How I learnt to hate trains

By | Category: Travel rumblings
in calmer times

in calmer times

I have just had two days of hell and all due to the weather , imbeciles, trains and those that organise our travelling life.

It started when I caught an Arriva train from Shrewsbury to Manchester on Tuesday which, you will remember, was a wet and windy day as storm Barney decided that it was going to make travelling a misery. Cables had come down between Crewe and Manchester so out at Crewe we got only to board, twenty minutes later, a stopping train to Stoke-on-Trent from where we could get a train up to Manchester but using a different line. For over an hour, the guard was optimistic about twenty minutes,  we shivered there as the wind lashed the roof and whipped around the open areas to catch any venturing passenger unawares. Trains ran late or were cancelled but finally an eleven car Virgin train came – which meant all of us could get on it –  and the journey continued.

Two and a half hours later than I expected, I arrived in Manchester to be greeting by swirling winds and rain. Why or why did I get a hotel room where someone had left the window open and the net curtain was wrapped around the guttering outside. Not wanting it to drip all over the inside of the room, I just shut the window and left the curtain outside all night.

On the return journey, some idiots decided to wander along the track outside Manchester Piccadilly so all services were suspended. My 18.30 Arriva train was cancelled as was the 19.30. The same train which I got on at 18.25 became the 20.30 so we could have stayed on the same train. Except were were told to leave it three times and get on it three times. Station staff were as perpexed as passengers. And why couldn’t the train have become the 19.30 since it was still at the platform?

Bang on time the two coaches pulled out, aisles filled with passengers moaning about the ability of people to run a railway.

We trundled along until just after leaving Wilmslow, the guard notified us that the train would terminate at Crewe by which time she had clearly had enough as well as you could hear the scarcely disgruntled note in her voice. A few moment later she came on the intercom again to announce that, at least waiting for us at Crewe, was a three car unit to continue the journey . Eventually the train left and uneventfully we rode into Shrewsbury at 22.15 about two a bit hours later than planned.

My journey was nearly over. But not for everyone. The train went on to Cardiff and, for those continuing onto, Swansea, Carmarthen and all points west as would those travelling on to Aberystwyth or Pwllheli, they would have taxis or coaches laid on.

I leave with one comment from a taxi driver in Shrewsbury. He said his worst month was when he had to drive to Aberystwyth 19 times in the one month when a combination of bad weather and late trains  made life miserable. That is seventy miles each way.

Maybe taxis should replace trains; they seem more reliable and can cope better with the weather! Whow as it that decided that overhead power cables are the way of future train travel? Give me a diesel unit any day.









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