One thing I won’t miss about London is running for a train.
You arrive on the Underground train at London Bridge station at near enough 10:11pm; your above ground train leaves the station at 10:14pm. If you miss it there is a 30 minute wait until the next one and you just want to get home so you can go to sleep! You have to cover the entire length of the station including 2 escalators (1 of which is one of the longest you may have ever ridden on) gates, steps and a large ramp. This can comfortably be done in about 5 minutes, you have just over 2 minutes, as trains often close and lock their doors up to 30 seconds before their leaving time.
Last night I played cricket in the park with my co-workers (story maybe another time ) and on the way home I had to run for the train. The Underground pulls into London Bridge and I am getting mentally and physically prepared to run. The door opens and I bust out onto the platform 1 bag on each shoulder. I run around the corner and up some stairs, more running and then the behemoth escalator. I sprint up it and by the time I reach the top my legs are on fire and the first normal steps I take on flat ground, my legs nearly give way. More running and then the ticket barrier, more running and another ticket barrier, then another escalator (shorter this time – thank Jesus), then more running up a ramp! I have made it to the train platform at 10:13 and 15 seconds, I get on the first door and even get a seat – but it is hard being normal on a train after all this physical exertion. You are breathing so heavy that I am sure everyone in a 6 foot radius is feeling it. You are very sweaty and your throat is hurting, at least mine was. You are happy you made the train, but wonder if it was worth it to run when you can’t even read a newspaper or look at your phone for fear of chucking from the nausea. Mark has a theory that a train a quarter past the hour is just a bad time and if it was at half past this wouldn’t happen so often. I am sceptical of this. :)