Death by a thousand (power) cuts
After spending most of Thursday evening abandoned and nasally impaired, the 2mm of late winter snow predictably ground the railway to a further halt this morning. As usual it was everybody’s responsibility but nobody’s fault with Chiltern blaming London Underground and London Underground going with the “like we give a flying fuck” option.
Progress to Amersham was stately but pleasantly unexciting. From there on, nothing much happened for the next hour, other than the secret enjoyment of pulling faces at the platform based lemmings who shivered in their non train-ness. Not going anywhere is on the dull side of tedious, but slightly enlivened by chuckling at the less fortunate abandoned on a chilly, snowblown platform.
Yet in another inspired decision, the caring railway company decided the best course of action would be open the doors and cram a few more desperate people in. The reasons are occluded although strong evidence to support an alternative approach were readily provided by the full carriages with people already standing, and a groundswell of grumpiness that was ready to explode at any point.
This explosion came during the third halt, this time in the tunnel within spitting distance of Marylebone. And people were spittingly angry as an ominous silence from the PA system was drowned out by a hundred tired, angry and now – frankly – sweaty passengers wondering what the fuck was going on. Trains passed us imperiously on either side, while our stationary non progress was marked only by increasing physical and mental temperatures.
We finally arrived at 9:45. The journey had taken a smidge under two hours. My total commute this morning was three hours and ten minutes to travel 54 miles of which eight of them were done on my bike. This compares favourably to the last Monday morning of chaos but this in now way even raised the slightest of wry smiles on my chill chapped face. I just want to find someone to blame/shout at/dismember with the utensil of hurt – anyone in the CR Butlins uniform will do.
The driver did finally honour us with his dulcet tones imploring passengers to “Please take all belongings with you. We have had a recent spate of the will to live being left on the train. You can collect these from the lost property office or by moving to another country.”
I’m sat on the returning train as I write this and we’re making slow progress again – this time apparently due to the price of cabbages.
Maybe I can get a bus. Or a helicopter. Are they expensive?