Compare and Contrast

This morning was the usual scrum – hot and stifling even at 7:30 am, three carriages of sweating heaving humanity, no announcements other than occasional cryptic remarks from the guard (‘Change here for wagon services’). The train was only as punctual as it was (what’s two minutes between friends?) because the mysterious timewarp that lurks between Willesden Junction and Acton Central opened up and swallowed around four minutes (the only other possible explanation is that they’ve padded the last part of the timetable to make it easier to hit their punctuality targets but only a cynic would suggest that).

This afternoon I stepped onto an air conditioned train and was wafted promptly to my destination, with only the announcement of every station disturbing the atmosphere of reflective calm on board. A sudden burst of investment in the rolling stock by Silverlink? No, just that we were visiting the new house so I got to try out what will be my new journey home. Of course the downside is a twenty minute walk at the other end plus the ever wonderful Kew Bridge station – surely the only station in the UK with a derelict boarded up building above it. Not the sort of sight that inspires confidence in a lone commuter late at night, especially as the station is entirely unmanned. They have at least got rid of the telephone you used to have to ring to find out when the next train was coming and replaced it with a proper indicator board and automated announcements.

At least it will harder to be delayed when most of the journey is on foot (pavement cancelled? Wrong kind of pedestrian on the road?) and I will be fitter if the carbon monoxide poisoning doesn’t get me first. It will also cost me about twice as much to travel on the train for about half the time but with Silverlink you always did get what you paid for.

Total time wasted today: 2 minutes
Total time wasted to date: 11 hours 33 minutes
No. of Silverlink days to go: 3

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