At Euston, the commuters rise up in mild annoyance

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The Independent Online

Euston Station at 5.15 yesterday evening was a scene of mass mild annoyance. Standing underneath the information board looking out across the concourse, a sea of hundreds of upturned faces greeted you, all pointing the same way and all wearing the same resigned expression. It looked like an Anthony Gormley installation.

Euston Station at 5.15 yesterday evening was a scene of mass mild annoyance. Standing underneath the information board looking out across the concourse, a sea of hundreds of upturned faces greeted you, all pointing the same way and all wearing the same resigned expression. It looked like an Anthony Gormley installation.

A muffled, slightly grumpy crowd noise, punctuated by the whine of mobile phones, provided an audio clue to the mood. Platform announcements were rare and embarrassed sounding. "My mother's due in on the train from Carlisle," Wendy Dickson, 29, told me. She works for a law firm in the City and is visibly pregnant. "It's three hours late and mum's deaf, so there's no point her having a mobile.

"I had no idea when it was coming in, I just came down after work. I've been here about half an hour. There's no one here to ask," she said, shifting her weight and looking around searchingly. "But what's bothering me is that there's nowhere to sit down."

Another sinister silent announcement arrived on the board: The Holyhead train has been diverted, mystifyingly, to Manchester. Not much good if your destination of choice was Dublin.

Bryn Butt, 59, is trying to get to Milton Keynes - which seems this Wednesday to be a Bermuda triangle in the world of locomotive travel. "It really does annoy me," he said, sounding very reasonable. "If you think of the money Railtrack has made over the years and over this incident at Hatfield, the Government is giving them more money. It doesn't seem right.

"If they were Marks and Sparks they wouldn't bail them out and it's not as if they need the money. And I should know," he added, looking disgusted. "I work for London Underground."

There was a cheerful and relatively clean-looking beggar taking advantage of the unexpectedly large number of people in the same place. "Um... could you spare some change," he asked, swinging his long hair engagingly. "I'm not travelling."

"Neither is anyone else," growled a man with a large case that bumped on the ground as he trailed past.

Emma Hastings, 34, a chartered surveyor, put it succinctly. She was waiting for a train that would get her to Coventry. "Since Hatfield it's not the waiting at the stations that has been bad, it's the way the journeys have got longer."

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