Halloween rail nightmare


You either get used to crowded trains in London or you move elsewhere – that’s the deal.  Yesterday, (rather appropriately, since it was Halloween) I had my worst ever train journey home.

I got into work super-early in order to leave early, catch the 5.25 from London Bridge and take the girls trick or treating.  Unfortunately, there’s an inexplicable 25-minute gap between trains after the 5.25 (during rush hour, ten minutes is more usual).

If I missed the 5.25 there’d be two little girls going out of their frickin’ minds somewhere in Bexley. 😦

When the arrival board at London Bridge began saying the 5.25 “would be composed of 6 carriages” everyone on the platform began to frown (it’s normally at least eight – or even ten!)

Then the Lovely Melanie texted on behalf of the girls asking was I nearly home?  Was I?  Was I?  Was I nearly home?  When would I be home?  Was I nearly home?  Was I?

Then the 5.25 arrived, already full, and one person got off.

Just the one.

Crowded trainThere was the usual orderly scrum to get on, but a couple of minutes later only half of us were on.  I knocked on the window and politely asked people to move further down (always ask politely – don’t get angry or rude, that never helps).

People shuffled up and two more squeezed onboard.

Bugger, I thought, thinking of two little girls going out of their frickin’ minds somewhere in Bexley; I cannot miss this train.

It took an effort of will but – breaking every ingrained habit of English etiquette – I squeezed myself onto the already overloaded train.

It was horrible.  No one could so much as lift a finger for the next 20 minutes.  One poor woman was in tears.

In almost 20 years of London living that was the single worst train journey ever. 😦

But it was worth it when a hyper-excited squealing ghost and little devil came bounding up the path to meet me at home. 🙂

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