I was in Elgin today, the last trip in what has been a very busy week.
Only 45 minutes away from Inverness, I always feel somewhat cheated after that journey – I am so much more used to longer train journeys (Edinburgh is over three hours, for instance) that it seems less satisfying, less like a proper train trip, when I get off at Elgin.
“What, you call this a train journey?” I feel like saying. “It can’t be – I’m not bored witless, my laptop’s not run out of battery, and I can still feel my bum!”
And as anyone who has ever done the line east of Inverness will know, the automated on-board voice has a bit of a problem with Forres. It seems to overlook it at every opportunity: “This train is for Aberdeen. This train will call at Nairn, Elgin, Huntly…” and no Forres after Nairn.
You feel like there’s some sinister going on after Nairn, when the voice pipes up “We are now approaching.” But my favourite, which always raises a chuckle among fellow passengers, is “The next stop is please mind the gap when alighting from this train.”
Presumably it’s a technical fault, but it’s been like that on all the trains on that route for a long, long time. I guess Scotrail must have it in for Forres.
I can’t pass any judgement on the home of the can-cans myself, never having stopped there in all my years of travelling that line or the A96. And if I wanted to, I guess the glitch would make me miss the stop…