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Hearts sink as the display updates from showing wildly inaccurate times to showing Delayed, Delayed, Delayed from top to bottom. “Signalling fault at Bournemouth”, it says, and we know then that all hope is lost.
It is April now, and somewhere lilac trees and fields of dandelions are blooming. But here, fat drops of rain fall from steel-grey skies, and cranes tower high above the tunnel through which trains refuse to come.
I look up at the departure board again. My train has disappeared; perhaps it never existed. The next train is the 0604 to London Waterloo, some ghost in the machine of a train that has long since departed or never existed either.
Clanking in the distance suggests that someone may be trying to fix the signalling fault with a hammer.
My fellow commuters and I do not look hopeful.