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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sorry but … er … 

Occasionally, when my train arrives late at Charing Cross there is an apology given over the tannoy. There is usually some reason given even if it is just the standard “train operating difficulties” which means that the train is broken.

I’ve noticed that for the past few times the announcer gets so far through the message before pausing:

“We’d like to apologise to passengers who have just arrived on platform 6 for the late running of this service. This is due to …”

Then we have the tiniest of pauses. It’s small but noticeable.

“… train operating difficulties.”

“… a trackside fire at Hither Green.”

“… congestion in the London Bridge area.”

“… a passenger being taken ill on an earlier train.”

The pause is probably due to the announcer (and it is a real person, I can tell) rattling off the first part without even thinking and then having to look up the reason for the delay but to us passengers it does sound like he is making it up as he goes along.

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