The Railway Magazine

Late Turn on ‘The Lanky’

November 1952

THE station waiting room was cold during the summer months, but now in the late-November evening the cold was penetrating even when wearing the heaviest of coats A fire was burning in the hearth with a weak flame at the head of the room but this gave out little heat Wearing a hat and coat the woman had entered the empty room a few minutes earlier carrying a wicker shopping basket, walking slowly down the room she had sat in her usual position on the bench seat alongside the fireplace

From here, through the window she could observe  the station clock, suspended from a cantilever arm and held high above the platform Watching the clock intently she rose from her seat as the big hand did its final little movement to pause at exactly five minutes past the hour After straightening her coat and holding her basket she walked slowly down the room before opening the door that led onto the platform.

Here, she hesitated, a man holding a brief case and umbrella, who looked like a bank manager was standing close to the door.

He tipped his hat in acknowledgement, smiling weakly at her before she continued and passed him by

Walking down the platform alongside the waiting room wall she halted as she reached the end of the building.

Soon, a whistle was heard from within the tunnel prior to the station platform, and with a glance up at the clock, the woman moved towards the end of the platform as the train exited the tunnel directly onto the platform track before grinding noisily to a halt The cab of the tank locomotive

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