As darkness falls, the train pulls heavily through the greasy mechanics of the railway cuttings, her resigned travellers gazing mesmerized by lumps of iron and the occasional piece of garish graffiti, desert flowers by comparison.
Up at the front, there is no time for gazing, high backed couches like headstones support still working bodies, executive remains in pinstripe shrouds form their own first class memorials.
Here in the less refined quarters, pungent plastic meals are pulled from branded bags and consumed to a background of nokia, sony and hello moto.
Now away from the brown and rust, and in the fading light, incandescent platforms flash like TV channels surfed by remote control, their meagre charms not sufficiently enticing for a moment’s pause.
Wakefield, Sheffield and Doncaster pass without acknowledgment, other than for the lottery of seating arrangements, newly boarded passengers, bags hoisted and bums squeezed into scarcely adequate spaces.