Letter to The Guardian 31 July 2023
When I was eight-and-a-half months pregnant, I travelled by train from London to a friend's wedding in the Scottish Highlands. On the way back, the train pulled into the town of Pitlochry and an announcement was made: we would stop here for 10 minutes. I decided to go for a short walk along the platform.
Instantly, the train doors shut behind me and it pulled away - with my sleeping husband, phone, wallet, etc inside. I ran after it banging on the window but it continued on its way southwards. I looked about and there wasn't another soul on the platform.
As I considered whether to laugh or cry, I made my way towards the ticket office, hoping against hope that there might be someone there (it was a Sunday). Miraculously, there was. He radioed ScotRail to confirm that the wrong announcement had been made, and they agreed to pay for a taxi to Perth and to inform my husband to alight there.
While I sometimes wonder what my new life as a single mum in Pitlochry might have been like, I'm rather glad the ticket office was staffed.