The day started uneventfully and I caught the train, which was only six minutes late and that was because of a trespasser on the line just before Diss. Should it have been a warning?
Saxmundham, Ipswich, Manningtree, Colchester, Chelmsford – and then a stop at Shenfield, where an announcement came through that there was a delay, but no information as to the cause.
A few minutes later, it was a serious incident at Harold Wood*.
After that, a fatality on the line, and emergency services were in attendance.
Then, the train was terminating here – please leave the train or go back to Norwich. Hesitantly, I left the train and the station, gazed up and down Shenfield and went back in.
I spent the next half hour concentrating on feeling only sorrow and regret for a life lost, deep sympathy for the train driver who had, through no fault of his or her own, taken it, and fellow feeling for the passengers on that train, while being very glad I wasn’t one of them. Maybe that six minutes made the difference? Or maybe, six minutes earlier and we’d have been the last train through. Anyway, I think that was the thoughts of most of us, we were subdued and sorry, except for one woman who moaned quite a lot on the phone to her friend.
When the last train on the platform was going back, I decided to take it. By the time I got to Chelmsford, the announcement was that trains were going through to London Liverpool Street, albeit an hour and a half late, but I’d already decided to check out Colchester, a historic town I did not know at all.
Yeah, a couple of photos, but I’m tired, darlings – tomorrow.
I have checked my diary and Wednesday of next week is free. I will not be thwarted, I will rebook my ticket. I picked up a claim form and will be interested to see with what sum I am recompensed. Not that it was British Rail**’s fault, and they dealt with the situation absolutely correctly.
Still, thank you for your good wishes, and I’ll hold on to them, if I may, for another nine days.
*I assume that’s how you spell it? I’d never heard of the place.
**Our local train company is called ‘One’ but I can’t bring myself to call it that, any more than I can say ‘McChicken Sandwich’.