Tuesday, July 26, 2005

On the train to Cardiff today

There was a very big man, who needed two seats, diagonally opposite me with a table between us. He was a bus driver, with vouchers that let him travel anywhere on Great Western for a fiver. He had a hot pie and beer for breakfast. A lot of crumbs were flying everywhere. He read a magazine about steam trains for a while. Told me all about the places he could go with his vouchers, up the Pennine way, Carlisle etc. He went to San Francisco last year. Not very many trains in America. Thirteen in the morning and thirteen in the evening rush hour and that's your lot, in San Francisco. It has a good underground, but it doesn't go very far. Las Vegas has no train station at all. The railway goes through but doesn't stop. We both agreed that was very funny. Our train was 20 minutes late, had to slow down because of some problem ahead. Nothing, apparently. Know how many late the trains are arriving in San Francisco from Chicago? 130. What, 130 minutes? Yeah. They had to follow behind a train two miles long full of pig iron or something like that, going up hills at about 12 miles per hour. Two of these things collided there some time ago head on, and the locos were flipped 120 yards away. Know how much one of those locos weighs? 160. 160 tons. Insisted on helping me locate the slot for my Bluetooth adapter on the back of my notebook computer, took command and slotted it in. He has one of them on his as well.

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