You see, whether you travel by rail or by car, getting around the UK requires the sort of endurance and initiative that in other countries qualify you for the armed forces. However, in the UK the average Brit knows that to travel into London by train is a test of endurance like no other. In Germany they are proud to claim they their trains run on time: in the UK we are proud if we make it into work without having a seizure. Only in the UK do the words "leaves on the track," "overhead power cable failure" and "flooded tracks" induce such doom and gloom.
But, of course, worse than any leaves, snow or rain on the tracks are "Extended Engineering Works". This statement invariably means somewhere on the rail network there is a bit of track missing and nobody knows where so the management have sent a party of ten men clad in fluorescent jackets equipped with a forked stick out on a walking party in an attempt to locate it. In the meantime, while the workman try to detect the missing track passengers on their morning commute to London can expect to be:
A) Rerouted via Aberdeen
B) Held up at signals at Watford Junction for three hours on a train with no buffet and where a small stream of urine runs from the beneath the toilet door and pools just in the spot where you are forced to stand because the train has only four carriages, it is peak commuting hours and there are no seats.
C) Rerouted via Aberdeen and held up at Watford Junction for three hours and forced to overhear the conversation of German tourists bragging about German efficiency and how their trains always run on time for the entire *ucking journey.
Now remember you heard the following gossip here first - I have heard on the Turley grapevine that the next Bear Grylls TV show will be called Mission Survival: The Challenge of Network Rail. Apparently, the first episode will be where Bear attempts to make it into London from Lands End in less than 24 hours with no food or drink whilst wearing a pinstripe suit and equipped with only a laptop with a dead battery and a phone without a 4G connection. He will also be hampered by the fact that he will be accompanied by his mother-in-law.
Unfortunately, it is not just only our rail system that is flawed in the UK but also the roadwork. I do a lot of travelling and I know that a typical journey follows this pattern:
You are speeding down the motorway at
Then, suddenly, with no forewarning, the cones end, the speed restriction stops and the cars ahead of you race off into the distance. Then you too put your foot down and race off whilst uttering every obscenity under the sun because all the time you were queuing you have not seen any evidence of maintenance on the roads; not a single workman, not a single digger or even a solitary shovel....
Now, as usual, I have applied my analytical skills to the whereabouts of the missing motorway maintenance men and I've come to this conclusion:
They have been loaned to Network Rail and are out looking for the missing train track alongside the Network Rail workers. No doubt, the Transport minister thinks if they use double the quantity of forked sticks they will discover the missing track a lot quicker.
Personally, I don't believe a word the Transport minister says on any issue. I reckon he's actually a German agent.
|"Not more bloody cones!"|