When I first came down here trains were wrongfooted every Autumn by rotting leaves falling on the track and causing the wheels to lose adhesion. I used to fantasise that there was someone, somewhere, whose only job was to think up a new euphemism for this phenomenon. We had `leaf-fall problems,' `leaf-fall season,' `track adhesion problems,' and a number of others, but basically all it meant was that our trains were late.
Then we had the memorable year when we had the wrong kind of snow. It was dry and powdery and it got sucked into a place on the trains where snow is not meant to be, but all it meant was that our trains were late.
Summers were not immune. The heat causes the tracks to warp, you see...
And now the trains are too heavy.
I shook my head in despair when I read this - as, I suspect, did many commuters. But really this is a magnificent excuse, and I congratulate Southern, Southwest Trains and the Southeastern companies involved in this fiasco. I had honestly thought that the leaves and the snow and the heat had exhausted their stupidity, but they've managed to surprise me again.
The trains are too heavy. God help us.