Sardines out, sardines in

The UK rail network in summer:

Last night I was late leaving the office due to customer meetings. By the time I reached Waterloo, it was chaos. An earlier fire on the track at Raynes Park had shut down the lines. Some trains were at platforms, but only a handful, and all were delayed by more than an hour. People were attempting to cram themselves into the carriages on the off-chance that one would be allowed to go soon, even if it wasn't going as far as their station. I wedged myself into a corridor on a train that was going halfway home. Initially I managed to sit on the floor, but that didn't last as the tiny space became more crowded and I was forced up against the door. All this on the hottest June day yet (apparently, parts of the Tube network reached 37C yesterday). Lucky I had a bottle of water. It didn't last me more than ten minutes out of Waterloo.

This morning, the train that brought me in to London was half the usual length, "due to an earlier technical fault which meant we lost half of the train" (according to the guard). Result, more cramming of too many bodies into too small a space on a hot day.

Naturally, during every England game in the next fortnight, railway staff will be on strike so they can watch the football demanding better wages and conditions.

I love commuting, really…

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