Dale Haslam's train blog: Christmas cheer eases the stress

This Is Lancashire: Dale Haslam Dale Haslam

THE festive period is a bit of a mixed bag for those who depend on public transport to get around.

The rail network shuts down completely on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so it is hard for rail commuters to get into work or to head off for a day out.

And though trains get pretty busy at other times during the festive period, it is not all bad.

Last week, I was on a First TransPennine Express service from Bolton to Manchester, which was crammed due to football fans making their way into the city centre and, of course, the popular Christmas markets.

Despite the cramped conditions, it was refreshing to see everyone in a jovial mood, eager to help those in need.

There was an elderly woman beginning to panic as she was stuck in the middle of a carriage and needed to get off at the next stop.

But her fellow passengers reassured her that it would be okay and passed her baggage overhead before moving aside to let her through. She was delighted.

Others chatted with strangers about Christmas preparations and exchanged shopping trips, unfazed by the number of people around them.

Crucially, there was an awful lot of care given to small ones as passengers got off the train and Good Samaritans lifted children’s pushchairs on and off with no fuss.

It is nice to see such hospitality and goodwill out and about and, hopefully, there will be more of the same in 2014.

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