So, I got the train home (Nottingham) on Friday night. I was really excited as I hadn’t been home for a month or so, and more importantly, I won’t be going back until the end of April, so as you can imagine, I wanted to make the most of it.
I got the train at 20:17 on Friday evening. This is quite late for me to be going home as it’s usually a 3 and a half to 4 hour journey. It started off well, I changed at Hereford to get my connection to Birmingham. If anything, I was wondering what I would do whilst waiting around for 20 minutes before my next train connection. (Little did I know, this would not be an issue).
Somewhere along the way, something came up so we had to either divert to Worcester as an additional stop or we got held up there because there was a train on the same platform that we needed to get to. (I’m not really sure of the specifics). By this time it was 22:10.
We were due to get into Birmingham at 22:51. The train driver informed us that we would have to wait for this train to move, which would not be until 22.17 as this was the time it was scheduled to depart. After it finally left, I’m pretty sure a carriage from the train I was on was disconnected which added even more time to the journey.
I suddenly became very aware of the time and how fast it was ticking by. I kept thinking ‘it’s okay, I’ve got ages, my train doesn’t leave Birmingham until 23:09. I just need to find the platform’. WRONG!
By the time we got into Birmingham it was 23:12. The ship had sailed! Or in this case, the train had well and truly left. In the end, there were 4 of us stranded. 2 for Derby, 2 for Nottingham. A member of the station staff told us to go to customer services and London Mainline would have to find us alternative transportation as that was the last train to Nottingham.
The guys at the customer service desk were helpful enough, they said a taxi had been called and it would be around 10 – 15 minutes. ”Wow” I thought, I might get in to Nottingham at roughly the same time as I was supposed to anyway as the roads will be clear at this time of night. WRONG!
45 minutes later, (by this time, it is now midnight), the taxi arrives. We get in the taxi and the couple as if they can get dropped off at Derby train station. The taxi driver replies: ”Do you have the postcode?”. (Really?!). So we get the postcode and off we go.
1 hour later we get to Derby, (but not before the taxi driver nearly crashes into another car by ignoring his satnav, being in the wrong lane and then changing without really checking first!). So, finally on to Nottingham, although I thought I’d be home by now. The guy I’m with asks if he can get dropped directly at his friends house, luckily I’m pretty sure it’s on the way to the train station, and to be perfectly honest, I don’t even care by now as I can barely stay awake.
We come off the main road from Derby to Nottingham, only to find out that the road is closed! Clearly not believing his eyes, the taxi driver goes around the island to drive past it again to double check before following the diversion sign. I actually can’t believe my luck at this point. When we finally get this guy to his friends house, he hops out the taxi and the driver just turns around and stares at me. He says ”At least you can sleep now” then there’s this awkward pause when I have to tell him that I’m not with that guy and I don’t live here! (He has to ask twice to double check).
By the time I finally get dropped off at Nottingham train station where my poor father had been waiting for over an hour, it was 1:45 am! Unbelievable, especially as I left my house at 19:30 pm. What a nightmare! And all at a time when the trains are being increasingly criticised for the simple fact that prices are going up year on year but service remains poor at best. I suppose at least they are consistent, even if that’s ‘consistently bad’.
So that was my nightmare train journey. Whilst I would like to say that I’m never using the trains again as a form of protest or boycott, I will definitely need to use them again, no doubt there will be more horror stories to come.