The Great Northern Route: not so great.

This week got off to a bad start. Monday night at King’s Cross was like the Slug and Lettuce on a Friday night. It was Lethal Bizzle. The Departures board made depressing viewing. Delayed, Cancelled and no platforms marked at all. No trains.

20121223-083030.jpg

The problem was with 14 ‘droppers’ on the line between Hitchin and Stevenage. What’s a dropper? The same question occurred to me. A dropper is the non-electrified wire that supports the electrified lines above the tracks and trains. I think.

Vandalism or scrap metal theft, surely. In which case, there’s little Network Rail can do except replace/fix them. Am I too quick to forgive?

20121223-092902.jpg

I was earwigging a member of staff trying to sound as cheerful as possible while telling a commuter “You’re looking at 2 hours.”

I was checking maps on my phone to see how close to home a train from St Pancras would get me. Not great. Harpenden or Luton were the choices. A 40-minute drive for my wife to come and fetch me. Then another 40 minutes back…

But as if by magic the station announcer told us the next train calling at Stevenage would soon be leaving from Platform 0. There was no stampede but there was certainly urgency in the way people made their way to the train.

These situations can be a false dawn; you can’t let your guard down. A place on a train is no guarantee of being sped home with effortless efficiency. When you’re dealing with overhead wires (and we were) you can be crawling along at best or stationary at worst – actually, going backwards would be worse but that’s never happened to me.
But as luck would have it, I was home as fast as I could have wished. So that was the worst over, right?

You know when you get phone calls early in the morning, it’s never good news. All kinds if thoughts rush through your head. Anyway, it was my neighbour to say that if I was considering Parking In Stevenage today, don’t bother.
Apparently the platforms were packed and there was talk of the dreaded Replacement Bus Service. All the way to London. Serious.

My neighbour was right; I didn’t bother.

This post was brought to you by two well-executed semi-colons. I advise you to use them more in 2013. They are unloved and underrated.

Advertisements
Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. John Vinton

     /  January 2, 2013

    All colons are ugly and should be avoided.

    Semi or otherwise.

    From: Parking in Stevenage <comment-reply@wordpress.com>
    Reply-To: Parking in Stevenage <comment+768g501fg553_t74t9fsu9@comment.wordpress.com>
    Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2012 08:31:02 +0000
    To: John Vinton <john.vinton@aislondon.com>
    Subject: [New post] The Great Northern Route: not so great.

    pottaz posted: “This week got off to a bad start. Monday night at King’s Cross was like the Slug and Lettuce on a Friday night. It was Lethal Bizzle. The Departures board made depressing viewing. Delayed, Cancelled and no platforms marked at all. No trains. The proble”

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: