Southern Fail: the biggest cliché of 2016.

How did we get here? I barely even knew what a ‘cancelled’ train looked like before 2016. It was the rarest occurrence; and I am bewildered at how preposterous the south coast has become in terms of transportation and mood.

I would understand the failure of a train to get to its station, or leave its departing point, if the railway tracks were sticking up into the air so that if a train attempted to drive across it, it would instead fly so high up into the sky that the train would literally be the cow that jumped over the moon. However, I hate to say that, in Southern Rail’s case, it is not the case.

Let me tell you a little story about an event that happened to me the other day:

I had just left college, after an extremely tough lesson of staring at a computer screen as if I could not look anywhere else. After leaving a quarter-of-an-hour early for a train that I had to get in order to get home with my legs still attached to my body, or my brain still functioning without electrodes attached to it. So I was walking, and walking, and walking to the train station where, my only railway line is Southern rail. Before 2016, I could hardly even acknowledge the brand of Southern rail, but now it is like a ringing in my head that will just not stop ringing! – the trains that will just not stop cancelling themselves.

So, I got to the train station with a nine-minute delay on my train. This, in comparison to the disasterous train fails that had befallen our tracks before, was a pleasant tragedy, even though when I left college seven minutes before this moment, it was on time.

Over the bridge I went to my side of the tracks – which is, as an unwritten rule, the wrong side of the tracks. It is always the side that suffers more. Going to Portsmouth Harbour, or Southampton Central, you are doomed until the dawn breaks – even then, by nine o’clock the following morning, you are once again doomed. Why do I have to live on this line?

I walked along the platform, past the other passengers who were just red with their imploding rage about Southern and their incompetencies. A few minutes passed, with my train getting delayed by one minute, each minute, an announcement sounded loud in my ears:

We are sorry to announce that, the 15.14 Southern service to, Portsmouth and Southsea has been cancelled, due to a shortage of train crew. 

Oh, the fury that entered my system. I looked around the platform, where I could physically see the furious lava spewing out of everybody’s ears. It burned.

Southern do not think about how their actions hurt their customers. I had to wait minutes on end to figure out a solution for how to get home, as no train would get me home into the warmth of my bed and the material of my pyjamas and the hot chocolate roasting my hands instead of the icy breeze I had to suffer through standing outside the train station.

I finally found a ride home. But it was another half-an-hour wait for this ride, due to the traffic bustling in the roads like a school of fish trying to swim through a piece of toffee – which was INEVITABLY caused by people being unable to ride the public transport that used to make people smile, but now I cannot imagine anyone smiling at the security cameras on the carriages; instead, they will be disabling the cameras so that they will light the train on fire and run away conviction-free.

I don’t know if that has ever happened.

Anyhow, the trouble that Southern rail has caused makes me nauseous. It has made the south coast corrupt. I am now referencing to the company as it. It does not have the right to a name anymore. They took our happy little hearts and tore them into tiny little hearts, and then were broken into broken hearts so that we can barely love or lust or like or feel luxury. It is for their own enjoyment; nothing but.

Does anyone know what the strikes are even for now? The conductors are unhappy, the drivers are unhappy, the passengers are unhappy, and the only person who is glowing with evil happiness is whoever manipulated the disgust that is Southern rail.

I feel completely and utterly exasperated with the failure of this year. We all need a new start in 2017 – which, I know is not going to happen due to the already planned strikes that are going to take place. Are these Southern’s New Year’s Resolutions? To make as many people miserable that they can inhumanly manage?

And on behalf of the rest of my peers who are feeling distressed about life in general:

Southern Rail, if you are going to die, please just do it. Stop being a half-hearted animal holding onto life when everyone knows you will die eventually. But unlike an animal, you have control over whether you die or whether you survive. Just please, PLEASE, just hurry up and decide. We are hungry for an ordered and peaceful world, and you are destroying our hearts and brains and psyches.

And, in the words of Tennessee Williams in A Streetcar Named Desire: ‘They told me to take a streetcar named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries…’ – Southern Rail, please either be Desire, with the positive connotations blooming our spirits, or Cemeteries, and crash and burn and let another company take over. Don’t be somewhere between life and death, positive and negative, as you will end up being sectioned for your own prophetic madness, like our dear friend Blanche that rode on Desire, then on Cemeteries; you do not want to end up like that. Or do you?

Bravo, bravo.

-ALWright

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