Last week Gerry and I boarded a late train to Scotland. We were going up for a quick visit and in order not to waste time, we travelled up on Sunday night after Gerry had finished the market.
I was very excited. I’d always wanted to travel on the sleeper. And I had imagined a train out of a Poirot story (without the murders of course). Lush carriages, red velvet, polite staff bringing you tea in silver pots. Somewhere deep inside I sort of knew this wouldn’t be the case, but that didn’t stop me from wishing. During that train journey I learned a lot.
Here are a couple of things to remember about the sleeper.
1. Always let the guard in your carriage know you’ve arrived, as soon as you step on to the train. Otherwise he will accost you in the dining cart just as you’re getting your miniature bottle of wine and in a loud voice ask you who you are and if you happen to have a ticket, before telling you off for not letting him know you’ve arrived. The other passengers in the dining cart might or might not snigger about this. Top tip, don’t piss off the train staff.
2. Don’t be a claustrophobic.
3. Order the continental breakfast.
4. Set your alarm and check when the train is supposed to arrive at your destination. No one will tell you when to get off.
5. Be a deep sleeper.
It took me a while to get used to the swaying motion of the train, but the bed was actually quite comfortable and if the staff hadn’t been so grumpy it might actually have been quite a pleasant experience. What was really nice was waking up in Scotland, knowing no time had been lost.
Extra, extra! The New York series is out! Please help support our Kickstarter campaign.