What a Way to Run a Railway

I really don’t think the Americans have got the hang of this mass transit lark at all. On Saturday we were coming back from a quick trip to a mall and headed up to the MetroLink station to get back to the hotel. This was out in the suburbs, where you have to walk across the tracks to get to the platform. As our train came in, clanking its bell, I started to sprint for the platform, not realising that my travelling companion was still wrestling with the ticket machine which had developed an instant dislike to almost all of his dollar bills. Not willing to abandon him in the wilds of the greater St. Louis metropolitan area, I stopped to wait. So did the train. The driver was beckoning me over encouragingly. I performed a complicated hand gesture intended to convey that, while I was grateful for him for his courtesy, I was waiting for someone who was trying to feed $4.50 worth of quarters into a slot in record time. The driver waited some more. The ticket machine timed out, and returned all my companion’s change to him with a jackpot-winning flourish. Still the driver beckoned us forward. Finally, reluctantly, unwilling to miss the train, but more unwilling to hold everyone up any longer, I had to wave the driver away, and off he went.

No such nonsense back here in London of course. Interchanging at Embankment, laden down with three bags (funny, I left with only two), suffering from jet lag and sleep-deprivation and with my brain still apparently somewhere over the Atlantic, I found myself once more hurrying to catch a train, this time the southbound Bakerloo tube. As my foot hit the platform, with bags flying behind me, the pips went with a merry flourish, the doors closed, and the train sailed off without a backwards glance. Ah London. I’m glad to be back. At least, I think so…

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5 responses to “What a Way to Run a Railway

  1. Travelling can sometimes be very trying…

  2. Welcome back!

    I can’t see that happening here, except perhaps in Huttonian’s part of the country!

  3. Welcome home, and back to the tube.

    btw, do you know only two bit of hand baggage on the tube…but thats another storey

  4. Lantern – indeed

    Flighty – Something tells me the Hutton bus doesn’t wait either … something in the nature of bus drivers, I think

    TubeDude – two bits of hand luggage would be fine if I could check the rest …will they bring back guards vans on tube trains?

    Moobs – I’m not sure bliss was exactly the word I was looking for…

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