“Rail Rage”

I came back home from a meeting in London recently and just managed to catch the train.  It was about to leave when I got to the platform, so I had to leap into the end carriage and then as the train moved off, I drunkenly walked through the six, almost empty, first class carriages and made my way to the entirely full second class section at the front of the train.  By the time I found an empty seat I must have nearly walked all the way to Milton Keynes!

I wanted to do some notes after my meeting so I advanced up the train in search of an empty table seat in one of the two ‘quiet’ carriages in the 15 carriage train :-(, tripping over sticking-out feet and nudging elbows out of the gangway as I made my way past seat after occupied seat.  The ‘quiet’ carriage was chock-a-block and many of the seats elsewhere were ‘reserved’.  Eventually I found an table seat occupied by a coat without a ticket, although the coat did appear to have a reservation.  When I enquired, the adjacent passenger grudgingly removed the coat and I, not unreasonably, assumed that unless the reservee was about to parachute onto the train, I was safe to sit down at last.  I squeezed a space on the table for my papers among the i-Pads, laptop computers, kindles, blackberries, Costa coffee take-away latte and Pret-a-Manger crumbs-everywhere crusty baguette – an internet cafe come foodhall on rails!

It was then when Harry started his phone call.  I had never met Harry before and he was two seats away from me, but I felt I knew him quite well by the end of my journey.  He obviously thought that his phone didn’t work very well so he shouted down it.  The person he was calling must have had to hold the phone well away from the ear.  Sadly, I and the other ‘noisy carriage’ passengers had no such option.  We heard all about Harry’s day at work – he was an electrician and spent the journey talking to his boss about the problems he had been having with a circuit board.  By the end of the journey, most of the passengers could probably have passed a B.TEC in Electrical Engineering, given the training course 🙂 we had all received.

Fortunately for Harry, we pulled into Rugby Station just as I was about to beat him over the head with a baguette.


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6 Responses to “Rail Rage”

  1. excellent!!! While one has the ability to speak and be mobile the noise and distraction of others about us, at inconvenient times of the day causes us to twitch and become a complainant.
    Just ponder when one has lost ones mobilty, and the world is full of the same patterns on the wall, floor and surrounds, and the only voice we hear is that in our own heads screamming for a responce, and the eyes look and gaze at the palm of ones hand for the first hair to grow.
    Where oh Where is reason, and what is the purpose in life?? We are as humans social beings in our own time and in our own space, but we do like other people to converse with, oggle at, and like you have a bl–dy good moan at!
    But I ask where is the logic when we have the hustle and bustle of others with their noise and white noises, and disgusting habits when young, how we need the companship of thses people when we are old and frail. Spare a thought for a day? It may cost nothing it may cost a penny while one contemplates on the loo, while we gather our own thoughts and just think of our neighbours, friends, family and companions? It is a good life if you let it be?? Just think of others as you think of oneself.

  2. By the way did you pass your Btech in electrical engineering or were the sparks and steam too much for you to concentrate??

  3. Maureen o'Neill says:

    John, I probably felt more rage than you when I travelled home from Bristol a few years ago.
    Being disabled I had booked a seat and had allowed a lot of time between the connections from Bristol and New Street. I arrived at New Street and , as I had arranged had 30mins. wait for the train to Milton Keynes. The train I was waiting for was then half an hour late and finally we were told it would not be running. With the other passengers I hurried , as far as I was able, to the platform where another train was going to Milton Keynes.I was not even able to get into the carriages as they were absolutely packed. I then found many empty, well almost empty, !st class carriages and sat down.
    A little later a ticket collector came along and seeing that I had a second class ticket told me I had to pay extra. I showed him my reserved seat for the train which they had cancelled, showed him my disabled badge, and said that I could not stand all the way to Milton Keynes but I would willingly sit in the second class if he could find me a seat! I would not however pay for something which was not my fault and for me a seat was essential.
    He insisted I paid and I equally firmly, but politely, refused. I said he could have my name and address and if he did, as he said he would, call the police that would be fine by me.
    In the end he shrugged his shoulders and went away. I could almost imagine the things he was calling this old woman.
    My day was cheered however by a gentleman who sat the other side of the carriage and as the ticket inspector walked off he said, “Good on you, girl. We are always having trouble with these trains.”

  4. John T says:

    We have the same problems traveling here in the Texas Panhandle.

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