Thursday 2 November 2006

Wrong type of Frost?

Coldest morning we've had for a while but no snow. What happens? The trains are screwed. Big time. Started at St Albans. Got to the station just in time; no time for a coffee, but enough time to cross to platform 3 for the 6:58 without having to run for it. Or so I thought. Check the boards: 06:58 cancelled. Announcement: Apologies for the three short notice cancellations due to technical faults. Oh well, at least the 7:04 is marked as on time. Masses of people on the platform. I started at the front, had to walk the full length of the train to squeeze into a carriage. Got to West Hampstead dead on 7:23 — which is when my connection is due to leave at the silverlink station a hundred metres up the road. West Hampstead Silverlink. 7:38 finally pulls in at about 7:45. Get to Willesden Junction: "Sorry for the delay. There is an electrical fault on the train and a technician is investigating". Ten minutes later we are on the move again. Sighs of relief around me but not I. I've danced this dance before. We'll get as far as Gunnersbury then they'll turf us out. As it is written, so is it done. Only have to wait about 5 minutes for a district line train to take us the rest of the way to Richmond. Richmond at 08:35, 08:36 departs at 08:37. As usual Southwest trains is the most efficient part of my journey. Will probably be about half an hour late. Not too bad considering the number of delays / cancellations today. Not exactly a shining beacon to tempt people to train travel either though. This train may be the closest to running on time but that doesn't excuse the fact that it smells like shit. Someone didn't flush and of course we can't open the windows; we just have to wait while the air-conditioning recycles the stench gradually absorbing the smell into its filters. It will probably be barely noticable by the time the train reaches Reading. No such luck for those of us getting off sooner though.