Journey on a Train
A distant rumbling started echoing through the darkened tunnel, swiftly surging into a thundering gallop; you always hear them before you see them.
Next, came the dull amber glow that became brighter and stronger as the tube plunged its way forward finally arriving with a screeching halt at the overcrowded and dusty platform. The doors yawned open and a rush of persistent people came flooding out of the carriages, followed by a surge of impatient people swooping in to replace them. The fortunate ones will score a lumpy seat – still warm from the previous occupier and no matter what the weather is like outside, it is always sticky and sweaty on London’s infamous underground.
Squished like sardines (I was not one of the fortunate ones to score a seat), the train rolled on, visiting another two stations before coming to an unscheduled halt in the middle of a pitch black tunnel. Then without warning the florescent lights inside of the carriages switched off! It made for a toxic formula: intense humidity, over crowdedness and intense darkness. However, worse was the terrifying knowledge that we were stuck far beneath the surface. This is the stuff nightmares thrive on…
Phones started appearing everywhere like strange looking stars, at least it made for some relief from the dark. I could hear coughs and a few children crying, there was a lady having what appeared to be a panic attack and someone attempting to reassure her. It was a very intense, anxiety filled few minutes!
Not a moment too soon, the lights blinked back on. People quickly regained their composure and a few seconds later a guard appeared in our carriage, announcing in a hoarse voice that we were to be assisted off the tube and walk through this looming tunnel to the next platform. The doors swiftly opened and there were Fire Fighters at the ready. I was guided down and formed the procession of shocked and startled Londoners.
Finally, we reached the glorious station platform. I had never felt so relived – I almost kissed the filthy platform floor! As I rode the escalators up towards daylight and fresh air, I vowed to cycle to work from now on!