Wow - just goes to show you shouldn't tempt fate.
After telling you all on Friday that, despite being occasionally busy, things have been, generally tolerable on the trains recently, this morning things went well and truely belly up, and I experienced one of the longest delays of my 20 months or so of commuting. An hour and a half delay. Yep, a whole 250% increase on the usual journey time. Plus it could have been a lot worse had I listened to the mindless optimism of the train manager....
Things did not look promising at first, arriving at the station, departure board warns of a 16-minute delay. I can live with that. In fact, I quietly welcome 10-15 minute delays as it means I have time to go to the snack bar* for a freshly made bacon sandwich and a cup of tea from the local cafe rather than the station facilities, twice as nice, half the price and supports a local business fighting for its life as the south end of Bath is a building site for the next two years and their current walk-by trade = zero.
Anyhow, after coming back with breakfast, the usual 2-minute increments were stacked up until the delay was a full half hour, but the 06:56 pulled in just before the 07:28. The delay had been caused by a faulty power car according to the train manager. "bet we get no further than Temple Meads on this train", I said to my lab mate who for the last few months has been commuting with me.
Though, we did get out of Bristol, with a fitter on board, we broke down short of Filton. "We'll be going to Parkway for a powercar test and I'm sure we'll be on our way soon" the train manager announced optimistically after finally moving off after around 20 minutes. "We'll be on our way soon" he announced again after 10 minutes or so at Bristol Parkway. Anyway, not believing the guy (he must have been new, bless him), I phoned rail enquiries and discovered another train to Cardiff in a few minutes, telling the few people around me, we made our way over to the other platform. Eventually we were an hour and a half late. We'd have been later if I'd have listened to the train manager.
This evening though, I received an unexpected bonus, courtesy of FGW's uselessness. The 19:49 from Bristol, calling at Oldfield Park, so my 20:22 made an additional call. There were some Mardy people on my train, who had been cold at Temple Meads for a while, but for me it was a shorter walk home. You win some, you lose some.
*If you too are a Bath commuter and have ten minutes to fill, rather than spending a fortune in the station Pumpkin or Crusty Sandwich fooderies, take one-minute walk up manver's street (straight ahead - see map) and though Railway Street on the left, is a building site, defiently holding on, just around the corner is the Snack Bar . Very friendly staff and perveuyours of a most excellent bacon sarnie.