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"Leeds - Final Destination"

Updated: Jun 16, 2023

TRAIN RIDES – A DIARY ENTRY FROM 7TH DECEMBER 2017


Here I am on the 6.42 to Leeds on a windy December day. The train is quiet with low levels of occupancy. Two seats in front of me is a man facing me wearing headphones. He is clearly nodding off with his head tilting forward until it eventually hits the table in front of him. I wonder what he is listening to. His head tilts forward and his forehead is firmly planted on the table in front of him. His arms are slumped either side of him with his hands almost touching the floor. Then I witness the most bizarre thing, whilst still asleep, his hands go to his right shoe and undo the shoe lace, and then ties it back up again, all whilst he is asleep. He slept for a further fifteen minutes before awaking with a start and alighting the train at Retford. I would love to know what he was dreaming about.

The journey started in darkness, and as the train moves from station to station there are few reference points to where you are. You could be on a spaceship, with the specs of light far away stars, meteors and aliens! As the train passes Doncaster the dark aptly turns to grey with the tracksides littered with railway scrap and rubbish.

As the train reaches Leeds the driver announces: “This is your final destination.”

That’s a bleak thought. Leeds your final destination. It sounds like a horror film, “Leeds – Final Destination.” Then the driver offers some hope: “From here you can catch trains to the Midlands, or, should you wish to go to the dark side, cross the Penines to Manchester.”

So the sequel to my journey is, “Manchester – the Dark Side.”


Railway signals


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