Chairman Pip's Railway Thoughts

Had to tell you about my journey

Posted in Great Britain, Other general stuff about railways by Chairman Pip on 1 April 2011

I went up to Nottingham last weekend. Not a lot happened, largely because I was ill for most of it, what with this round of cold and flu spreading itself. However, I thought I’d impart a couple of things that occured on my journey up which was , as has seemed to be usual of late, from King’s Cross via Grantham. Having found my seat on the train, I couldn’t help but overhear a phone conversation that a couple of women behind me were having with someone (who I assumed to be the husband/father of the pair). It turned out that this pair were going to Newcastle, presumably having booked three tickets. However, the conversation appeared to indicate that something of a miscommunication had occured somewhere along the line. You can always tell something’s gone wrong when people start saying which coach they’re in and what seat number, and looking around to see someone acknowledge them. From the one side of the conversation I was privy to, it seemed that they were all in the correct coach (Coach E) at the right seats. Then of course comes the thunderbolt:

What do you mean we’re moving? We’re not moving!

You can probably guess what has happened. Husband/Father has somehow got it into his head that they were on the 18:19, and is now on that train that is building up speed heading north. Wife and Daughter meanwhile are on the correct train (the 18:30) still sat at Platform 8. This adds another dimension to the story; because they had advance tickets, Husband/Father would probably have either had to buy another ticket, or be thrown off the train at its first stop. This might not have been a problem, as he could have got on the correct train and everything would have been fine. Except that the 18:19 and the 18:30 don’t stop at the same stops until York:

King’s Cross 18:19 18:30
Stevenage 18:50
Peterborough 19:08
Grantham 19:35
Newark North Gate 19:35
Retford 19:57
Doncaster 20:14
York 20:20 20:39
Northallerton 21:03
Darlington 20:51 21:15
Durham 21:09 21:34
Newcastle 21:27 21:52

One can only hope that the situation resolved itself for the better. Still, mother and Daughter at least saw the funny side of it. Which is more than can be said for me on the approach to Grantham. I had got up from my seat and got my stuff together, heading out to wait by the door. Me and a few others were waiting, and waiting, all the while noticing that the train had stopped. Then the train manager comes on the PA and says that there has been a “trespass incident” somewhere north of Grantham, and nothing is moving. Turns out that someone decided to commit “suicide by train”; one of those selfish bastards who doesn’t give a crap about the potential danger to anyone else by having a train derail. And not just any train, but a high speed express train. Our suicide attempt was eventually cleared off the line, but not before I’d missed my connection at Grantham, forcing me to wait another three-quarters of an hour, and backing up a significant amount of traffic on the East Coast Main Line.

The Consequences of Trespass - the First Hull Trains service behind mine was lucky to only be 25 minutes late

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  1. […] when I had plenty of time to determine whether or not I was on the right train. I also recall the time I was on the other side of such a conversation, watching and imparting knowledge to try and ease other people’s misery. Well, one […]


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