Firstly, an apology. I've been away for a bit so not had time to talk much on the blog. Sometimes I think they're on to me and are finding things for me to do that keeps me away from a computer, but anywho.
This is gonna be a bit of a rant inspired by the events of today, or one event anyway. That would be the fatality today. I hope that you guys weren't too affected by it. Now this may just be my slightly biased view on account of the fact that I work for FGW, but it seems to me that committing suicide by jumping in front of a train is an increadibly selfish thing to do.
If it has dcome to the point where you feel the need to end your life, then that sucks. BUt is it really necessary to f*ck up everyone else's day by jumping in front of a train. There are many other quick and private ways to do this.
I know that soem of you must have been stuck because of a fatality at some time, as they seem to happen depressingly frequently and they are a royal pain in the ass. The whole line has to get shut down while the police attend and secure the scene. Then the coroner has to get there and rule out foul play. Then Network Rail have to get in there an inspect the line to make sure there is no damage to the track, fitters have to make sure the train can still move, not to mention that the whole mess has to be cleaned up.
Add all this together and you can have a delay of several hours, which throws the whole timetable to sh*t and leaves you with a train full of angry people and many stations full of equally angry people who can't get where they're going because the trains can't run.
However, this is not the main reason why suicides on the railway piss me off so much. Think of the driver, either in his cab when someone jumps in front of him or somone standing on the track as the train comes down theline and the driver has the firm realisation that he cannot stop in time and that he is going to hit someone. And knowing that he can't look away because he has to keep control of the train.
Think how traumatic that must be. It's shitty if you feel that suicide is the only way. But do you really need to screw someone else's life up on your way out? I've met drivers who've been involved in fatalities, and there are precious few of them who weren't screwed up by the experience to some degree. Some never drive again.
Some of you may remember the famous fatality at Ufton Nervet, where that sonofabitch parked his car on the track, derailed a train and took 6 other people with him. That includes the train driver, Stanley Martin, who stayed in his cab applying the brake until the point of impact to perhaps save other lives. I respect that.
I was quite heavily involved in the aftermath of Ufton Nervet. I used to talk with one of the passengers fron the fron carriage for about three months afterwards because it helped him to talk and get some stuff off his chest.
I won't use the word hate so we will leave it as, I intensely dislike people who use the railway to end their lives and I feel sorry for all the poor f*ckers who have to sort it out afterwards.