The Joy of Rail Travel

Posted: May 30, 2012 in Rant, Travel
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

So, this morning I posted the rambling inane rant of a weary traveller, signing off with:

OK, I’m going to stop now, I’m rambling already. I’ve said my piece and feel better for it:

And off I went into the sunshine to Tower Hill. Now, I have to say that things are really cheering up around Tower Bridge and especially St Katherine’s Dock as the boats start to arrive ready for the Jubilee Pageant. Everything and everybody give off a very real feeling of happiness. I was feeling good and was seriously looking forward to anything and everything the would bring.

Anyway, as the saying goes ‘Time & Tide Waits For no Man’ and sure enough, the end of the working day arrived and His Podgeness had to head once more towards the unavoidable perils of rail travel. First was the Underground.

Now, I used to hate the underground, often spending a small fortune on taxis rather than venture into that warren that lay beneath London. But, of late, I’ve come to enjoy it, even to the point of exploring different lines to get to where I want to be. So far, I’ve used the Circle, District, Central, Hammersmith & City and the DLR and I’ve found them all to be fun and spookily interesting. But, of late, they just don’t seem to be working very well. Perhaps it’s the heat, I don’t know, but there always seems to be problems somewhere on the network with broken trains. Today was no exception, except this time, I was on that blithering train.

Hurtling along the Bakerloo Line between Regents Park and Baker Street the train came to an abrupt halt. So, there we all are, train packed to the gunnels sitting, standing, waiting deep underground in a tunnel wondering what was happening. Then we were told there was an apparent faulty passenger alarm which was stopping the train from moving. Eventually our determined driver overcame the machine and forced the blighter to move on to the next station, where once more it said, ‘ NO, I AM NOT MOVING’. Oh what a tinker this train is I thought as people abandoned train and headed upwards for daylight only to be replaced be new travellers who had no idea what this train was like. But, once again, Man Triumphed over Machine (I knew it was Man by the because he spoke us over the intercom, so no sexist accusations please), and the train once more set off until eventually, we reached MY station: Paddington. And, guess what? I was still in time to catch Old Faithful, the 18:33 to Exeter St David’s. Yes, His Podgeness has done well today for he has struggled through the warrens beneath London, beaten the efforts of Machine and still arrived early. Ha Ha, I am truly Podgethepuffer who will not suffer.

Obviously, nobody had told the land of the overland grown up trains as they had contingency plans, determined to thwart my attempts to get home in time for, well, anything really!

Anyway, not only did I board Old Faithful, but she also gave me a seat (sounds quite saucy really, doesn’t it). So naturally, I was feeling pretty smug. Then, almost with an air of smugness, the faceless voice came over the air to tell me that the service was running approximately 20 minutes late because of, guess what?, a broken down train at Reading (bring on the Olympics, for Yes, we are ready). So once more, I have to give in and accept it, machine does rule over man, and woman.

Tomorrow, I shall try once more. Why? I have no idea except to say, what choice have I? I have no practical alternative. It’s almost like our travel is governed by a monopoly 🙂

Go Podge, Go

footnote – The big nasty train must have sensed my anger as once we were past Reading, it must have red-lined itself all the way, so we weren’t that late after. Woo Hoo.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.