Virgin on the ridiculous
I don't mean to be a Northern (as in North UK-not as in Barnet/Edgware) branch line disgruntled commuter but both GNER and Virgin on the Ber wick to Embra sector are getting more and more erratic. Intent on a bit of pedagoguery with students this morning I GNERed to Waverley. Train allegedly on time until it stopped just before Ber wick and became officially 'late running' -4 minutes late. Despite this, and deciding to miss out Dunbar it was 15 minutes early-not bad on a 42 minute stretch with a 4 minute handicap. As we neared the city outskirts the train Guard or possibly the team leader announced that as we were so early-thankyou for traveling GNER- we would have to wait until a platform was cleared for us (swept with grapeshot, perhaps?)So we stopped as per cue and waited 10 minutes in the very middle of the longest tunnel north of Doncaster affording us no view of the old 19th century sooty walls and frustrating all those cell phone users trying to call bosses,partners,colleagues, mothers and au pairs to tell them that they might yet still be early and to put on the kettle.
Coming back Leisurely Virgin stopped completely some miles the Embra side of Dunbar. After a thoughtful silence the Guard explained that there would be a delay because of speed restrictions on this part of the track for 'current engineering work' Stopped is a fairly drastic speed restriction in my book and it was not clear how were going to make our way through the restricted area in the stationary mode. Eventually we moved off in first gear and were a significantly 'late running' train by Dunbar. The any inconvenience for customers alighting at Dunbar seemed minimal as nobody did but did any crew member spare a thought for those passengers retarded on stops further south hoping to get to Penzance by the end of the week? If so
They kept it to themselves.
I should add that as far as the human eye could see there were no engineers working anywhere near the line north of Dunbar. Being Tuesday they may well either not have come back from a long weekend or had already left for another even longer one.