I spent over ten years doing this journey every day of the week. I’m very relieved I am retired now. I still do the same journey sometimes but now I don’t have to travel in the rush hour and if there are delays it doesn’t matter so much. The journey when it went well wasn’t bad at all. It wasn’t too long and I was usually able to sit down and read the newspaper. It was quite pleasant as long as there were no annoying people having loud phone conversations. But generally it was fine and not a bad way to begin and end a busy day in the city. The problems and stress came with the all too frequent delays and cancellations. It was extremely frustrating, especially as I was paying so much money for my ticket. The cost was much too high in my opinion. I am glad I don’t have to pay that anymore.
The most memorable train journey I have ever been on was between Moscow and St Petersburg in Russia. We were about 17 years old and on a school trip to see the places we were studying in our Russian history lessons. We spent three days in Moscow then took the overnight train to St Petersburg. I remember feeling really excited about it. I had never been on an overnight train journey before. We went to the theatre on our last evening in Moscow and then went straight to the station to get on the train at about 11 pm. There were four of us in each room and our whole group occupied about two carriages of the train. Our teachers were very aware of the dangers of travelling by train at night in Russia and warned us never to walk around the train on our own. They told us to go in groups of three to the toilets so that two people could wait outside together while one person went in. That frightened us a little but nothing happened. I don’t think we slept much; we stayed up most of the night talking, but I remember waking up in the morning and realising it was daylight outside and that we were in a completely new city. It was amazing.
We decided to travel by train because it was cheap and it only took three hours. Also, I thought a train journey through the desert would be interesting and different. In reality it wasn’t quite as much fun as I had hoped. We got to the station in plenty of time and got our tickets without too much difficulty. The chaos started when we went out to the platform. It appeared that everyone else in the station was also planning to get on the same train as us. It was really crowded. When the train arrived it was a real fight to get on and all the seats were occupied in seconds.; My friend and I got separated in the confusion but there was no way we could move so we just had to stand where we were and hold on. My friend managed to sit down after about an hour but I had to stand for the whole three hours. The scenery was quite spectacular in places but the train was hot and uncomfortable.