Train Stations and ‘The Security Services’


Waiting for my girlfriend at Nottingham train station, I bought a coffee, a vanilla latte to be precise and proceed to read news feeds and email on my iPad. Watching the hustle and bustle of people meeting and running for trains is quite a relaxing experience, almost removing oneself from time and being above it.

The issue with doing this at a train stations is one announcement. Announcements in general you can blank out except the one informing potential terrorists that unidentified packages will be removed by the security services. Given the Yemeni issue now being touted within the media, it would appear at least to the layman that we should be expecting hundreds of Lockerbie style attacks a week.

While we have to be lucky each time, they only have to be lucky once, a statement that seems truer the more ‘near misses’ that we have, my question to all this revolves around how we could visualise this perceived rise in terror. While the thought of a train derailing or plane coming down in any city is plainly terrible, them being engineered by another actor abhorrent, our response of fear and planning to blow up some old dears shopping left around seems comical.

Combine this with an announcement roving every 15 minutes, it becomes part of the everyday fabric, desensitising us to the real issues. It’s all about a fine balance, but lack of information and mis-information seems to be feeding fear, while numbing us to the issue. Maybe a rally to restore decent (beautiful) information and annoucements is needed?

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Author: Mark Iliffe

Traveller, Programmer, Geospatialist and Motorcyclist

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