November 30, 2015 - Graham
A brilliant bit of extempore storytelling this morning by the Train Manager on my Virgin Pendolino from London to Manchester – deftly turning a downside into a positive. First the apology – train running slowly as approaching a tunnel where a speed limitation is in operation. Then the mitigation: it shouldn’t add too much time to our journey today. And then the added value: because we are going so very slowly we have the rare opportunity to see the fantastic engineering work undertaken by the thousands of navvies who hand-excavated the tunnel in the 1830s. And especially to see the two enormous brick-lined air shafts they constructed bringing light into the tunnel and allowing us to marvel at their handiwork.
I suddenly saw a distant world of labour, sweat, steam and Victorian can-do. For me it made the trip!