It is unwise to rant too much about GNER even in the nicest possible way and the Empire struck back with a vengeance when attempting to return to Hutton. a 'vehicle incident' involving a power cable some where south of Peterborough plunged the departure board at Kings Cross (later Kings Very Cross Indeed) into a sea of 'delayed' 'cancelled' and 'you can't be serious' notices' Leeds was a no go area. Cambridge a hope less aspiration. Luckily the 1800 to Glasgow via Berwick just had to go as it was the last through train to the frozen north that day. So having eventually left 'delayed' and instantly becoming 'late running' with constant regrets for
'any inconveniences caused' in the plural-a nice touch that-we acted as the man with the dust pan behind the parade of elephants picking up stranded passengers whose trains had been 'terminated' south of Peterborough at stations so small that our mighty snake could only be boarded from two carriages at the platform. But not Grantham I am glad to say as we had a driver on board somewhere-we knew this from constant 'ding dongs' : 'Will the duty guard contact the driver' interspersed with the plaintiff automated call ' Attention Train Crew the disabled passenger alarm has been activated' Activated maybe but apparently ignored as this refrain was repeated ad nauseam until either the poor guy was rescued or passed away in some isolated and forgotten loo. Posibly the shiny new 'disabled toilet' which required a Masters in Electronic Engineering to open the door from the inside at the close of business, as it were
North of Doncaster waiting would- be passengers had obviously made other arrangements perhaps including early retirement as the dark and shuttered stations were deserted-the theme of the Marie Celeste occurred to me again but, fortunately, the wife managed to keep Berwick open until I alighted leaving the extremely exhausted and very very late running 'service' ( another oxymoron) to head for Embra and Glasca in the hope that they were still open-otherwise the service-reclassified as the Flying Dutchman may wander the rails of Scotland until the end of time. Sad thought but no doubt surviving passengers will have a claim for partial compensation.