How to stay calm when the train suddenly stops


Many years ago or today, train travel is an adventure

Finally, you are on your long awaited summer vacation. Finally, you are on the road getting away from stress and annoyances back home. You look forward to visiting a new destination, your family and friends, or getting pampered in a luxury hotel. Suddenly, your trip does not seem to turn out the way you had hoped. What are you going to do now? Here is my experience and point of view on how to stay calm when the train suddenly stops.

This summer, I was on my way from Vienna, Austria to Zurich, Switzerland, Milan, and Venice, Italy. I had traveled this route many times over. This time I chose to take the train. I looked forward to enjoying beautiful sights, being enchanted by magnificent scenery of majestic mountains, valleys, and prairies through panoramic windows of a modern high speed train, and enjoying upscale service from my first-class seat. What might seem an amazing train trip, came with a few travel problems.

After about three hours of train travel, the train staff announced that our train could not continue for the time being. A cargo train had lost its load on the tracks. In addition, for some inexplicable reason, our train would not have priority over other high speed trains traveling to certain destinations. We were literally stuck in a train station in southern Germany. I have always liked Germany, so why not spend some time there, right? Finally, after two hours of waiting, we moved again. Understandably, many passengers, most of all those who had connections to catch, started to get very worried about the two-hour delay our train had accumulated. About an hour later, we arrived in Innsbruck.

In Innsbruck, the next announcement was made. Apparently, our train was broken, and we all had to get off. At first, many passengers, including me and my company, did not believe the news and stayed on the train. As the train emptied more and more, I realized that, no, this was no joke. What happened next is the most inspiring moment on this entire journey.

During summer time when many passengers from all around the world travel together, various cultures and people were represented on that particular train. As you know, differences among mindsets can be great including handling problems in life, and in this case, on the train. A man got very upset and started yelling at innocent, unknowing personnel at the train station. A couple panicked over how they would catch their connections once in Zurich. Others, including me, swore never to take the train again. Then a group of American tourists came. Three generations traveling through Europe. Their leader did the only logical and efficient thing to do. Remaining calm, he went online and checked what time the next train would go out of the station of Innsbruck towards Zurich. Returning with the information that the next train would leave an hour later, he had dealt with the problem for all of us. I felt inspired by his rational approach of solving a complicated situation. No anger or panic needed.

Needless to say, I changed my mind over train travel. No need to get upset. No need to stop traveling by train. Next time your train stops unexpectedly, take a deep breath. Go to the information counter and check when the next train leaves for your destination. You’ll solve the problem for yourself and many others so all can be on the way to their destinations again.

Happy travels,



Copyright © 2017 by Barbara Bullock, M.F.A., spiritual writer

Photo credit © 2017 by Barbara Bullock, M.F.A. Photo taken by Barbara Bullock, M.F.A.

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