Ice and Fire

I had another dodgy journey to work the other day.

It had been snowing afresh, so the walk to the station was slippery, and when I got there the 6:15 was waiting…and waiting…and waiting. Apparently it was waiting for its guard, who came in on the 6:30, which was my train to London.

We took off and sped through the falling snow – I can’t tell you much more than that because I was asleep. I woke up to find the train stopped and the guard speaking on the PA.

“We’re sorry about the delay to this service: The line is blocked by a train on fire at West Byfleet and nothing’s moving. I’ll let you know when I know any more.”

We were stuck there for about forty five minutes before first, we saw a train heading south – so we knew the line was at least partly clear – and then we shuddered forward. We stopped after a mile or so, and this time were told “Sorry about the ongoing delay, which is caused by adverse weather conditions”. Eh? What happened to the fire? When we went through West Byfleet the service/wreck recovery train was there, so something had been going on, but nothing as exciting as a pile of smoking ashes or anything.

We made it to Waterloo only an hour and a half late, but the funniest was yet to come. M’chum Dave decided to leave work early, as he’d been warned that the snow was knee deep around his home town and getting deeper. He arrived at Waterloo to find the consequences of the morning’s issues were still rife. Or as he described it in his text…

“Every platform has a train ready to leave. None of them has a crew. The crews are all on trains waiting to get into Waterloo…but they can’t get in because the platforms are full…”

A phrase concerning parties in breweries springs to mind…

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