What was going on?
The ONLY train on offer was a 1249 to Cambridge, a bit tight for fbb's foray northwards. By now the old fellow had poked his Saver ticket (marked for cross-London inclusive travel) into the gates and he was wandering aimlessly at the foot of those escalators.
One problem was a simple mathematical challenge.
One thing was certain; sitting on a deserted platform at London Bridge watching a succession of identical South Eastern trains trundle through on their way to and from Charing Cross could never be called a trainspotter's delight.
Only short term excitment could be derived from eating the Crunchie!
Then, as fbb was nodding off intellectually if not physically, at about 1230 a class 700 (like this one) ...
The very nice young lady explained to fbb that the 1249 was a scheduled train but this one wasn't scheduled, it was an extra being "phased in". fbb had visions of the lads at Selhurst depot finishing their cocoa and saying, "Hey, there's not much going on, let's have a run up to Bedford for the pure hellish fun of it and to confuse the passengers.
Well, it worked, fbb was confused. But he boarded.
The class 700 seems the wrong sort of train for journeys from the South Coast to places like Peterborough and Cambridge. Its ambiance was very "inner suburban" with the slight bonus of 2 x 2 seating rather than 3 x 2.
No "corridor connections", just a very long 12 coach commuter tube was what you got.
Is it helpful to know which coach you are on?
It is difficult to peer into all 12 at a typically brief station stop; but, surely, that information should be displayed on the platform as the train approaches. Then sprightly passengers (fbb NOT included) can sprint along, spraying other passengers hither and thither, to find an empty bit.
Not here's a thought.
The question remains; was this the 1227 departure as "planned" by the JP? Unlikely, as the driver announced (at 1230) that he would be waiting there (at London Bridge) for seven minutes!
Despite this aura of mystery and/or incompetence, your confused blogger arrived happily at St Pancras International in good time to make his was to Euston for the passage northwards to Leicester.
Has the old man flipped?
P.S. fbb much preferred one of the early Thameslink logos. It actually had a link with the Thames!