Friday, November 16, 2007

Leaves on the Line

I'm wondering if this is just a peculiarly British problem or something the world over? Anyway, in the UK every autumn (that's "fall" for the Yanks) we have the commuting world grind to a halt with the excuse from the train companies of "leaves on the line" or "the wrong kind of leaves on the line". This only came about in the last 10 years or so but now it has suddenly got so bad (if you believe the BS we are fed) that we have "Leaf Fall Timetables" where trains are timetabled to run late. If you ask me this is just another excuse for the crap rail services we have in the country.

Where I live we have a small local railway close by and not only has the Leaf Fall timetable led to earlier starting and later finishing trains (less sleep for the Mrs) but it also means we have a Leaf Cleaning train that runs after the normal trains have finished. This is some mighty behemoth that at night is barely lit and looks a little like a huge steam breathing dragon. It blasts (very noisily) the tracks clean and goes quite slowly once and down the line. We had just about got used to this (which finishes only an hour after the last train) when this week it got worse. The bloody Leaf Cleaner came at 3.30am the night before last and 1:10am last night. How are we expected to get some sleep?

I can picture me either planting some explosive on the Leaf Cleaner or sabotaging the line to prevent any trains running. Bring back British Rail I say because even they could run a better rail service than the shambles we have now.

[The image is a fair likeness of the Dragon of the Rails]

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