My first Train Adventure
In early March I was asked if I would go to a Neurological Alliance Local Influencing members meeting at The Dana Centre in London.
I thought why not it could be very interesting.
Then I began to think about it, and over the next few days I pondered how to get there, should I drive or go by train.
The week before I decided to go by train, I had not been on one for nearly 40 years, and no it was not a steam train as a few people have jokingly said.
So on the Monday a few days before, I went to the station and purchased the ticket along with a senior rail card that gave me a reduced fare to London at peek times on Virgin trains.
On the morning I was up at 4am shower n shave then breakfast and coffee, the cats were waiting for food so they were fed, then time to get dressed, I’ve decided to take my newish manual wheelchair, got in the car turned the master switch on and the alarm started and that’s how I drove for the first couple of miles, alarm and hazard lights on and off.
Arrived 6.20am at the station parked up master switch off, saves jump start, into the lift and sat by the waiting room (step) few minutes before train came the guard took me down the platform,
Amazed the carriage stopped by the guard who then placed the ramp and pushed me up he apologised for pushing on my shoulders I said it was ok.
I found my reserved place brakes on and the train set off, I set up my tablet to read draft report from the Neurological Alliance, I could not get used to the motion of the train, so stopped reading.
A man sat opposite me and we started a conversation and after a while we stopped talking, later he fell asleep and snored which woke him
All too soon we arrived at Euston station, people moved to get off, it was one big rush, I made my way to the door and waited and waited, just as I was thinking I’d been forgotten a porter came on a buggy, placed the ramps and helped me down I managed to get on to the buggy, porter was amazed how light my chair was.
I was surprised how long the platform was and glad of the buggy ride along and up the steep ramp, where he left me by the mobility assist reception, he then told me about the lift to the taxis.
I then went in search of food, so many to choose from I chose ham/ cream cheese croissant, again something new for me but very enjoyable then coffee.
Time to go for a taxi into the lift down and wait, taxi came no new access cabs only old ones, once in I told the driver where I was going, 10 minutes later I arrived at the Dana Centre.
I pressed the call button and was let in and shown to the coffee bistro, I met the lady I needed to speak to and she told me the floor I had to go to, except I couldn’t leave(no pass) so wait for someone to let me out, into the lift and made my way to meeting room.
It’s a nice building very security conscious, pass keys needed on all floors,
Once in the room I was introduced to some of the people I would be with, I young lady asked how I became involved so I explained and told her about Vicki before I had finished she cried, I apologised for upsetting her she said it was alright as it’s an emotional story.
Meeting started introductions I said my name and that I am a Neuro champion for the Black County Neurological Alliance in Walsall.
We were put into 3 groups and I was to go in each one.
Lunch break then back to work shops, and finally we were finished, thank you for coming, a quick chat and I left.
Outside I went in search for a taxi, found one then back to Euston station, made my way to Mobility Assist and asked if I could travel earlier and was told yes, on the way to the platform I brought a large hot chocolate and free wheeled down the ramp and was pushed up the ramp into 1st class carriage, I didn’t have a drink just the free food.
Arrived back at Sandwell & Dudley station where the porter was waiting for me, he helped me off the train I thanked him and tweeted about the excellent service from Virgin rail staff.
In the car and arrived home very tired, had a coffee and went to bed before 9pm.
What a day I enjoyed the journey and have already planned my next one to Manchester for MSLife 2014 on 26th April.