SO you’ve arrived at the station only to discover you’re travelling on a two-carriage rattler. Read these tips to make it through a journey that’s inevitably going to be awful.
Avoid other passengers
Sometimes you daydream about meeting the love of your life on a train. Not this time. It’s a fight for survival and that’s it. Try to make yourself invisible to the yobs, the warring hen do and the 50 Stoke City fans who set off a flare in the bogs and tried to hang the guard out of the window when he limp-wristedly asked them not to.
Don’t breathe in
It’s a big ask but try not to breathe for your entire three-hour journey. It’s likely your train will smell like someone has died on there. Which is unfair, because the actual number of deaths is probably much higher, including a few suicides. Secure a window seat and inhale deeply on the relatively pleasant fumes from burnt brake pads.
Remember happier times
The journey will be zero fun. This train has no wifi, no charger points and no hope. Your phone will die as soon as you leave the station. Your only entertainment will be watching an empty bottle of Blue WKD rolling all the way up and down the carriage floor for the entire journey.
Enjoy the 74 random stops along the way
By saving a few quid you’ve turned a journey that normally takes 20 minutes into a boring odyssey, visiting a million tiny stations while travelling at 10mph. Biggleswade, Bagshot, Belper? Are these places real? They sound like they’re from Harry Potter. And, suspiciously, when you stop at them no one gets on or off. A total waste of time. Perfect.
For Christ’s sake don’t think about the train
If you stop and consider what you’re actually travelling on, you’re finished. It’s worryingly old and knackered or even a Pacer, the chassis of a bus Pritt Sticked onto train wheels and a true Frankenstein’s monster. Except he was bolted together with some level of skill and care.
Hit the biggest guy on there
Yes, this is advice to get respect on your first night in prison. But it might be wise here as Wormwood Scrubs and the 20:05 to Aberdeen have a similar atmosphere. And a good chance you could get shanked if you look at someone funny.