6:00am I am privellaged to be travelling in the comforts of a French train in the early hours of the morning(i'm not talking TGV or 1st class here). This was just your simple train with stuffy carriages and barely no leg room in between the seats. The seats are reclining however the hard head piece stops you from being able to travel in comfort. I've been trying to sleep for the last hour but it's just not happening. This could have somthing to do with my stiff neck or maybe because the guy in the seat infront has his "reading light" on, and well because I'm sat next to a complete stranger as a result of having been forced to sit apart from my friends due to a lack of seats.
6:05am The train suddenly starts shaking and we can hear a loud screaching noise and as the train comes to a sudden hault the odour of burning rubber surrounds us. Everyone is awake now and staring around wide eyed and in bewilderment. Everyone is sharing their theories on what has just happened.
The guy infront of me thinks we've hit something, others think we've run over an animal.
"Attention Madames et monsieurs" comes a male voice from the loud speakers. They inform us that we've gone over a piece of broken rail track. Almost instantly everyone picks up their mobiles and start phoning people complaining about how the train has stopped and how they are going to be late. My friends and me where complaining about going to be late as we were travelling to Barcelona and how the delay was disrupting our plans.
6.25am They inform us that the train has derailed. Yet again people are on their phones everyone knows this is going to take a long time and people are starting to get peeved.
6.27am "If there is anyone with any medical experience please come to the front of the train" comes the next message. People are now starting to worry, there must be somebody hurt if they have said this. We put it down to somebody who might have fallen over during the turbulance.
6:30am Outside we can see flashing blue lights coming from an ambulance, slowly more ambulances seem to be arriving and there are even fire trucks. Some paramedics come through into the train to see if anybody was hurt, but in my carriage everyone was fine.
We thought they were just being cautious. With every message they delivered they always insisted that the train doors remain closed and that we stay inside the train at all times.
6:32am All the lights in the train are almost off and some have even gone back to sleep whilst others are still talking about what had just happened.
6:45am Fire engines and trucks with all sorts of equipment were arriving. We were guessing they were trying to get the train back on the tracks.
We are still stopped and there are flashing lights everywhere. A couple of my friends went to a door to peek out and they saw that it was the actual front bit that had derail
ed and not the back as we had previously thought.
7:05am We are informed that the train did in fact hit something it had crashed against a car at a level crossing. This had forced the front to derail. That explained the screeching sound, it was the car being dragged by the train.
8:30am We are still waiting. They announce that the three people who had been travelling in the car have died. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as a shiver went down my spine. I never thought it would have been that serious.
9:00am The train reverses back to the next station and we continue the journey by coach.
When I started writing this it was meant to be a summary about how annoying travelling by train can be. However due to the change in events that occurred whilst I was writing this I came to realise the extent of my pettiness, worrying about my trip being delayed, especially when I think of what those three young men must have gone through in the few seconds before their lives where ended.
Since the accident I have found out more about what happened.
The three men that were killed, were soldiers, they were parachutists to be more exact. They were all in there 20’s and were returning from a night club. Three lives where lost because a traffic light wasn’t working properly. To think that we had been sitting comfortably, safe and in the warmth complaining about how our weekend was being disrupted, when our train had taken the lives of three young men, and their bodies are now lifeless and cold. Whilst we still have our lives and our petty problems.