The Train Now Standing…

You may have read that there were no trains this morning between Bray and Dun Laoghaire because of a fault in the overhead lines near Dalkey.

This is not strictly true. There was one train, the very first of the day, and I was on it.

As a result I had a most eventful trip to work.

Just about here

Just about here

There were about 30 people on the Dart as it left Killiney and headed towards Dalkey. About half a mile from Dalkey station there was a loud bang and a dragging sound along the roof, and about half the lights in the carriage went out. The train continued for a few hundred yards before silently coming to a halt, right in the middle of nowhere, and the rest of the lights promptly went out as well. The driver came on the intercom and said he would try to find out what had happened, and a minute later we saw him marching back along the far track. It was fairly obvious, though, that this was not a problem that would be solved quickly, and the only issue was not whether the train was going to continue, but rather how we were going to get off it. Sure enough, the driver eventually returned to say that the overhead line was down and that we would have to walk along the line to Dalkey station, and get a bus from there. He told us that ‘de-training’ (Dear God) would commence once staff arrived from the station to accompany us.

About half an hour later we were all led up to the driver’s cabin and helped one at a time down a little set of steps beneath the door which I have to admit I’d never noticed before. When we had all ‘de-trained’ they walked us along the track, telling us all the time to be careful on the stones and sleepers. I was tempted to say that I was ok, I’d walked along here many times. After all, we were in the town I grew up in now, and during my childhood, when there were far fewer trains than there are now, the railway line was one of our many playgrounds.

We reached the station and were directed to the nearest bus stop to get to Dun Laoghaire, from whence trains would still be running (that is the first, and will probably be the only, time that I have ever used ‘whence’ in a sentence). Eventually a single-decker bus came along and we all got on, pretty well filling it at the very first stop. A Chinese lady got on a few stops later and started around her in amazement as she had to stand. “I’m usually the only person on this bus,” she said to me.

Now, you would think that the trains north of the problem would still be running fine, since all they’d to do was tmake the shorter than usual journey out to Dun Laoghaire and then head back in, yet when we arrived at Dun Laoghaire station we found that the next train would not be for another 27 minutes. Rather than stand on the platform for that time I decided to get the 46A bus from outside the station. This, of course, is one of the most circuitous routes in the whole of the city, and indeed the whole of the city is where I felt I’d been when I eventually arrived close enough to the office to get off and walk.

I had driven to the station, been on a train and two buses, walked quarter of a mile along a railway line and more than a mile along different roads, and had travelled during the time-when-no-one-else-is-up, the time-when-people-leave-home-early-to-miss-the-traffic, and finally all-out-rush-hour.

I’d left my house at twenty past five (this is my busy week at work, and I was trying to get in at half-six) and I arrived at the office at a quarter to nine.

 I only live 25 miles away.

5 thoughts on “The Train Now Standing…

  1. Lottie

    I hear ya! Not quite as bad as your trip – bu I left the house at 7.40 and got to town at 10am. I didn’t even have time to go to the office.

    My issue was that they basically kidnapped the passengers from Greystones by letting us board and not telling us that there were problems until we had taken off. I would have much preferred to go back and get my car than spend an hour and a half on a bus trying not to vomit.



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