Once in a while I write a post on a Tuesday about my train journey to work in the mornings. The intention originally was to write every Tuesday but not every journey is interesting to me, so I decided it most certainly wouldn’t be of any interest to anyone who reads it.
Today was different.
First of all, this morning was our first really frosty morning on the Sussex Coast. One of those beautiful winter mornings, where the fields are white and shimmering, there is a gentle layer of mist almost at ground level and above that, the clearest of blue skies and a very bright sun – magical! It was a good morning to be rattling through the Sussex Countryside and a reminder of how magnificent it can be.
When we were about 5 minutes outside Hassocks railway station, across the tannoy came the dreaded announcement “Would the conductor please contact the driver”. Your heart sinks when you hear this as it generally does not bode well. So with trepidation I sat waiting for a follow up. We drew into the station and sat there for over 5 minutes, then ping-pong: “We are sorry for the delay but the conductor is dealing with a minor incident with one of the passengers and we hope to be on our way shortly”. After another few minutes we moved off, ping-pong: “We are now running approximately 8 minutes late, due to a passenger being taken ill. She has now left the train and is receiving medical treatment”.
Nobody said anything, or even looked at though they had registered that some poor woman had to be taken off the train.
I carried on looking out of the window, mildly annoyed that delay probably meant missing my connection at Three Bridges but there you go there is always another train following. Since my commuting started in March, I have become quite laid back about delays and cancellations.
The vista from the train window was awesome, with russet bracken on the railway bank, autumnal trees in the distance and frosted fields in between I turned my iPad into camera mode and readied myself for the Balcombe Viaduct. I knew I would get a good picture as the train was proceeding quite slowly. Just my luck, it speeded up as we got to the Viaduct but this is the photo I took.
It is not the best of photos but bearing in mind the speed of the train and the dirty windows, I hope it gives you some idea of the view. Makes you feel good about life doesn’t it?
As for the lady left behind at Hassocks. Of all the people on a busy morning train full of commuters, my work colleague was sitting next the poor soul. She fainted into my colleague’s lap and she said that although she asked for help deal with the woman, no-one looked up or came to her assistance. She is Canadian and said for the second time she shouted in her loudest Canadian accent if someone, anyone, would assist her. Eventually someone came forward and she pressed the emergency alarm to speak to the driver, that made her day!
What I find is so appalling is that fellow passengers, dug themselves deeper into their papers or laptops with the hope the moment would pass without them having to be involved.
To round this Train Journey Tuesday up, fortunately although my train was late arriving at Three Bridges, so was my connecting train. So for once – thank you Southern Rail for your train disruptions, points and signal failures. We were not that late to work, which is more than I can say for the lady who left us at Hassocks.