Tuesday 16 April 2013

More of an adventure than expected

Yesterday afternoon I had a training event in Lincoln and went by train. Partly this was because I prefer not to drive and can work on the way and partly because it gave the opportunity have a niggling fault fixed on my car while I was away. The day was complicated from the start by the closure of the line between Sleaford and Lincoln while work is being done to upgrade it to take freight off the main line, so changes at both Peterborough and Newark were needed in both directions.

It all started fine, my train from Stamford to Peterborough being early, so I even had time to grab some coffee before boarding the connection for Newark that I was supposed not to be in time to get! There was an announcement from the guard that the driver was attending to a mechanical fault and that we should be under way soon. Swiftly followed by another that the driver had been unable to fix the fault and the train was cancelled! Ah well, I was an hour ahead of my own schedule and I could work at Peterborough station just as well as at Lincoln or Newark, so for me this was not a disaster. Everyone got off the train and we were then directed to platform 2 where a London-bound train was terminated short so that we could use it to go north, the London passengers being evacuated onto a second southbound train that was stopped for them at platform 3. By this time the station was becoming somewhat congested with three trains none of which should still have been there! So, on my way to Newark half an hour late, which I think is not bad following a train failure. The train I was now on was the one which had been decorated to celebrate the launch of the James Bond film "Skyfall" on DVD:

My connection to Lincoln was the one I had in any case planned to catch, and I wrote a magazine article (and next blog post - to follow shortly) over lunch at Newark station.

By the time I left Lincoln to come home the knock-on effects of the breakdown were finished, along with the effects of a power failure around Doncaster but there was a new problem of an accident at Alnmouth so trains from Scotland were running very late indeed, and my connection for Peterborough was one of these. Trains from Leeds were unaffected, however, and one of these was stopped at Newark to give Peterborough and London passengers the connection we needed, and I was still in time to get my expected train home to Stamford from Peterborough.

East Coast had to cope with a lot of problems yesterday (there were others, I gather, south of Peterborough, which did not affect me) and I was very impressed with the way they were able to make changes to get us all to our destinations with minimum delay (in my case no delay, but that will not have applied to everyone).

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