Flirting with Disaster: The Night Train

Let’s just say that when I saw those train doors starting to shut on Will, I thought there was no way this group was making it on this train…but, as always, CR9 made it happen.

Yesterday we had our classic CR night train experience, although I’d like to think ours was a bit different from the others. After our dinner that night, we walked briskly back to the hostel in order to grab our bags and head to the station. We’d thought we had 42 minutes, and based on the pace we were going, we had plenty of time to get to our train comfortably. But when we got to the top of the stairs and saw that a train was on our rail, we knew something was up.

Dr. P immediately found our car and told us to get on. We ran to the door and started hustling onto the train. I was helping Jacey get her bag on when the doors starting flashing and beeping, and she said “that doesn’t sound good.” We hurried her onto the train, but Will was only halfway in when the doors started closing on him. I thought he might just slide into the car, but since he realized there were others trying to get on behind him, he fought the doors back open like the absolute legend he is. On the other side of the car, Andrea dove through the closing doors and army crawled her way up the stairs. We were confused, wired, and some of us (Andrea) left a little bit bloody–but we made it.

When we got off that train in Hannover, we came to find that our night train to Munich was around 75 minutes behind schedule. We went down into the station periodically to get waters and food, but when the train rolled into the station, some CR9ers had just left. In a panic, we grabbed their bags and brought them onto the train with us while Dr. P frantically tried to find them. Out of sheer luck, Christian decided to check his phone while he was in the station, and he had a phone call from Riley. He looked at Will and said, “We need to go. Now.” They booked it up to the train and hopped on. Meanwhile, Cassidy and Andrea were walking back when Cassidy randomly felt like they might need to run. I’m not even kidding. She just had some sort of premonition, so they started running, and we’re all lucky because of it.

By some crazy miracle, we all got on the night train. But that’s not all. The next morning, we were woken up by Dr. P, and our cabin worker was passing through telling us what time the train would be arriving in Munich, which was 35 minutes away. Thinking we had time, we all ate our breakfasts, and having experienced two rough train boardings in the last 12 hours, we decided to start unpacking our bags. I stepped out into the hall to help clear the bags from our room, but I started noticing buildings. I didn’t think much of it until the train also began slowing down. Then I just poked my head into both of the rooms and said “hey guys, uhh, we’re here.” Within 3 minutes, everyone’s bags were out of the rooms, and we were off of the train, once again having a close shave, with the train arriving 15 minutes earlier than we were told.

Needless to say, none of us are huge fans of the Eurail system right now. But what was so impressive was how these CR9ers worked under pressure. Everyone immediately focused in, made it happen, and helped one another. Instead of letting an obstacle overcome us, we worked together and quickly solved problems. Having experienced this, I am now completely confident that nothing can stop us from achieving what we’ve set out to accomplish. All it takes is our ability to work together–with a wee bit of luck sprinkled in. However, clearly the universe is on our side, so hit us with your best shot, Europe.

-Lance Jewett