A Long Day’s Journey into Brighton

Just time for a quick post before I have my Ovaltine. I travelled back to Brighton today by train from Cardiff, where I’d spent a few days either side of New Year.

The journey back to Brighton was a bit of a struggle, courtesy of heavy overnight rain and a later, more mysterious, problem with “lightning damaging equipment” – which must be an impressive piece of kit! Anyway, trains could only move at a crawl between Cardiff and Newport while a temporary signalling system was in place, ie a man standing on a ladder waving a flag. I think he’s still there as I write this.

An hour after leaving Cardiff the train made it to Newport (a distance of about 15 miles) and then gave up. We all got out and waited another half an hour for a train to London Paddington.

After that it all went reasonably well, and I got to London Victoria a mere four and a half hours after leaving my Cardiff residence. I was relieved to see a Brighton train due to leave at 19.36 which I got on, but since it was only four carriages long it was packed. I managed to find a seat in the section marked “Priority” which, naturally, applies to me.

Anyway I got back to the flat about 9pm, so the journey was six hours door-to-door. Not too bad, really, given the inclement weather, though I can’t help wondering why our railway network is so terribly vulnerable to the effects of rain? It’s not exactly a rare occurrence in Britain, is it?

Could we not divert just a small fraction of the money spent on glitzy new stations towards better flood protection and/or more robust signalling equipment?

Anyway, back to work tomorrow – much to do before next week when I’ll be travelling again, a tad further this time..

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