|Source: Flickr by Jelene|
Allow me to tell you about our train ride from Newcastle to Carlisle when we were coming back from Belgium. Interesting… experience. I never want to ride the last train to Carlisle on a Saturday night again, and here’s why.
Having just been in Holland and Belgium, I was remarking how strange it was to see signs in English again. It’s interesting how it doesn’t take very long to get used to seeing things in Dutch and Flemish!
The train started, and we were on our way. Or so we thought until things started to get incredibly noisy in the adjoining carriage. The next thing we knew the train stopped when we were only about ten minutes into our journey. Ok, I thought, they’ll kick the rowdy people off the train, and we’ll continue on our way.
So we waited. And waited. And waited. The train wasn’t moving.
Then word got around on the train that a fight and broken out and people had been hurt. The transport police had been called, and we were waiting for them. Oh, God, get me home safe and get me off of this train! I prayed. I also cried a bit because I was just really tired and wanted to get home.
Remember I mentioned we were seated next to the toilets? Well, our fellow intoxicated passengers all decided they needed to use the toilet whilst we were waiting. My husband and I weren’t allowing ourselves to laugh, but we did find it rather amusing that most everyone was so drunk they couldn’t figure out how to lock the door to the toilet. This meant that everyone who tried to get in would open the door, find someone else in there, and laugh hysterically. Amusing, but like I said—not wanting any part of it, my husband and I chose not to laugh.
Some of the guys began to be a bit too friendly with the other passengers. One guy in particular decided to invade our personal space and sat with us for quite awhile. He didn’t harass us, but it still scared me. What would he do? He wouldn’t leave us alone.
After sitting on the train tracks for what seemed like hours (actually it was only over an hour), we finally started moving again. Those involved in the fight were escorted off the train by the transport police. The conductor explained to us what had happened, and had innocent bystanders fill out cards to get compensated for our lost time. Poor lady—she had volunteered for that shift.
The ride wasn’t over yet. There were still people on the train who were quite intoxicated and still causing some problems. Our uninvited buddy joined our carriage and started causing trouble with the passenger behind us. Threats of another fight began to rise. I was terrified because I thought for sure the fight would in fact happen, and my husband and I would have been innocently involved.
Thankfully that didn’t happen. What a relief. My husband did a wonderful job protecting me and keeping me somewhat sane on that fateful ride home.
We finally did make it to Carlisle—at midnight, an hour or so after we were supposed to arrive. The Station was supposed to be closed, and the place had a few bobbies around for crowd control. I was never more relieved to be home and safe.
Like I said at the beginning of this post… Never. Again.