Those HS1 Javelin trains are good. Hitachi. State of the art, quick, quiet, nice. Margate to Stratford, 80 minutes.
Monday. Board the Javelin, on the way to LCY and a flight to Rotterdam. Departure time comes and the driver pipes up on the PA, “ The system won’t re-set. I’m going to turn it off and on again and see if that does the trick. If it doesn’t this service will be cancelled.”
Crikey, there’s a plane to catch and foolishly, not much redundancy in the travel plan. What to do do? Better safe than sorry so get off the train and get a taxi up to town. It’s the middle of the day and traffic shouldn’t be a problem. Right then, off train, go.
The doors are locked, announcement, “We’ll go to Broadstairs and if it works I’ll carry on, if not the service will be cancelled.” Help, trapped on a train to nowhere.
Off it chunters, all seeming quite normal and a few minutes later, pulls into Broadstairs. All well then we think. The comes announcement, “ It’s still not right. I’ll try and reset it again. If it doesn’t work, the service will be cancelled”.
Oh dear, no good at all. Hop off train, mit kit and ring the local joe baxi company. Yes, they have a cab available for the airport, £88, he’ll be there in 10 minutes. Result, send him along, my name is blah blah and this is my contact number etc.
Two minutes elapse, the train pulls out heading to London. Just hear the PA through the closed doors, the “ The fault has been cleared….”
Apart from that the Rotterdam trip was fine. As per usual the getting there and the coming home cause the grief and the angst. The job itself was luvverly. Good folks, answered questions, showed documentation, made the right noises. Bless. Love them.
NOVA Hotel Schiedam, busy as hell, but good. Would go again.
City-flyer back to Blighty, on time, less than a third full, plenty of space, all very civilised. Clear visibility, wonderful views all the way back to LCY. Westwards along the Thames Estuary, North Foreland, Margate, Hoo Peninsular, Cliffe, Gravesend, Dartford, Lundunn Tarn, all of note and relevance to the observer, stunning vista from a nostalgic viewpoint. Life at these times seems very very good.