The day we caught the train ..

That’ll learn me.

Trying to ‘set an example’ and take The Youth (aka my son) to a Uni open day by train.

The journey ought to have been one hour longer than had we driven, but – you know – using and supporting public transport n’ all.

An email at 0414hrs telling us the 0620hrs train was cancelled. Then our replacement train was cancelled. Then the second leg of the third option was cancelled. In what read like a tag line for the state of public transport in this country we were at risk of ‘getting there just in time to get the train home’

…. BUT WAIT UPDATE …. out of the dawn glow of the Stockport Ticket Office appeared Irish Tony in his teal @avantiwestcoast superhero outfit. ‘Leave this with me’ he said … and went off to speak on the phone to his ‘friend in Wales’.

Then we were told to catch a train to Crewe where Tony has sorted a ‘taxi for us to Aberystwyth’. Except for the first 10 minutes in Crewe nobody knew about said taxi.

Tony was a terrier for a workable travel solution … and wouldn’t even take a coffee off us.

UPDATE then we we’re in a taxi c/o @transport_wales for the next 3ish hours …. We chatted about Europe and politics and travel with the lovely taxi driver (he was Romanian). For some reason he never exceeded 50mph the whole journey and he only used the cruise control ‘+’ button to accelerate ….

Needless to say The Youth got a salutory intro to the roads of mid Wales and made a contribution to a hedgerow along the way !!

We got there. The rains cleared. The breeze was in off the sea. Everyone was very helpful. The course looked excellent.

Chippy tea on the seafront afterwards …

And then the journey home. By train. A pint in Shrewsbury for old times sake. A feeling of great sympathy for the staff on the rail network that have to deal with the abusive drunken bellends that we encountered from Shrewsbury to Sheffield.

Oh, and to finish as we started the penultimate train of the day failed to get to Stockport in time so we had another half hour wait to bring the great train misadventure up to about 17 hours in total.

We won’t even begin to make any measurable behavioural change away from fossil fuel driven transport use whilst the public transport system remains so focussed on shareholder profit at the expense of a reliable affordable service.

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