My Friends and I were having our science mock GCSE exam one Thursday afternoon. We had free time in the morning which was meant to be for revision purposes. However, on that particular Thursday, I and my friends; Anand, Eren and Kai would not be doing revision.
It was Anands idea. He simply came out with it one day. We all said “Yeah Cool”. At the time I was quite naï¿½ve and did not how stupid running through a train tunnel “Just for the fun of it” actually was. So when the day came I woke up at 9:00 and met everyone at school. I Anand, Eren and Kai then all set off for the Whetstone tunnel.
The journey took about 20 minutes. We arrived at the train tracks and look deep into the tunnel that we would run through. There were two tracks and tracks and two tunnels, with one track running through each. We decided to run through the tunnel on the right. The tunnel was about the size of house and a good 400 metres in length with a dot of light at the end. That was our target. I looked at Kai who was starring into the tunnel with an agitated look on his face. “Guys I’m goin back to school” he said”. “Aw pussy boy” said Anand as Kai turned his back and walked away. It was just the three of us now. We stepped up to the tunnel entrance daringly and starred into it. “Come on lets get it over with” I said as I moved into it.
We all started walking with haste down the side of the tunnel. We were halfway between running and walking. We moved between the wall of the tunnel and the track the space we had to move in was about 40cm in width. The ground was covered with gravel and larger rocks making it difficult to move quickly. The fact that it was almost pitch black did not help much either. The small light at the end of the tunnel lingered in the air ahead of us. We all kept tripping up or stacking on the rocks, but we had to keep moving.
It had been about 7 minutes since I entered the tunnel. The end was within my reach. Eren was a few paces in front of me and was about to reach the end also. I looked back and saw Anand who was trailing behind about 10 meters back. However my attention was diverted to the train that had just entered the tunnel. It sounded its horn which echoed like a roar through the tunnel. I and Eren had both made it out now but Anand was still franticly running toward us trying to get out in time.
The train was getting closer and closer. We were screaming at him now “Get out!”, “get out!”. I went into a state of panic, it suddenly burdened on me that he might not make it. The train was tearing furiously down the tunnel. It was the face of death before us. He was nearly there, he made it! We moved completely out of the way of the tracks as an intercity train came thundering through.
A super intense feeling of relief swept over me. He had made it. I was breathing heavily, trying to calm myself. I could not however because my audience was still a violent storm in my body. My heart was still thumping. It felt like it would burst out of my chest. On the other side, there were banks of bushes that ran up the side of the tracks. Originally the plan was to run back though the tunnel and go back to school but after what had just happened we decided not to go. There were bushes everywhere, if we wanted to get out, we would have to go through it.
We started to climb up through the bushes on the left hand side. It was hard; we were still in our school uniform. A nice white shirt. Now dirty and torn from the rough and sharp edges of the bushes. We were hot sweaty and just wanted the whole thing to be over.
We managed to reach the top finally, and two dark figures stood in our path. They wore serious expressions on their faces and we knew instantly that we were in trouble. The police officer on the right spoke first “you’re in very serious trouble boys”. “Why don’t you come out of there so you can talk to us”. I felt like I had failed somehow. The whole sheared no matter how ridiculous felt like a mission that we were supposed to accomplish. Although a lot more happened than we had expected we still thought of it as something we had to do and get away with. I guess it was part of the fun. In those few seconds I felt like such an idiot. Why would anyone want to run through a train tunnel? I pondered these thoughts as the officers took us into the car and drove off back toward school.
We explained our story to them and then to the deputy head once we were back at school. The officers then left us so it was just us and the deputy head Mr Block who then proceeded to yell at us straight for the next 15 minutes.
Looking back at the experience its something that no one has done, and is something to tell other people for a laugh. When I look back on it, I still think it was a stupid idea but I liked the thought of risking my life.