Southern Rail passengers in the south of England are reporting renewed feelings of dread as autumn places leaves on the line.
LCD Views sends all of our special correspondents for the south of England on Southern, even into the areas the franchise doesn’t operate in, and we can honestly say we never find any difference in service levels.
However, during our long publishing history in the world of print media [that’s not true, we’ve never been in actual print] and recently our launch into digital [it’s not that daunting once you get passed the head bang wall stage of setting up] we’ve always been concerned to keep a close watch on the pulse of the travelling public. We want them to know we care. We will fight their corner.
To this end we sent a reluctant correspondent out into the wintry gusts to a train station this morning to see what impact the changing weather is having on Southern Rail passengers.
“Personally?” Mrs T Tibs of West Norwood was the first to speak, “I am terrified. You stand here with me for a few minutes and tell me all those piles of leaves swirling about in the gusts and onto the tracks doesn’t feel you with complete and utter dread. It’s going to be leafpocalypse, just like it is every autumn.”
We did as requested, but not for as long as requested. It was just too terrifying.
One by one, or in great handfuls scooped up by an invisible wind genie, the browning leaves of plain trees made their inevitable way down onto the lines.
“How many leaves does it take to stop a modern locomotive?” Mr Barry Barryson asked, shuffling up to our correspondent like a man waiting to be shot at dawn, he just doesn’t know which dawn.
“Two or three? Piled up one upon the other?” we guessed.
“But there’s five just flown down now. We’re doomed. I may never see my family again. I wanted to watch my children growing up. Why didn’t I buy a car when my dying grandfather told me to? Why did I spend the money he left me on a kidney?”
All very good questions.
And as the expected announcement of a delay in service sounded across the station, we could only hold the terrified rail passengers close and ensure them we would give them a voice.
“But how will you do that if you get on the train with us?” Mrs Tibs demaned. “What if you never get off?”
One day it will end in cannibalism, we fear, as surely as a few leaves on an iron line bringing a system of transport nearly two hundreds years old to a complete standstill while everyone waits for some guy with a broom to make his way down and sweep them off.