Aware I was travelling on the Friday of half term and wanting to use the popular Penzance to London Paddington via Bristol Templemeads service I made arrangements in advance and booked tickets AGES ago. 25th August if Thetrainline.com is to be believed.
As per usual, despite me clicking that YES I have a disabled card and YES I'd like to be sat near the loo, the sat me and Jonathan halfway down the carriage in seats I don't really fit in. So when I collected my tickets at Swindon I got the seat booking changed so I was in the disabled priority seats.
When I looked at the booking this week I realised I had just one seat not two. Enquiring at the station revealed there wasn't any seats available on the train so poor Jonathan had to forgo his long train journey and come back with Liz inthe car. Turns out this was a blessing in disguise!
We were booked to join the train at 10:32 at Newton Abbot. I was delivered to the station before 10 and sat down to wait for what was already a 25 minute delayed ttain and spent the time listening to Waiting for Cousteau and contemplating how a train that's nearly half and hour down would fit into the half hourly service pattern from Britsol Templemeads to London.
Kids: do not kill yourselves by throwing yourself in front of train. Preferably don't kill yourselcves at all. In front of a train frequently doesn't do the job, leaves you with life changing injuries, delays thousands of people and all too frequently ends the career of the member of staff driving the train.
As a result Trains were stopped and turned at Exeter & Newton Abbott.
I'm sitting about 10m towards you and to the left when the photo in the link was taken, considering that a seat inside the station is better than waiting on my feet.
As a result I was positioned in just the right place when the service unexpectedly resumed just before midday before any rail replacement service had showed up. I got on the first Cross Country Voyager going east for two hours and plonked myself down in a disabled seat in First Class reasoning it was better to be safe sat down than fighting for a seat I might not get in a rammed full standard class.
By the time I was in Exeter Liz was home!
Rode all the way up to Bristol Parkway, reasoning that a same platform interchange was better for my wearing body than hiking across Templemeads for an earlier service. (I did actually leave the platform at Parkway: by 2pm I was Hank Marvin and needed some grub, the loo and a drink) Eventually arrived at Swindon at 3, 4 1/2 hours after my scheduled departure time and more than two after my arrival.
Staff at Newton Abbot were doing a good job in trying circumstances with limited information available. Wasn't their fault coaches couldn't be found.
Another trip home, another One Under today, this time at Slough. Happened just before I got into Reading at 11. By 11:30 they were turning trains and running a service west of the station again: FGW seem to have a decent plan in place for disruptions of this nature between Reading and London, second time I've been involved with one this year on that stretch and they've recovered the westbound service quick both times.
Another train trip, another one under. Fourth this year directly affecting my journey. Ealing Broadway this time, so the third between Reading and Paddington although that's quote a long stretch which is built up for the majority of it's run. 20ish min hold at Didcot but they were letting trains through East by the time we got to Reading.
When I commuted between Edinburgh and Falkirk that would have represented an unremarkable year. It got so common I became able to tell whether it was an accident or a suspected suicide, or a swan, by the euphemism used in the announcements.
So we reach Staines. Slightly longer than usual dwell, it is a point where train crews change so not unexpected.
Guard does PA: We'll be waiting ere a bit cos a train has failed at Virginia Water.
2nd PA a few moments later: I've been told that it's a Steam Train that's gone wrong but they expect to be able to move it shortly.
Sure enough we leave shortly after. At Ascot we pass said steam train, now with assisting Diesel locomotive, occupying a platform there. Guard does PA: " for those who are interested, THAT is the steam train which delayed us earlier" with just the right amount of contempt in his voice, which I congratulated him on when I met him at Reading: he hadn't been amused by the cause of the delay at all!
We make our way to our platform for the ongoing train to Swindon ..... which then gets changed as the intended platform is now occupied by said Steam Train awaiting a slot to move west having missed it's booked one!
Time Wars weather means more folk are using the buses. The buses then started running late due to more folk trying to get on. This has caused traffic jams currently taking 21 mins to get along a stretch of road that can be done in 5 mins. I would get out and walk but...Time Wars.