Wacky Races: How our reporter fared as he took the train to work

I secretly thought that I had an outside chance of winning this race as we were setting off. Roughly a 10-minute walk to the station, hop on a 15-minute train to Leeds, then another 10 minutes to the office if I got a wiggle on. Sounds simple enough.

Saturday, 24th February 2018, 1:00 pm
Updated Saturday, 24th February 2018, 1:20 pm
Our reporter John Blow took the train in our wacky race across Leeds.

But it seems the Murphy’s law adage – “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” – is one commuters using rail services in Leeds should bear in mind.

Starting off on foot from Stanhope Avenue at 8.10am, I only just miss the 8.23am service from Horsforth station to Leeds.

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Our reporter John Blow took the train in our wacky race across Leeds.

It isn’t too long a wait for the next service at 8.36am, though any ambition of getting to the office first has now gone, and the beginning of a long, cold wait begins.

The first familiar announcement comes soon after as it emerges a broken down train is delaying services. The 8.36am then disappears from the board.

The 8.51am service now billed at the top is not expected until 8.54am... then at 9.02am... then 9.07am... and then finally 9.11am.

Meanwhile, the familiar lack of reliability begins to grate as some people leave the platform to “risk the bus”, as one man put it, and face apologetic calls to their managers.

Our reporter John Blow took the train in our wacky race across Leeds.

A train actually arrives at 9.02am, though with too few seats for irritated passengers to use.

Before I finally reach the office at 9.36am, my colleague who travelled by bus rings to check up on me. I’ll be taking the bus with her next time...

Find out how everyone else got on in our wacky race across Leeds by clicking the links below...