Last week’s tale of delayed trains has led some to suggest I was railway bashing.
Far from it. As a non-driver I regularly use the railways and find rail travel the most enjoyable mode of transport.
Now don’t get me wrong I’m not fanatical, a la Roy Cropper, and I’m certainly not a train spotter, but trains are more fun.
Hailing from Carlisle, a railway city, coupled with the fact that my father spent the majority of his working life employed by British Rail, meant it was inevitable that the railway would play a significant role in my formative years. Our annual holidays consisted of my dad securing week long rail-rover tickets entitling the entire family to travel to such far-flung places as Windermere, Southport and Morecambe, all free of charge, and we absolutely loved it.
As I grew older I used the train to travel with my mates to watch my beloved Carlisle United.
As Carlisle is so isolated return journeys were often arduous, and weary travellers would often fall asleep.
On such occasions, the unfortunate somnambulist’s shoelaces would be tied together as the rest of us left the train as stealthily as possible.
Just as the train set off we would bang loudly on the window causing the victim to rouse from his slumber and jump to his feet realising that he was about to be stranded.
More often than not, still half asleep, he would attempt to head for the door only to fall flat on his face as a result of the shoelace trap.
If they managed to stumble to the door the train would be heading for Glasgow and their increasingly faint protestations were soon drowned out by our raucous laughter.
As previously stated, rail travel has always been much more fun,