Washed Up - It’s not all bad on the rails - thanks to kind passengers
Like many readers, I often spend a significant amount of time moaning about the railway services and out of Lynn.
Too many times I have paid more than £50 for the pleasure of standing in a carriage from King’s Cross to Cambridge with my nose unpleasantly close to someone else’s armpit.
Or I have sank onto a seat, delighted and slightly smug, only to find I have sat on a half eaten banana or put my hand on a discarded and used tissue.
In that very British way, my fellow passengers and myself have moaned, then made jokes, then compared our travel experiences with the wonderful trains on the continent and then just got on with it.
So it is with great happiness that I can now tell a happy train story.
Just as the train from Lynn to King’s Cross was pulling out of Cambridge, a distraught Spanish woman came flying down the carriage looking for a guard. When she came running back, having been unsuccessful, a woman put her arm out to stop her and asked what was wrong.
The Spanish woman replied that she had got on the train to London instead of the train to Stansted, where she should be catching a plane back to Malaga – the only plane that week.
The entire carriage jumped into action. One woman checked train timetables to see how the woman could get to Stansted from King’s Cross as quickly as possible.
Another woman spent her time contacting the airline to see how much lee-way the traveller would have before the gates closed.
When the woman left the carriage and returned with her two young children and an elderly father there was no panic among the would-be helpers; several joined in with entertaining the children and one man helped the father into a seat near the exit.
And as we pulled into King’s Cross, a platform guard quickly assessed the situation and pulled his own staff into help.
A wheelchair was found for ‘papa’, an escort was assigned to take the family to the tube-line and put them on the right train for Stansted, and when it was clear the family didn’t have the right train tickets, that was all waived.
As the family disappeared, we all took a collective deep breath and just for a second, life felt extremely good.