Posted by: Peter Scott | August 11, 2006

Train travel

Three days in a row of travel to or through London, earlier this week it was for customer meetings a short walk from Euston Station – and with late morning and early afternoon meetings I can travel outside of the peak and reduce my travel costs by over 50%. As people that have been in bars with me would know, I have short arms and long pockets, and even though I can claim the money back I hate over spending.

Today, though was a team meeting in Epsom, this is a horrible road journey for me, but train is usually much better in fact this morning it only took 2 hours from leaving my house to sitting down at a hot desk, it helps if you can get around the edge of London and also make all of the connections with nanosecond precision (some people call that type of rail experience luck)

The return was worse; I leave early to get home early but a track fault slows my train to same sort of pace as an amputee tortoise can manage and I loose 8 minutes on a 30 minute journey to the station I interchange with London’s Underground. Remarkably there is a train in station and an almost empty coach, which given the odour at one of the coach is not surprising, most of the occupants sit at one end, I join them. After ten minutes of repeated announcements that the train would wait at the station until a track fault is repaired some miles away and the traction current restored we depart. Progress is normal until almost reaching Victoria where we come to a halt in the tunnel and power is turned off again while the transport police play hunt the idiot that thinks walking along the electrified track in a tunnel is a great idea. It is hot and breezeless on the train; after 20 minutes the madman (or woman) is captured and power restored. The fans start and the motion of the train made the cluster of passengers decide that downwind was a bad place to be. We arrive at Victoria, station staff give out half litre bottles of mineral water to cool the passengers but before we leave the police come to remove the bag-lady (vagrant) that is the source of both the smell and a large pool of liquid. Total delays 40 minutes or so.

Other than that an uneventual day – I noticed the last of the outside cranes has disappeared from Wembly Stadium, in must of slunk off in shame.


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