Becca Jane St Clair

Personal Blog

UK by Rail: The ‘Pools

Okay, I have no idea if they’re called The ‘Pools or not, but we went to both Liverpool and Blackpool this past weekend by rail from Rainhill, a town about 20 miles outside of Liverpool….and I’ve decided that Northern Rail is horrible! BOTH days were filled with delays and cancellations….and I got locked in a loo!

Day 1, we arrived at Rainhill to take the 10:28 into Liverpool around 10:15 or so….to find out that the train had been canceled and we would have to wait an hour for the 11:28. We debated driving into Liverpool instead, but by the time we got back to the hotel and the car (a 20-30 minute walk) and drove all the way to Liverpool, we wouldn’t have saved any time. Plus, we had special “Christmas Cracker” train tickets that only cost £1 for the round trip INCLUDING access to the Merseyrail electric line though the city. There was no way we’d find parking for that cheap! We had no other problems, and I’ll tell you all about what we did in a later entry, because I know you’re all dying to hear the stuck in a loo story.

Day 2. It seemed to be a typical thing for trains to be running late or not at all on the Northern Rail lines, and today was no exception. We found out we’d wind up missing our connecting train to Blackpool if we stayed at Rainhill, but the station master suggested a short bus ride to a nearby town where we could connect directly with a Blackpool bound train. Once we got to St. Helen’s, we found out the Blackpool line was also running on a delay, but we managed to catch the earlier (now delayed) train as a result.

I really had to use the toilet, and because we arrived at St. Helen’s with only a few minutes to spare, I was unable to use the toilet in the station. The trains are equipped with toilets though, so it wasn’t going to be a problem….only it was.

The toilets on the trains are designed to run with electrically powered doors. You press one button outside to open the door, one inside to close it, and another inside to lock. When you’re ready to leave the toilet, you press the top button that opens/unlocks. I pressed the button and the door moved maybe one or two centimeters. Thinking I hadn’t disengaged it properly, I hit the close and lock buttons again and tried for open/unlock. No such luck. I banged on the door and yelled “Help! The door to the toilet is stuck!” Of course, Tim was sitting in our seats all the way in the back end of the train, so he couldn’t hear me, but someone apparently did and alerted the conductor. I banged and called for help again, and I heard the conductor tell me he was going to try to get me out. He tried squeezing his fingers through the small gap, but was unable. He told me to wait, and he went and asked the driver to reset the toilet door. He then tried to press the open button, and it still wouldn’t budge. The conductor had to use his entire body weight to pry open the toilet door far enough for me to sneak out, after which I am sure a giant “out of order” sign got placed on the loo.

Further updates later!

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2 Comments so far

  1. airfare deals June 3rd, 2009 5:19

    This blog is very interesting,we enjoy reading this blog…………

  2. Rebecca June 3rd, 2009 18:04

    Thank you!

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