Friday, 28 May 2010

A day in the life of George, a railway engine driver

Another piece of creative writing.

Four thirty in the morning, dark, cold, it’s November. George’s alarm has just jolted him from slumber. He shuffles to the kitchen; tea, a slice of toast.

‘Where’s that new marmalade? I like that.”
No paper yet, he’ll get one in Birmingham. The 5.37 to New Street awaits George. A second cup of tea while constructing the sarnies.
Into the car, streets deserted, an uneventful drive to the depot to pick up his train, Cherry red, two doors, 3,800 horse power, 50,000 pounds plus of tractive effort;16 years old but well maintained.

5.24, he pulls the train up to platform 8. Just enough time for a quick smoke before the off. He has a green, the guard has belled him, ease off, gently does it, public on board now. George is thinking about his allotment, some flowers but mostly vegetables; leeks, cabbages, carrots.
“Potatoes will need lifting this weekend”, he thought. “I’ll do it Sunday, I’m on cover but Pete is fit as a fiddle, never off sick.”
Kings Junction, check the clock, bang on time. Kingsbridge in 3 minutes.
“I’ll have pie and peas for lunch, at the Shipwrights Arms, a glass of lemon and lime too.” He decided, “I’ll have the sarnies on the flip run.”

A shrill whistle from the dapper looking stationmaster at Kingsbridge and another green. Smoothly off, and George pulls away for the long straight towards the summit, not much of a summit but enough to slow the old girl down a bit.

“Bugger! I can’t go to the allotment Sunday” he realized, “Promised Elsie I’d paper the living room.”
Garret’s Green in 4 minutes, past the pretty signal box.
“I wish my allotment looked like the garden around it”, thought George, more than a little jealously.

Half an hour later he was snugging up the loco to the buffers on platform 6 at New Street; an hour and forty minutes before the reverse leg of his day. Pie and peas, read the paper, back to the station.

George was pulling on the car handbrake in his drive at 3.28 in the afternoon. He realized he had not spoken a word to another soul all day, other than to order his lunch; and that only by chance. He could have eaten the sarnies in the drivers den, never a body in there weekdays.

“Never mind, Elsie always says I’m an anti-social, old git anyway.” He chuckled to himself and made up his mind to lift the potatoes that afternoon.

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