Browsing the magazine section at WHSmith in Heathrow’s Terminal 5, I come across ‘Modern Railways‘, one of many UK-based rail mags. Of the lot, its cover is most appealing to me – a special issue on ‘150 years of the Underground‘. Without further ado, I drop a few more quid than planned, and pack it in to my carry-on bag.
Despite my best intentions, the magazine remains there till its time to use the bag again – on a short trip to Bombay i.e. Reading it on the flight out of Delhi, I discover, to my utmost delight, that special runs are planned in London to commemorate the occasion – starting on the 13th of January – the very day I will be transiting through the city again 😉
It is a chilly, gray January morning in London (shocker!) as I make my way from the Tube station to my cousin’s pad in Hampstead. A quick, but rather filling, breakfast in his neighbourhood, and then we’re off on our jaunt – me willingly, him not so!
Scurrying between the Northern Line platforms and those of the sub-surface lines at Moorgate, I glance at my watch – 12:08 – two minutes to departure! Rushing through the final stairwell, I exclaim, ‘I can smell it’. My excitement is contained momentarily by a tensile barrier, as I join hundreds of onlookers, who, like me, haven’t been fortunate enough to get a seat on the coveted train. Regardless, we’ve made it here, and just in time to watch her depart…