Trains in the Snow

We’ve had a little snow. It’s now progressed from ‘it has snowed, everything is broken’ to ‘ok, we can handle this’.

I’m gonna disregard the fact that am sitting on a train which isn’t moving. Although apparently that’s because of a man, not a fault.

So, I had an early finish when bus services in my area gave up, and an unexpected day off when they didn’t restart. I wasn’t supposed to be at work yesterday and I’m on the way right now.

Social media is equal parts people angry and public transport and people praising it (I’m in the praise category, it might take me hours to get somewhere, but I get there alive). Bus drivers have helped me with tickets when I was loaded down with babies and bread, trying to get home with food.

However, there’s not so much on social media about other stuff. A lady got on my train wearing a dressing gown. My first thought? I am continually surprised by the randomness of these journeys.

Then I realised it was a group of homeless people, who were probably using the trains to keep warm. That’s not unusual at all. But the number of seen this morning on 2 trains is more than I’d normally see in a month.

As always, I have my iPod. I was listening to Sam Baker’s song ‘Snow’:

Pass a stranger on the street, he’s way out of sorts, he says ‘hey mister, I came up short, you got any change, the Lord loves a giver I believe’ Small change to a stranger, change on the street, change to a man who thought he’d never get beat

But small change doesn’t do a lot. Homeless people on the train never ask for money (I imagine they’d get reported and thrown off the train, I know buskers do). But if I’d given them what I had (about £11 I think), it wouldn’t have fixed anything, or made anything better.

Before I moved buildings I few weeks ago, I’d travel through a bus station each day on my way to work. There were some older men who mostly live in the bus station. They don’t seem to bother anyone, they sleep there and get up and move out when the station manager comes in. People buy them tea and coffee to drink.

One, particularly cold morning, having felt bad about this for a while, I contacted an outreach team to see if they could help. There answer was? ‘We’ve already tried’. So.. the promise of a hot meal, somewhere to go…. it wasn’t enough to get these guys to accept help. So what would be? How do we help people get past whatever it is that’s keeping them where they are?

I guess everyone is stuck somewhere to some degree. Maybe we’re all just waiting for the right help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.