Excuse Of The Week


One of the few joys of regular commuting was marvelling at the ingenuity that had gone into constructing the excuse to explain the cancellation of your train. As well as the wrong type of snow or leaves on the line my favourite always was due to essential emergency improvement work. But I have never come across “The next train to London has been cancelled because its wheels are too light”.

This autumn has been a particularly bad time for commuting from East Anglia to London, I’m told. Up to two trains a day have had to be taken out of service a day because their wheels are too light to mulch the leaves on the track. The leaves lodged in the wheels often cause skids or sliding, damaging the track by rail burn and creating flat sections on the wheels, which then have to be removed and repaired, taking the train out of commission.

What’s it to be – heavier wheels, chop the trees down or grin and bear it? It’s hell being a commuter!