Storm Doris Hits UK
TP told me a storm was around and to check my train to Peterborough. It was cancelled but I could use my ticket until 2pm Friday.
I rang my nephew and he said “come” so I headed to Kings Cross and got on the next train to Peterborough due to leave at 11:35 am. It was another of those rash decisions.
I walked toward the second-class carriages but the guard said “hop on luv” so I got on in 1st class and began to walk through but the people standing said not to worry as the whole train was chockers.
I stood in between 2 carriages for a short while but I was really in the way and there was no room to lean anywhere so I moved through a bit. Ah a spot on the floor. I asked the lady if she minded me sitting there and she said no. She said she had been sitting there but a gentleman had moved to sit on someone’s suitcases so that she could use the seat. So I settled myself there and read my book.
As with any “disaster” type situation people were chatty so did some chatting too. Learnt a bit about the people’s lives! The man bought and sold cars and he was going to Leeds to pick a car up. A lady was returning to Doncaster after a couple of days with her children and another was going home to pick up her 2 small children from daycare in Leeds.
We stopped at Stevenage after about an hour. The train was travelling quite slowly due to the high winds. I rang my nephew and told him where I was and he suggested about another 30 mins. I said I didn’t think so but I would keep him posted.
We travelled a bit further and the train stopped. We eventually found out that the power line problem was due to plastic having wound itself around the wires and as soon as that was removed we would be on our way.
Someone said we were just outside Peterborough and as I was on the floor I had no idea but once the train started moving I got up ready to get off. The lady from Leeds asked for my spot and I said sure. A man then got up and offered me his seat but as I thought I was nearly there I declined but suggested someone else might like it for a while. He was working on his laptop and said he didn’t realise how many people were standing.
Just after that we passed through Biggleswade, miles from Peterborough, so not only had I given up my piece of floor, I had also refused a nice comfortable first class seat!
The train stopped again. This time we were told it was because roofing iron was blowing off a chicken shed and we couldn’t pass until it had been secured by firemen. The lady on the floor said it was a pity it was a male driver; a female would have just gone through!
We stayed there for well over an hour, I was leaning on the luggage racks across from the loo. Everyone had a learning experience on how to open the door, close it and lock it and then of course get out again! It was all press button and a voice would say, “the door is closed but not locked” or “the door is locked”. I was hoping that my book wouldn’t run out before we got to Peterborough. I had my hiking boots on which are very comfortable so with that and reading, I wasn’t really thinking about my feet.
A lady sitting on a suitcase gave me her seat for 5 mins while she stretched her legs. The same suitcases the car dealer was sitting on. We had a chat while I was sitting there but the lady soon wanted her seat back.
Eventually we were moving again and everyone cheered. I just hoped we would get to Peterborough this time. We trundled along quite slowly because of the wind. The further north we went the more boisterous it was. Peterborough was in the orange zone which meant dangerous for flying missiles.
After a few stops and starts we finally made it to Peterborough, minutes after I had finished my book. I’m really glad I wasn’t going any further. People got off at Peterborough but of course there were many more wanting to get on but at least the people who were standing since London, 4.5 hrs, got the first chance at any seats left vacant.
I rang my nephew and told him I was finally there and he said he would pick me up in about 20 mins. He had rung a couple of times during the journey but of course I couldn’t tell him when I would get there.
Had a cuppa and sandwich while I waited for him. it was a while since the previous day’s dinner!
My nephew’s wife was supposed to be driving to Newcastle to see her dad who is 90 but she sensibly decided to wait and go the next day.