Friday 5th February 2010
Its been two weeks since I parked up in Compton so on this sunny afternoon, even warm, I paid £48.20 to a machine at Newbury station in exchange for a piece of card with Wolverhampton written on it.
I hesitate to call it a train ticket, as this would imply there would be somewhere to sit in comfort, sipping a coffee or maybe a beer – well it is the weekend after all. No,no,no. There was a train though – the 17:11 Cross Country Reading to Manchester – so I had the choice of not getting on it, or getting on it. The vestibule, as the “Train Manager” called it, was as far as I got until Banbury, initially sitting on the floor but after another ten people got on it was inevitable that standing was to be the method of travel.
Seated for the second half of the journey, I had by now listened to the cheerful Train Manager telling us that the quiet zone was at the back, but the buffet car wouldn’t be opening due to a “staff vacancy”, at least half a dozen times. What about the poor people who couldn’t even get in this train left behind on the platform at Oxford? How on earth have we allowed the railway system to deteriorate to this extent.
Back to the boating then, here I am back on Zulu tonight, enjoying 3G access with my Three modem – worth noting, as t-Mobile didn’t work here at all last time.
So Wolverhampton Locks, here we come again.
See you there in the morning (oh go on – you know you want to do some locks!)