Every Sunday evening, returning from the bliss of my grandmother’s house in the South Downs, I had to contend with Three Bridges.
I will forever associate the place with the dreaded Rail Replacement Service.
Scarcely can I recall a Sunday without it. We would get on at in Lewes only to get off again at Haywards Heath. There, miserable at the prospect of another week of school and rain and winter and cold and swimming lessons and more cold and more school, I would stand, with all the other suicidally depressed “customers” of the railway company (BR still in those days) waiting for some decrepit bus with steamed out windows.
The cramped, humid and cold bus ride to this imaginary town of Three Bridges (A once Thomas the Tank Enginesque hamlet subsumed by the urban “experiment” that is Crawley) was interminable.
Today I read that 300 passengers were stuck there overnight after their train broke down. They had to sleep in the train, with staff going to 24 hour petrol stations in order to feed them. They were not picked up until 6:30am. Still they shouldn’t complain; at least the carriages had heating.
Three Bridges Station = purgatory