My train was on time today. Annoying, because I almost missed it.
It used to be the case that it was reliably one or two minutes late. I can leave my house at 7:15, walk the 0.8 miles to the station, and catch the 7:26. I have the timing down to the minute – there are three landmarks along the way where I can do a time check and ensure I’m bang on time. I sidle down the wheelchair ramp to the platform at exactly 7:26, as the train in rolling up. And it invariably leaves the station at 7:28, or 7:29.
This is, of course, how things should be. In a flawed country, with flawed people, there shouldn’t be perfection. Or even the semblance of perfection. Of course, there is a limit to this – any more than five minutes late, and it looks sloppy. And complaints will be made, effusively. So, every now and then, London Midland gets the idea that perhaps it should run its trains properly. Like (and I hesitate to say this) a proper European country. For a few days, the trains arrive at 7:24, and leave bang on time. It settles the nerves of the rabble rousers, calms them down, and gives them the idea that maybe things will be alright, and they can rely on the train service.
For me, it means I have to readjust my morning routine for a few days until normality sets in again and we get back to being a few minutes late.
But it gets me thinking – does this timeousness have anything to do with goings on across the water? Is it a coincidence that whenever there’s talk of Brexit, or referendums, or rumours of deals, the trains suddenly run on time? Probably, but it feels like there’s scope for a bit more research on this.