• Natalia Karali

Thunderstorm Adventure - A Crosscountry train ride from Manchester to Birmingham

In this thunderstorm adventure on a nice August day in 2020 I drove all the way to Manchester to return my friend's car (mine got stolen, so she had kindly lended hers) and then rushed to catch the train of 19:27 to be home for just after 2200. For my good/bad luck I was just on time to watch the train leave in front on my eyes 🙈. I was so disappointed for two reasons: one was that i did not see my friend properly as I had to rush and second one I would have to wait one whole hour in the train station.. they were telling me to take the next train.. in my mind I wanted to be back not too late..

Lesson number one: sometimes listen to what people are telling ya..might be for your own good!

I started feeling very low when I saw the train leaving in front of my eyes.. Instead I used the time instead to talk to her on the phone while waiting for next one and was almost as good as catching up at her home..


I take the 20:27 train which makes me arrive at Kidderminster (final destination) at 23:40 according to plan and train line, the route I wanted to avoid.. And then the storm.. starts.. I checked the planner and I saw the connection train in Wolverhampton had been cancelled. Check with my friend who lives in Wolverthampton..but he is at his girlfriend 😍 and time to catch up only with messages. So decision made to get off at Birmingham new street, cross to Moor street (I am kind of apprehensive of walking in Birmingham at night but hey) and pretty sure I had taken a night train to Kidderminster last week or so.. In the meantime the storm gets worse and worse and I am thinking that I will be the next train victim of the week (there was one on the news in Scotland that morning)? Across me and behind were sitting two suspicious male figures.. I message my friend Nat.. must be the movies I had been watching and made me make prone to assumptions..

To cut the story short while approaching Stafford I have an epithany and stick my phone on to the window and start taking videos and trying not to think about all the above.. I had a good view at least of the lighting which I didn't last night..these awful houses hiding my viewpoint 🙈. Next: how I ended up in the middle of nowhere at midnight..

Lesson: use available resources to avoid overthinking(phone)..friends are so precious..we were supposed to meet with Nat too but had a late night conference instead.. #turningfrustrationintomotivation..


Last part and thank you for bearing with me..hope makes your day in the end..

So I arrived at Birmingham and walked to the other station.. uneventfully.. thre are 2 trains leaving so I take the one that I thought i took last week and matched the time..the other was quite later on and I still expected to be on time at 2340..( I arrived 30min before)

So waited, took the train and half an hr later the driver announces final destination..Dorridge!! Obviously not Kidderminster..

I had to look up on the map to see where I was..no soul at the train station and only a pub out.

Went back and forth thinking what to do..

One train back to Birmingham.. there was no sign of a cab..should I sleep at the train station? Nah..after going in and out multiple times and texting Natalie thank God a cab stopped..thought initially he had customers..

But he did come back to me..probably I looked desperate..and eventually enjoyed my ride and hearing his story on the way home with minus 40£

But the time waiting I used it to stitch together the videos I took and the effect of the lighting and bokeh was amazing..

If i have taken the earlier train would not have been able to catch the lights..

Neither would have time to listen to the guys story..26yrs married, 4kids and wife with juvenile arthritis as my mum..

Hope you enjoy the video as much as I did watching the mesmerising lights and the lighting. 😘

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