From the editor: Trains, delays, and water bottles


I’m pretty zen about the trains. I know that Southern Rail don’t have the best reputation (pause for individual responses to this rather tame statement), but as most of my journeys tend to be just to London for one-off events I take the attitude that my travel will have the same finesse as that old parlour game where you had to try and eat a chocolate bar whilst wearing boxing gloves and only using a knife and fork. It’ll take a while, but I’ll get my desired result in the end.

With my recent holidays further afield around the country I’ve found myself travelling on other train lines for the first time in quite some time. And – surprisingly to me – not all of them have been markedly better than our notorious line from the south east. Northern cancelled their Sunday services – on the day of travel itself. I woke up to the news that my train was no more and my only escape route was a locomotive due to depart a full hour earlier, leaving me to wait at my connecting station for a very chilled 90 minutes. I’d already arrived late at my weekend getaway when Southern train missed its departure time.

Heading back a couple of days later I found myself spending another 90 minutes just outside Victoria Station, stationary with a broken down engine, a very apologetic train driver handing out water bottles to us all. Still zen. It takes as long as it takes.

I recognise my privilege, not having this as my daily commute. And I try not to imagine how furious I’d be if every day involved my boxing gloves journey. I doff my cap to you commuters, one and all.

Victoria Nangle

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