What’s it like with this country? A bit of weather and the transport system goes to hell. This time it’s the wind. It’s not strong enough to blow my hat off but it’s got the power to cause a delay to every single train running across the north of the country.
Leaves on the line, the wrong kind of snow and now it’s a blustery wind.
I’m sure there’s a reasonable explanation but when a train is designed to travel at speeds of up to 125 miles an hour how does a wind of 30 or 40 miles an hour cause a problem, even if it gusts? (The guy on the train tells me it is so that they can slow down should a tree fall on the track)
It all started for me this morning on the 6:11 from Newcastle to Manchester. Having dashed to catch the train the announcement let me know that the train would terminate at York, we would have to change and there would be a delay. 30 minutes turned into 60 and ended up as 90 by the time we had arrived. But we were the lucky ones. Trains had been cancelled all over the place. Passengers were stranded with nowhere to go and no hope of getting where they needed to be. Any train that was running was packed to the gunnels.
And the return trip was no better. Manchester Piccadilly was filled to the brim with the hopeful. No trains were running to Scotland and a very limited service south. It felt like we had got onto the last train to run and we were like escaping refuges from some armed conflict.
Why is it that in this country, one of the richest and most stable countries in the world, everything goes to hell in a hand cart at the slightest hint of bad weather? Is our infrastructure that bad? Was the weather that atrocious or are there just too many people to squeeze into an already overstressed transport system?
I can’t remember these things happening when I was a lad!
[ps Now that I’ve got home and seen how bad some of the weather has been, especially the storm surge along the North East Coast I’m feeling bad. I’ve never seen Newcastle Quayside flood.]