Train ride from hell

Posted November 26 2012, tagged ,

You'll have a laugh at this, it went past the point of frustration towards comedy.

I got to the station around 3:00, and got the first train at 4:15.
Train was originally delayed at Swansea because one of the engines failed.
There was a points failure outside of Swansea, so it took a little longer to get to Newport.
It was routed through Swindon because of the weather, so I expected to take a while anyway

Up towards Kemble (http://www.kemble.co.uk/), we slowed down then stopped.  Turns out the train in-front reported a land-slide on the tracks. We crawled forward, then stopped again - because of a tree on the line.  This tree was moved, and on-wards we went.

However there is a steep hill going up towards Kemble.  Remember we had stopped, so we didn't have much momentum, and also one of the engines was out.
So in the pouring rain, the train didn't have enough traction on the tracks to get up this hill.  So we stopped and waited a bit longer.

Originally the plan was to get a locomotive from Swindon (yes, we've not got past Swindon yet).  However there were none available.

The train behind was brought up to push us up the hill.  Normally they require a level track to connect trains, and since we were stuck on a hill, this was going to be a tough job.

A while later they got things connected and away we went towards Kemble.  This was marked as the station to de-couple the Trains.  In the process, something else went wrong with the air-lines.  Probable cause was due to connecting things on a hill.  Since the air-lines locked the doors, the doors could be opened whilst moving, which is not a good things on a train.  So health and safety kicked in, and the train was de-clared unsafe.  Which meant that we got kicked off the train while they tried to fix the problem.  Now as you can imagine this has taking a long time by now, people had been on the train since 1:00 at Swansea.  Most importantly the driver had been working for 12 hours.  So even if they fixed the problem, we couldn't go anywhere as the driver was not fit to drive the train.

We needed a new driver, to get brought in from Swindon.  Since all the flooding had made the roads impassible.  The taxi bringing in the driver was taking a bit longer than it should.  The road situation was made worse by people trying to collect people from the train station.

We spent nearly two hours at Kemble to fix the train and get a new driver brought in from Swindon.  

Eventually we got back on, and left on towards Paddington, where we arrived at 12:15.  This late hour meant no further connections, so Taxis had to be found on account to take a lot of people to onwards destinations.  I being the only one going towards Aylesbury, had to wait a while.  This was so children, the elderly and those people traveling to far flung destinations took priority.  People were sent off to places such as Cambridge and Dover.

By the time I got put in a taxi and driven back to Aylesbury it was 2:30.  

As you can imagine, I don't like trains much at the moment!

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