by Michael Burton
In a desperate attempt to improve punctuality statistics Northern Rail have decided to do away with any timetabling of trains.
The decision comes after a recent survey, in which members of the public were asked what they thought of Northern Rail’s services, caused 57 people to break down in tears, 12 suicides and 4 miscarriages. Northern Rail strongly deny responsibility for the miscarriages, claiming it to be, ” a series of unfortunate coincidences”.
However, Andrew Peevesman, Head of Railway Pathology at Hull Royal Hospital, says that the word, ‘carriage’ can refer to key part of train, and that this could have caused, what he terms, ” death by association”.
In in a press release issued this morning, Northern Rail stated: ” the perpetual misery, infuriation and not to mention, the miscarriages, caused by our inability to arrive at the time we say we will, has forced a drastic change within our company. Beginning on the 1st October, all timetabling of trains will cease. This will ensure that all our trains will be on time, as there will be no time to adhere to.
Our belief is that, when a train arrives at a platform, travellers will feel lucky, almost as if they’d witnessed something rare and beautiful, like a doe and her fawn in a woodland clearing. It will become an anecdote for the day; ‘I was at the train station today and then a train came. Oh really? How nice.”
We hope that in the near future, when people think of Northern Rail, feelings of fury, suicide, and a foetus dying inside them, will be replaced with a slight pang of delight. We can but dream…”
Dream, though they may, scepticism is rife.
Martin Henshaw, a 47 year old Construction worker from the North-West, is highly pessimistic about the change. He is not without reason: in July 2012, Martin took a 3 stop journey from Huyton to Whiston. He missed his son’s birth, his mum’s death, a tattoo appointment, a postal package delivery, his son’s christening, his mum’s funeral, a dentist appointment, 12 salsa lessons, a Wrestlemania, and his son’s first words -‘fire drill’. Upon, hearing of the decision, Martin was the first to tweet, “They’ll probably still be late.”
The dry witted quip was re-tweeted by over 1300 people. For an hour Martin seemed to matter.
“The inevitable worry is that people will be on the platform when a train arrives, check the time and assume this is the time a train will always arrive, thus the cycle of disappointment will begin anew.”