Monday 12 September 2011

Planes, trains and automobiles II

Part 2 - Trains

As a result of the yet-to-be-written part 3 of this trilogy of posts, I was taking the train to work for some of last week. When weather permitted, I was riding my new motorbike. More on that later.

So, you may ask. What's so noteworthy about trains? Well nothing really, except how infuriating they are, especially if you travel in the other direction to most commuters. What this means for me is that I have to get the 08:19 train from Cannon Street to Orpington. If I don't catch that train, there isn't another one for an hour. This is what happened to me on Thursday, so I had to walk to London Bridge, where I had to spend about 10 minutes looking at the departures board to figure out which train I needed to get, and from which platform. Although travelling to London Bridge doesn't take very long, the net result is I end up half an hour late for work. Fortunately my boss was even later than me due to traffic congestion on his bus route. And, if I were a bit sharper, it would give me time to write blog posts from my phone. You'll note from the absence of any posts that this wasn't the first thing on my mind. I was far more interested in catching up with facebook updates :)

On Friday it was even worse. I had a meeting in Liverpool Street, and took the train to Bromley in the afternoon, with my colleague. Except that was an even bigger fail. We got the tube to Farringdon, saw we'd have to wait for the 14:45 train and at 14:45, we got on the train that rolled up. We were talking about work and motorbikes and such, when the train announcement said the train was going somewhere we didn't want to be. I looked out of the window and we were at Tulse Hill. This was the wrong place. I told my colleague, and after some to-ing and fro-ing about whether or not I was sure, we jumped off the train just in time for the doors to close. OK, well I jumped, he stepped off it like a normal person. We then studied the comprehensive map, which just showed the line we were on, before I resorted to the London Transport iPhone app. That app advised me to walk to Tulse Hill station, which would take 2 minutes. Strangely, we were actually in Tulse Hill station. Anyway, there was a 15:00 train to Beckenham Junction that would take us in the right direction, where we could change to an Orpington train that would take us to Bromley. The time was 14:59 and the train was the one on the next platform, so we bolted it and made that train just in time. We reached Beckenham Junction only to find the 15:15 Orpington train was cancelled and we'd have to get the next one at 15:30. I was ready to give up and go back home, but my colleague insisted. Out came the iPhone again, this time Google Maps was the app of the moment. I noted that we were only 2 miles from where we needed to be, so we got a minicab. The minicab was a car, which leads me nicely onto part 3 :)

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