Britain is in the grip of a heat wave – and we just can’t cope.
On Tuesday evening we were trapped on a LNER East Coast Train for six hours with (what felt like) seventeen thousand other passengers.
I witnessed a ‘gentle’man verbally assaulting a fellow passenger because she was ‘sitting in my seat’.
Regretfully, I had to step in, calm him down and offered him my* seat to prevent further altercation.
Halfway through the journey, when things had calmed down, I had a lovely conversation with the lady sat next to me (by then we’d found new seats and passengers were breathing again).
She worked for major drinks company, can’t say which, but let’s say they are refreshing parts…
And we quickly agreed, that rather than moaning it might be better to be grateful.
We had seats, we had water, we were going to get home and we were having a chat.
A quick look at the Twitter feed showed a different story. Passengers were screaming, hostile and threatening everything from legal action to using a set of ‘very special skills’ to get their revenge on the railway.
Accepting that our rail infrastructure is pants, knowing we can’t cope with extreme weather conditions, having faith that staff are doing all they can and having a belief that, yes, you will get home, is not only reassuring, but healthy.
Stay cool Britain.
*For ‘my seat’, read Christine’s seat. But that was mainly down to confusion over the seat numbering system and muddled, heat riddled brains attempting to decipher. Honest!
Reminiscent of my previous comment on your blog about the suicide that caused protracted train delays on one of my journeys. MOST people were understanding when it was announced but it’s amazing the aggression that comes out in such situations! Check out my latest work, Michael (on twitter or Facebook). A “traditional” portrait and, for me, very much a first!!! Phew, a relief it’s achieved!!! DEE x
Yes… totally agree… It’s not pleasant, but as the fashionable statement goes.. ‘it is what it is…’ Last week, before things hotted up to furnace temperatures … I was on a tram which had to stop ONE stop from the centre of Nottingham, the driver promptly informed us that on the tram in front there was a medical emergency and we couldn’t move on… but if you wanted to alight, we may and get on our merry way. I felt 1: awful for that someone who was in such need of medical care that the tram had been stopped. 2: Grateful for the driver for not dilly dallyng and letting us all get off despite not being at the regular stop…. However, the reaction from the majority of passengers was one of outward fury that someone dared to have a medical emergency…… the huffs, puffs, tuts, and eye rolling was a sight I couldn’t believe. I hope the lady is now alright and that everyone got over their misplaced fury and hasn’t themselves had a medical emergency since… Tut, tut, tut! (PS: ‘Tut’ is most underused.. in the right circumstances.. :0)
Love the positivity and completely agree, a healthy mindset makes for a far better experience, in pretty much everything we do!
Just read your blog and thought would let you know my experience on the same day.
2:30pm train from Kings Cross stopped just south of St Neots, the crew were excellent and explained that there was a major issue and they would keep us up to date (which they did) while giving everyone water and drinks. We shortly managed to crawl into ST Neots station, where the crew arranged for the doors to be opened and told the passengers they could wander onto the platform and if they got permission to proceed, they would make sure they didn’t leave them.
A further update suggested that we weren’t going anywhere for a while, but there was a local train due in 3 minutes on the adjoining platform and the crew suggested that we could go straight onto it and it would get us to Peterborough, which was a major station and we may have more chance of getting a different train there. Myself and my colleague took the decision to go for it and got up to jump trains (which had now pulled in). At that moment a voice from down the carriage shouted; “Hi Nigel, what are you going to do?” It was a good friend’s niece. Quickly established she was travelling alone and told her to come with us, we would get her home.
This was now a challenge and my logical head then kicked in. Before we had pulled out of St Neots I had secured the last hire car at Europcar Peterborough on a one way rental. While the rest of the passengers stood 20 deep at the information desk, we casually walked past into a taxi and 30 minutes later were on the A1 in a little Citroen Cactus heading north.
Rather than getting uptight and frustrated we managed to get home a little later than planned. In addition we requested a £400+ refund for our 2 tickets having paid less than £100 for the hire car with only £20 in fuel, so therefore made a profit on the journey. We also helped a damsel in distress, who I suggested put the lottery on that night, as she had decided to upgrade to 1st class at the last minute, otherwise we would not have bumped into her.
There are no such things as problems only challenges
p.s. still the best way to get to and from London
Fabulous blog again. Let’s love the sun while it’s here, even if it makes the train break sometimes.
When it rain comes back – which it will – let’s stop moaning about that too. Run about in it instead, have fun and be thankful the plants are growing.