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Further Train(ing) Is Required

, , , , , , | Working | September 13, 2021

I worked for a while at a railway company. We had a big, busy office where customers could call in for help. Our network covered the Norfolk Broads, a National Park of rivers, waterways, marshes, and large, shallow lakes created by peat digging in the middle ages. Like all National Parks, the Broads is a popular summer tourist destination but has many fewer winter visitors. The result of this was that we had a summer timetable with more trains that stopped at more stations and a winter timetable with fewer trains and fewer stops. Unfortunately, that meant that sometimes visitors would be caught out when the timetables changed.

That was what happened one evening in September. An elderly couple had been out bird-watching in the reed marshes, and on returning to the station, their expected train had not arrived because the timetable had changed. They called our office and asked for help.

We called the head office since we had no one from senior management in. The problem was explained to the senior person at head office.

“Just tell them to walk along the tracks to the next station; there’s a train that calls there in just over an hour,” they said complacently.

Apparently, they didn’t think of the fast-fading light, the rising tide — yes, the river was tidal! — and the fact that, although no more trains would be calling at [Station] that evening, there would still be trains using the line!

We called a taxi for the couple and told them to send the bill to the rail company.

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