Across Continents

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Running on rails

I suddenly remembered why I didn’t like taking my cycle on trains.  It wasn’t the lack of facilities,as these are generally pretty good, provided you’ve made the effort to make a cycle reservation.  No, for the most part it’s fellow cyclists.  Those who don’t bother to plan ahead, but seem genuinely surprised when there’s no space left for their cycles.  Funny bunch.

During this trip I’ve visited a few railway stations and met some really helpful staff who take pride in their work.  Grange-over-Sands had its hanging baskets and immaculate toilets.  I asked the lady in the kiosk if they were award-winning.  They were.  At Fort William my ticket home, together with cycle reservations across three different train companies, was arranged without fuss.  And then a brief change in a small border town.  Securing  my fully laden bike momentarily to a convenient stanchion, Jobsworth appeared.  ‘We remove abandoned cycles’ he informed me.  I didn’t think my bike looked like it was going to be abandoned anytime soon.  I’m sure he had his reasons.  They always do.  It was a light and airy station but the platform staff nevertheless stayed close together.  Occasionally one disappeared briefly to forage for food.  Our man clutched his train dispatch sheet tightly.


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