Mr FF took the 6 am train on Saturday back to East Lothian for a walk followed by a meal with his now ex Scottish walking group. I thought it was all a bit ambitious myself, I think his return train left around 6.30 pm and he expected to be home around 11. I have much experience of Mr FF and travel gone wrong so I wasn't that surprised to receive an email early evening saying he had missed the train, was staying overnight in Scotland and would speak to me later. This is what happened.
He was at the station waiting for his return train, positioned on the correct part of the platform for his carriage when the train arrived, marked as destination Birmingham. He wasn't 100% sure that this was the train he wanted and further confused when it travelled past him and stopped a good distance down the platform. So he legged it to the waiting train by which time a couple of guards had appeared and they confirmed the train stopped at Leeds. Unfortunately the train doors had closed before he got down the platform, he explained it was his train and could they open the doors please. No chance, once closed the doors don't open again so he couldn't get on board and the last train for his connections pulled away.
Mr FF asked why the platform was marked with waiting areas but the train travelled beyond them, it was a shorter train of course. Apparently there were notices in the station explaining this could happen but because it was dark they were not visible.
But the best bit was when he asked why there had been no public announcement about the train's destination and stopping points when it arrived. It seems the station has had to reduce the number of announcements it makes as they are a health and safety issue. This is somewhat beyond me but it does give me hope that the number of Christmas tunes playing in the shops might also come under the same legislation soon.
Poor Mr FF, totally unprepared for an overnight, stayed with friends and arrived home late yesterday afternoon, using a circuitous route with many changes whilst clutching a note from the station guard in Scotland explaining the situation and giving him permission to travel at no extra cost.
I have suggested he gives travel on public transport a rest for a while and consider more local walks, he's taking the bus for his walk next week but it's not that far away and if the worst happens he can walk home.