On Saturday, I embarked on a trip to Wales and I happened to have the misfortune to travel when there were problems with a set of signals in the Trent valley. That meant that a connection from Stoke-on-Trent to Crewe was late because it was a London Midland service from London to Crewe. That meant that my planned journey from Macclesfield to Bangor no longer was possible.
The 13:13 London Midland service turned up after the 13:34 East Midlands service from Derby so I was travelling on that instead. The result was that the 13:49 Virgin train to Chester left without me even with its being delayed too. It was the 14:23 Arriva Trains Wales service that got me there where I caught a train to Llandudno Junction from where I took another to Bangor, where I arrived at 16:35 and not at 15:28 as I had hoped. Even so, no serious damage was done to my plans and I enjoyed a lovely sunny evening regardless.
That last outbound train spent longer in Conwy than expected. A train conductor had not warned cyclists that they needed to be at the centre of the train to disembark. The result was that the rest of us were left waiting while the cyclists realised where they needed to be and made their way there. Only for having the man staffing the refreshments trolley in our carriage, quite a few of us would been ignorant of what was going on. It was another example of a day when trains were in no hurry.
On the return journey the next day, there was only one delay and that was due to train coupling in Llandudno Junction. The sunny weather had lured a fair few folk to the north Wales coast so Arriva Trains Wales were making sure at least one of their services was long enough to convey all who came to catch it, something from which other operators would do well to learn. Six minutes may have been lost but that was no perturbation to my journey home because there was enough slack to cope with it. My arrival time in Macclesfield didn’t have to change like that in Bangor the day before.