The 0640, delays, and arcing

Time was when I got the 0640 (train to London) every day: five days a week, week-in week-out.

I’m lucky enough to enjoy a much better work-life balance these days, only needing to go into London two or three days a week. Actually I rather like the mix; plus on my London days I’m able to take a more sensible train, which even allows time for a civilised breakfast.

Today though I needed to be in London early, so it was up at 5, and onto a very chilly platform at 0630. First up was a 9-minute delay due to ‘failed track-side equipment’. This having been fixed, there were further problems, due to ‘power car failure in the Corby Glen area’. I’m not quite sure why this locational information was deemed important and I suspect most of my fellow would-be travellers had never heard of Corby Glen and so were unaware that it’s in South Kesteven (Lincolnshire), lies mainly to the north of the A151 (a former toll road), and to the east of the West Glen River (near where the Glen flows through a small graben in the Jurassic limestone).

By this time the display board had switched ominously to ‘delayed’ rather than specifying when the train would arrive. However power was somehow restored and we eventually trundled off 40 minutes late. (I’d allowed sufficient time to make my meeting).

What turned the whole thing into a positive, was the combination of very cold air with darkness: every pantograph on every train produced electrical arcing. It really was most mesmerising. I have no pictorial evidence – you’ll just have to take my word for it.

For more on arcing – read here.


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