Didn't the channel tunnel come to a stop because of some snow (wasn't much to be honest). This was after they spent millions to prevent the exct same thing. They made a press release saying "Its the wrong type of snow".
A fire with acetylene bottles involved could shut a line 1/2 a kilometre away. How it would prevent the provision of first class is mystery though!
Normally it is just "This train is cancelled due to an earlier train fault!"
I have heard a delay from Bedford to Brighton, because of excessive heat on the tracks...and it was the first warm day of the year!
Notice the spelling of available!
Southern's departure boards show 19:37 to 20:52 is normal and on-time. The train isn't actually delayed, it's just missing first class seating and who pays for that on metro trains anyway?
Probably just suspended first class for the day to fit more people on coming home from holiday.
Comming back from BETT this year it was announced that we would be delayed and they were at great pains to say that it was due to another companies train and not theirs, not that it made any difference to us, it was still a delay.
More than once, a few minutes before it is due, I've heard at my station, "the 07:36 has been cancelled due to a lack of drivers". It then roars through the station exactly on time but doesn't stop. Once it even had passengers on it.
The trains on my line run alternatively, with one stopping at every stop and the next stopping only at every other stop. During the last bought of heavy snow, they cancelled the ones that stop at every stop but left the others running. I think they did this to provide maximum inconvenience.
The worst I had was trying to get to BETT a couple of years ago. A train broke down in Sevenoaks tunnel and the train I was on had to be reversed back into Tonbridge station. There was a lot of dithering from station staff until they finally announced that a train on another platform would be setting out for London, but would take longer as they were diverting it around the tunnel. All the passengers dutifully trailed over the footbridge and squeezed onto the train.
We'd been waiting about fifteen minutes when a rather embarrassed "train manager" apologised that the train wouldn't be leaving after all "because the driver doesn't know the route". And we all thought rails and points guided the trains
I can answer that one actually. :P Even though trains go on a fixed route on rails the driver still needs to undergo training to learn the route as they are driving a vehicle at high speed loaded with hundreds of people that cannot stop on a dime! They need to know where the signals are, when to accelerate, when to brake and they must know it inside out. There is a very long and boring video for each route they have to watch and memorise covering the entire line.
Because the driver hasn't undergone training for that route, he doesn't know enough about the line to proceed down it safely as far as railway safety measures go.
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