I wake up and still feel tired. Should I go to work? I have so much to get done and no time to get it done. I crawl out of bed, look out the window and think bum its raining. I get breakfast, make my diner and head to the station.
Somehow I get there early, very early, and go inside the hut, to stay out of the rain. The chu chu comes and I get on it. I reply to can email I’ve had about the circle line pub crawl. The train comes into Walsall and an announcement is made that trains to New Street will be subject to delays. Nothing else. Not that if your getting off here that you are going to be totally screwed for hours.
Its probably the first time I’ve ever seen this sign say delayed without saying how long for. It didn’t twig and as I have a fifthteen minute wait I didn’t think twice about it.
I go and wait in the waiting room, these are my feet.
When I realise something is wrong, I look at the display board, and then my phone app. I’ve only seen this kind of screen once before. I still didn’t twig.
Some time passes and things are now better, no they are worse.
So is the train going to come, are any of these going to come?
Nope none of these are going to come.
Well maybe the 9am train will come?
Nope they are actually going to admit that's cancelled.
A man comes down to explain what's going on. A signal had broken at New Street and there are going to be no train services until 10am. And that train will go to New Street only. He confirms my train pass will be accepted on any train on any route even though its not zone 0 rated.
London Midland twit the reclaim address page although for me it is pointless having a season pass. It works out something like £60 divided by 30 days, divided by two. To which you can claim half back. About a pound.
I call into work and then I wander M&S and Wilkos, before heading back down to the station. The train is due in at 9:45am.
And it comes. I get a seat amazingly and relax, I’ll soon be at work.
Oddly the fast Birmingham train goes the back way, the way my second train goes, and it whizzes past Aston straight to a queue to get into New Street. The train comes to a stop, and you can see the train backlog, them all waiting their turn.
I look at what time there is a train out of New Street out via the Lichfield Line to Aston. It looks good. But what I should have realised but didn’t was these are all lies. None of these actually exist.
In fact everything at New Street is lies. The signs lie, the boards, the phone apps, and even the staff will admit, they have no idea what is going on or where anything is coming, or if its going to come. Upstairs they have barriered and guards on the the entrances, if you leave you can’t get back in! I don’t know where to get a bus, Birmingham is odd like that, no central bus station that would be too easy. I thought about a taxi, but there should be a train to Lichfield they run so regularly that they are notorious for not running trains as there will be another in ten minutes.
After many ups and downs to platforms where train are advertised but never come, I find a platform where two trains will go via Aston. One will hopefully turn up. As it happens a guard comes down advising anyone wanting a train to Lichfield and all stations between will arrive at platform 11 in a coupe of minutes and we are better off getting that one. Does that mean then that that one will come?
As it happens the train comes, but does not go anywhere. There is a lot of “is this the Lichfield train” and a lot of “we hope so”.
I begin to think they have put us on a train that isn’t going anywhere to shut us up.
Eventually we are moving, yey ha
As my battery is going flat.
At 11:45 I arrive at Aston, a twenty mile journey that has taken some 3hours 45 minutes. Something I could have really have done without.
Luckily I had an escape plan, I stayed over for an hour and worked through my dinner hour, but when it came to going home, my car was still here. I took a birthday card around my cousins and then
called in at my parent, who got me tea and I watched TV there all night, sleepy, full of cold still and tired. Eventually though I had to go home, and you know what, I went to bed and went to sleep. Boy do I want to feel better so badly.