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Got a call from my kids on the train this morning, five minutes after they should have arrived at school-town station. Apparently it was snowing heavily - which was a bit surreal, as there was no sign of it here, only five miles away - and they were going to "try to roll it back into XXX intermediate-village station, and it's not going any further. They're telling us to get off there and get a lift." Luckily OH was still here, having a slightly lazy start to his day, so he headed off immediately to XXX station to pick them up, while I phoned the school. (It's a good job he was here, because my car is in for service and a new suspension spring, so they'd have been stuck on a snowy station.)

"I’ve just had a call from my boys on the train ..."

"Yes, we’ve heard there are delays."

"They’ve been told they’re going back to XXX."

"Well we’ve heard that the trains are being delayed by 45 minutes, that’s all."

This kind of thing is becoming quite a problem. My boys are the only ones who use that particular line to get to school, and not only do the school entirely fail to understand that being a branch it's a lower priority for the train company to sort out, but that the website completely fails to reflect what's actually happening. In this particular case the website just wiped that train out of existence once it arrived back at station XXX, so there's no record of what really happened. So the school check a train website, and phone the bus company, and anyone whose journey is not covered by any problems they discover is deemed to have gone AWOL - or in modern edu-speak, to be committing Unauthorised Absence.

So I reiterated what I'd been told - "They're going to try to roll the train back to XXX and they've been advised to get off and get a lift."

"So are they not coming in?" For God's sake, how do I know? I'm in a different town and it's not even snowing here yet. So I said we'd make a decision once they were safely collected from the station.

By the time they got back here the snow had stopped and the roads were fairly clear, so off they went again, by car. At which point the website suddenly "found" their train again and indicated that it was underway and would arrive at school-town in four minutes. Oh, great. So now they're going to be later than they would have been had they stayed on the train.

Finally, at 9:30 I discovered that the train had arrived at their station at 9:20, so they were still better off getting a lift. And the train website has gone down, but luckily I have a screen-grab of the actual arrival information for the school and for the delay-repay, unless the train company find another way of getting out of that one. And now OH tells me he dropped them at school at 9:30, so there we go - all safe and sound eventually, but what a palaver.

My day - as in when I get to decide what to do and in what order - is supposed to start at 07:20. It's now 10:00. Blah.




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