04 September 2010

Helpful signs at railway stations

I enjoyed this sign at Plockton station, up in the Highlands, the other day. Useful information, it says: There is no taxi rank in the vicinity of this station. There are no bus stops near this station. Good job I had a bike, then.

And this one, displayed on the window of a Northern Rail service between Harrogate and York. It lists the lengths the company will go to to protect their staff against abuse: Whether it's swearing, shouting or spitting, we will do everything in our power to stop anti-social behaviour and protect our people in the course of their duties.

Well, if it takes swearing, shouting or spitting to protect your people, that's what you have to do.


  1. Hmm. Giving the phone number of the nearest taxi company would be rather more useful (Plockton Taxis, 01599 544389.)

    Plockton station soundded a bit bleak, so I looked it up on Google street view. It actually looks quite charming; I see it has cycle parking (Sheffield stands), and the station building is now a restaurant called "off the rails".

  2. You should send stuff like this to PRIVATE EYE, who would pay you for reproducing it in their organ.

    With the money you could then afford to buy that cycle helmet you have always dreamed of.

  3. The Off the Rails restaurant is actually a holiday-let cottage, though I'd be uncomfortable with the idea of passengers waiting on the platform outside peering into my bedroom window. There's not much other entertainment, especially given the lack of taxi ranks and bus stops.

    Plockton itself is gorgeous, and incongruously Devonish. The train ride between it and Inverness is quite stunningly beautiful, lined with lochs and mountains all the way.

    I did the journey in the company of a group of mature people on a railway-journey conspectus of the Highlands. Most of them spent the journey reading their brochures on the beauty of the line instead of looking at the scenery, but they had a point: there was just so much damn scenery you got a bit tired after a while.

  4. @Freewheeler - I've only just noticed your comment being queued up for publication, and have allowed it through. It had been filed away under 'Spam'...

  5. What a strangely petty comment - you know Rob doesn't want a helmet, he believes in the juju of hi-viz....

  6. @Tim - I thought it was rather amusing, and meant sardonically. But then I'm someone who finds Shostakovich hilarious, so there you go.

    (Seriously, I do find his music laugh-out-loud funny - I once wrote an article on how uproariously funny his 24 Preludes Op 87 are. When I did a music degree as a mature student in 2005, I was amused in one lecture to have my own article quoted at me. Of course, I disagreed with it. See it at

  7. Yes, that might explain something or other. But even I know that he wrote a few jolly foxtrots and ragtimes.