down on the farm/station. Arrive at 0610, train "delayed" till 0638. Then out of the blue, at 0612, came the "this train is ready to depart". You couldn't make up that level of panic. Metro's were abandoned, partially eaten muffins dropped, and staccatto swearing bulleted the air. Herd mentality spread like wildfire; 1st one then another passenger broke into a trot, then a canter, then a full-on undignified blethering knees-up, liberally sloshing hot coffee over crotches, swearing took on an air of pained desperation. We streamed up the stairs, over the walkway, down onto the platform and hurled ourselves at the train, wildly swinging elbows. A few missed the doors.

And then, as fast as it began, it was over. The train left quietly at the normal time, 5mins later, with the more rotund amongst us wondering if a coronary bypass came with the trolley service. East Midland Trains; "We're so punctual, we make even earlybirds crap their pants".

Thursday, 11 February 2010


I stayed late tonight, and got to the station only to find that the
train had been cancelled. No explanation. And then the bus didn't turn
up. Left the office at 5:30 and got home at 9. Ah, reliable public
transportation, I dream of you at night.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Suicidal tendencies

Suicide is selfish. It's also tragic. This post may be a bit
controversial, so of this is a sensitive topic for you, please don't
read any further.
On Wednesday morning, the train ground to a halt 10 minutes after
setting off. It was ostensibly due to points failure. I didn't have
any appointments first thing, so I was happy to muse on the beauty of
sheep huddling on the snow covered fields during the temporary delay.
Turns out that "points failure" was code for something far more
sinister creating hours of travel chaos.
If you're planning on killing yourself, please don't chuck yourself in
front of a train to do it. My normal 2 hour commute took nearly 5
because some guy decided to leap in front of a freight train. The poor
train driver and people on the platform had to witness the gruesome
sight of body parts everywhere. Thousands of people were late for
work, missed meetings, job interviews, and even had holidays ruined
because they missed flights. It took most of the day to sort out the
On top of that, it snowed in the afternoon, bringing other forms of
transportation to a halt. I left my house at 6:45am and didn't get
back until 9pm and had to hike nearly 3 miles in the snow to get
there. Neither a happy nor productive day. Thank goodness for podcasts
and fellow travellers with equally macabre senses of humour. We all
agreed that if the train hadn't killed that guy, we would have.