27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43
If Dr Richard Beeching had tried to pull the same stunt in France they would have frog (sorry, no pun) marched him into the nearest town square and guillotined him. Whilst Britain was applying yet another cut in its attempt at national suicide by closing three quarters of the country’s regional railway network France was busy extending theirs. They’re still at it. Laying new tracks and building new roads and autoroutes (motorways). If you buy a new GPS mapping system for France on Tuesday rest assured it will be out of date by Thursday.
Thus we have a nice shiny new train serving all the villages in our valley. No one actually uses it yet of course because everyone is too busy swerving to avoid head on collisions by driving down the middle of all our new roads. We do admire it though and as we’re French we admire trains enormously. Just like we admire the bicycles that meander five abreast around blind bends on the old roads we haven’t yet got around to replacing.
I walked into our village the other day to admire our new train but was disappointed to find the little halt and platform was a good half kilometre or so outside the village. A couple of railway workmen were busy bolting new seats in place for passengers to use in the little glass box that is to serve as a waiting room and so I asked them -
“Why is the station so far from the village?”
“Vous Anglais are very stoopid.” came the reply “It is so that it is near to the line.”
I wish I hadn’t asked now.
I’ve finished train spotting now.
For the day anyway.