Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Commuting in the rain

Yesterday was not the most enjoyable journey to work I have ever had.

Arrived station 06:52 to find our train (06:56 to London Victoria) cancelled, as was the 07:03 to London Bridge.

At 06:55 it started to rain - heavily!

We eventually got the 07:12 slow stopping train which got to Victoria at 08:05, 33 minutes later than we normally are.

No trains on the Victoria Line on the Underground meant another 40 minutes before I finally got to a rain soaked Clapham High Street.

In summary - left home  to walk to station 6:30.
Normal time of arrival at work : 7:50.
Actual time of arrival at work: 8:50.
...and now for the fun bit...getting home. No pictures but a story that takes some believing.
Go to Victoria Station to catch fast 16:32 train to Horley (and beyond).
16:32 cancelled due to flooding after Horsham.
Back-up plan: catch 16:49 slow stopping train which goes to Redhill and then divides, four cars going to Reigate and four cars going to Three Bridges (the stop after Gatwick Airport).
16:49 Reigate & Three Bridges train advertised on Platform 19 but there are only four cars instead of eight. Southern Rail staff hadn’t noticed when questioned. Nevertheless get on train, then hear announcement from guard that ‘This is not the Hastings train – the Hastings train is on Platform 16’. Puzzelement turns to concern when a lot of people appear and start getting on the train.
Look out onto platform to find train indicator has changed from Reigate & Three Bridges to Hastings – ie completely the opposite to the guard’s announcement.
Get off train; go back to main concourse to find 16:49 Reigate & Three Bridges train (with eight cars) now advertised on Platform 16.
Get on train. Train leaves (few minutes late). Call at Clapham Junction, East Croydon and Purley as scheduled – next stop Coulsdon South before the tunnel under the North Downs , crossing the M25 and then Merstham and finally Redhill where the train divides.
Except shortly after Purley we get an announcement from the guard to say that we are no longer on the slow line but have moved onto the fast line. For those of you that don’t know the mainline south from East Croydon, the fast line after Purley is a completely separate line that goes through a different tunnel to the slow line and (somewhat inconveniently if you want to get off at Coulsdon South, Merstham, or Redhill ) by-passes several stations before re-joining the slow line at Horley.
Unfortunately, despite Horley being a scheduled stop, the train carried on.
The guard was very apologetic and advised passengers who wanted to go home that the train was going to stop at Gatwick Airport where we could get a train back to where ever we wanted to go.
We decided enough was enough (especially as the trains heading back were all delayed) and called Taxi Sue.

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