Obviously there will be times when a train will be late, perhaps because there are objects or people obstructing the way.
It can be very frustrating when the train is an hour or two late because 'there are leaves on the line'; sometimes the excuses can be even more bizarre....
Here is a collection of reasons which have been given ( in some cases, verbatim ) for delays.....
Deranged female on the line ( Leeds to Kings Cross train,Finsbury Park, 1994 )
Driver abandons train
Driver having his tea break
Due to no reason whatever ( heard at Fleet )
Exploding pigeon ( Kings Cross Thameslink )
Guard arrested and taken away for excess ticket fraud by police
Horse on line
Overhanging tree branches ( Market Harborough )
Person by the side of the line with a rifle
Portakabin blocking the line ( Milton Keynes )
Rat self-destructed whilst chewing through signalling cables
Slippery rails all over the country ( Surbiton )
" Some Charlie's used an alarm handle as a coat-hook" ( driver on a Thameslink train )
"The ******* train's broken down" (driver, Milton Keynes )
Madonna ( Liverpool Street, 1995, when the last train was held for concert-goers )
Trainspotters on the line ( Grantham, 1999 )
And here are announcements given by drivers on the London Underground to reassure and calm passengers....
"Ladies and gentlemen, I do apologise for the delay to your service.
I know you're all dying to get home, unless, of course, you happen to be married to my ex-wife, in which case you'll want to cross over to the westbound and go in the opposite direction."
"Your delay this evening is caused by the line controller suffering from E & B syndrome, not knowing his elbow from his backside.
I'll let you know any further information as soon as I'm given any."
"Do you want to know the good news first or the bad news?
The good news is that last Friday was my birthday and I hit the town and had a great time.
The bad news is that there is a points failure between Stratford and East Ham, which means we probably won't reach our destination."
"Ladies and gentlemen, we apologise for the delay, but there is a security alert at Victoria Station, and we are therefore stuck here for the forseeable future, so let's take our minds off it and pass some time together.
All together now, "Ten green bottles, hanging on a wall".......
"We are now travelling through Baker Street, as you can see Baker Street is closed.
It would have been nice if they had actually told me, so I could tell you earlier, but no, they don't think about things like that."
"Beggars are operating on this train, please do not encourage these professional beggars, if you have any spare change, please give it to a registered charity, failing that, give it to me."
"Let the passengers off the train FIRST!"
"Oh go on then, stuff yourselves in like sardines, see if I care - I'm going home."
"Please allow the doors to close. Try not to confuse this with 'Please hold the doors open.'
The two are distinct and separate instructions."
"Please note that the beeping noise coming from the doors means that the doors are about to close.
It does not mean throw yourself or your bags into the doors."
"We cant move off because some idiot has their effing hand stuck in the door."
"To the gentleman wearing the long grey coat trying to get on the second carriage - what part of 'Stand clear of the doors' dont you understand?"
"Please move all baggage away from the doors.(pause.....)
Please move ALL belongings away from the doors. ( pause.....)
This is a personal message to the man in the brown suit wearing glasses at the end of the train - put the pie down, four-eyes, and move your bloody golf-clubs away from the door before I come down there and shove them ** your *** sideways."
"May I remind all passengers that there is strictly no smoking allowed on any part of the underground.
However, if you are smoking a joint, its only fair that you pass it round the rest of the carriage."