I’d like to take a moment to commend the folks at Sydney Trains (www.sydneytrains.info) for the impeccable service they provided me. Whilst staying in Sydney, my friend and I were living with a Vietnamese couple out in Carramar – which is around an hours commute from Sydney City Centre.
On one particular day when visiting Manly Beach with some buddies, we were unexpectedly hit with one of the most impressive storms I’ve ever personally witnessed. Honestly, it was like a scene from the movie Independence Day – you know the one where Will Smith flies a fighter jet and simultaneously attempts to kick some extra-terrestrial butt?!
This storm was fierce! We took refuge in a wedding reception which happened to be the only place that had some shelter from the onslaught – thus also rendering us wedding crashers in the process. Not only was the rain torrential but there was a gigantic electrical storm to go with it. I have to admit – it was pretty epic.
Anyhow, soon enough the storm passed and before long the blazing sun was back out and we were relishing in the evening happiness. It wasn’t until later when we tried to make our way back to Carramar that we knew something was up. We’d heard murmurings of train disruptions and something about lightening hitting the tracks – but we had no alternative way of getting home so we just went with it.
Sure enough though, around half way back to Carramar we were all instructed to get off the train and take the replacement bus the rest of the way. Now in most cases this is where the story would end – I’m pretty familiar with how a replacement bus works – hell, I took my fair share of them whilst living in New Zealand. But this time was different… the staff on the station where we had to get off saw that I was travelling in my wheelchair and weren’t content to let me get on the bus. Of course – usually I’m resistant to being classed as ‘different’ and I almost said that I didn’t want any special treatment and would prefer to just get on the bus like everyone else but before I could say a word I heard one lady say “just sit tight sir, we’re going to arrange a taxi replacement for you”. WELL THEN, it’s around 11pm at night, it’s wet and windy and I’m being offered a free taxi ride?! I’d be a fool to refuse.
In the end our taxi was waiting for us just outside the station around 10 minutes after the nice lady had called for it. The fair was over $30, but as promised, we paid nothing. It was a fairly simple gesture on their part, and I’m sure it’s all just standard procedure but I’ve never actually witnessed it firsthand. So yeah – I’d just like to give a little shout out to how awesome Sydney Trains are… you guys really know how to take care of your customers!
Credit to Eugene Ray for the pics! Feature picture is from railgallery.com.au