One of the first things a foreigner notices about British railways is the platforms. They are higher than in most parts of the world. The platform is almost on a level with the floor of the carriages. This makes it a little easier to get in and out of the carriage with your luggage.
The trains that go to and from London are very crowded at the times when people are travelling to work, since about a million people travel to London to work each day.
On many fast trains to London there is a dining car in which you can buy lunch, dinner or coffee. On others there is a buffet at which it. is possible to buy snacks and drinks. Sometimes a waiter from the dining car brings round cups of coffee to the passengers.
There are only two classes in Britain – first and second. A first – class ticket costs 50 % more than a second -class ticket. On long journeys, there is a ticket inspector, who visits every passenger to see if he has the right ticket and is not travelling in the wrong class.
In England train passengers seldom converse with their fellow – travellers even on a long journey -this is more a national custom than a matter of etiquette.
When the passenger reaches the end of his journey and leaves the train, he has to give his ticket to the ticket collector at the exit before he can leave the station.
Mr. Smith who lived in one of the suburbs of London was on his way home from the railwaystation. The road was dark and lonely. He heard footsteps behind him and had an uncomfortable feeling that he was being followed. He increased his speed. The footsteps quickened, too. The man became frightened and ran down the street. The footsteps still pursued him. In desperation he jumped over the fence and, rushing into the churchyard threw himself on one of the graves.
“If he follows me here”, he thought fearfully, “there can be no doubt as to his intentions.”
The man behind him was following him over the fence. Visions of robbers, maniacs and the like flashed through the frightened man’s brain. Quivering with fear he rose and faced the pursuer.
“What do you w-w-w-want?” he demanded, “wh-wh-why are you following me?”
“I say”, asked the stranger, mopping the sweat from his brow, do you always go horrClike this? Or are you giving yourself a special treat to-night?I am going up to Mr.Brown’s, and the man at the station told me to follow you, as you lived the next door.”