July 11th, 2008

black king

Let's go...let's go home

It has been that sort of a day. I missed out on another abominably
slow breakfast this morning because I needed to be in the office for
7. As it turned out, I needn't have bothered because there were Issues
with the data I was supposed to be using. As the day progressed,
things got a little better.
After the five o'clock conference call, there were a couple of things
to do before I left. Unfortunately, I missed the 18.08 train by just a
whisker, if indeed it ran at all. I'm now on the 18.17 to Lime Street,
which is very full and running late. I don't remember when I was last
on a train that was completely declassified. I'm now sitting in Coach
G, though I was standing as far as MK. I got talking to a small group
of younger people, who were kind enough get me some stuff as they
ventured through the train to get supplies, so I have benefitted from
delivery of a beer, a sandwich and a flapjack, while they have
benefitted from a used Evening Standard with a review of Neil Young's
concert last weekend, with photograph. It all brightens up an
otherwise quite lonely journey. By now, I'd hope to be at Crewe
normally, but as it is, we're not even at Stafford. And a warm welcome
to any new readers. You know who you are.
And in about an hour and a half, David will be arriving at Vancouver
Int'l Airport. That will be about the same time I get home. I've heard
from him a few times, generally asking permission or forgiveness for
using a card on my account.
Stafford. Here it is. I remember that the station used to be
overlooked by the Stafford Grinding Wheel Company, which doesn't seem
to be there any longer. In the twilight gloom, I see a southbound
train at another platform.
  • Current Mood
    frustrated frustrated
black king


There is something about the look and sound of a train. The excitement
of seeing the locomotive and coaches of the express train to London
from a provincial town. It's a powerful image. All through last year,
almost every morning I would see it at Chester Station and it was
truly a wonder that I never got on it anyway. Now, of course, I catch
it at least once a week.
Sometimes, when it is stupidly overcrowded, I'm not so sure, but it is
still a special event. Perhaps less so in some places. The Flying
Scotsman at noon from King's Cross, first stop Newcastle. Well, not
these days, but it does still leave at noon.
These are the magical rail services. The speed, the convenience, the
opportunity to snooze, read, have a snack or a drink and now the
environmental benefit over flying (long distance) or driving (short
distance) all add up to something very wonderful.
But why do governments of all political colours over so many years
spend so little on rail infrastructure. Even now, as oil prices rise
and demand increases, more is still being spent on roading by a great
many times. The time is now to turn round the evils of Beeching and
Thatcher and their woeful and arrogant short-sightedness and invest
heavily in railways. Improvements and new lines in Britain are
urgently needed for passenger and freight traffic. You know it makes
  • Current Mood