Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The people who run the railways...

...have their own ways of doing things. Just because one buys a ticket to Minster-in-Thanet, and gets on a train that is going there, and has regular announcements stating the fact, it doesn't mean that the train will actually take one there. Our small group of pilgrims to Minster met, as arranged, at Westminster Cathedral and hurried to Charing Cross to catch the train - all went well and we chatted merrily as we whizzed through the London suburbs and out into the Kent countryside...and then a voice announced that the train "will not be calling at Wye or at Minster". When an official materilised in due course,we asked why. "Well, there was a delay. We might be late." So apparently the only thing to do was to hurry past some of the stations where passengers might, irritatingly, wish to alight. He seemed to be a bit puzzled by our concern. We found this amusing for a while, and speculated about where we might end up - perhaps in France since this is the Channel Tunnel line? - but since we were unable to leave the train, and my plan about pulling the communication cord was deemed too expensive (£70 fine, or is it £100?)we were hurtled on to Ramsgate. We whizzed through Minster - I urged everyone to wave as the train rushed through, just in case any of our fellow-pilgrims were there. And indeed we learned later that Sister Benedict from the Abbey had gone down to the station to meet us,having carefully checked the train times...and was waiting faithfully when the train rushed through without stopping. She telephoned the railway company - and was connected to some one in India who was very polite and told her that the train had been "cancelled".

At Ramsgate we were told that we could catch a train back to Minster - only an hour to wait.

We piled into some taxis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

vaguely Chesterton, and b. sinister.