Saturday, July 15, 2006

Derailment.

So, I'm taking a train back from London yesterday, as I often do. And it was a little late getting into the station -- okay, a lot late, half an hour to be precise. But, not a big deal. Then, rumours of this starts filtering around the train. (Train staff didn't actually know anything, so they couldn't confirm or deny what was going on.) We heard about the possibility of buses being sent to Oakville to pick us up and take us on to Union (I heard this from my darling wife). When we got to Oakville, though, those were cancelled -- and we sat there for about fifteen minutes. Then we started moving. And stopped again, around the Islington Bridge (usually about five minutes outside of Union) -- for forty-five minutes. Train staff were giving away every beverage and snack food in the car at this point, just to stop people from buying booze and from getting too irritated. Eventually, we proceeded into the trainyard (the main access was blocked completely, so we had to go around the back), only to find out what had gone on. (See the picture on the linked article to get a taste.) Basically, the train that derailed was blocking five of six lines. The trains coming from Toronto had to shunt from the furthest line all the way over to the nearest (the only clear one), proceed past the damage and the damaged rails, and then shunt back all the way over again. And they did this for two GO trains -- which, since they had actually been cancelled and carry way more passengers were the priority -- before we got through, hence the huge delay. Once we were going, we had to move slowly (tons of switches in the trainyard) for about another half-hour, and then finally got to Union.

Total delay: three hours. That's right: it was supposed to leave at 3:49 and get in at 5:49, but left at 4:20 and got in at 8:45ish.

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