A bump, a pregnant pause and then the gentle pull of the carriage as it starts to move slowly away from the platform, gathering speed as it breaks free from the weight of the station.
I love that moment, whether it’s the smooth accelerating glide of an electric train, or the more animalistic grunt of a diesel engine. I spend a few minutes watching the buildings through the window as they transform from familiar to alien. The bone-like towers of Battersea power station, carcass of a of coal powered empire. The great gas ring the colour of a sunlit South Asian sea. And then the terraces, sooty Victorian terraces made of dirty yellow London brick followed by concrete blocks and then suburban semis of Croyden.
Finally I pull out my book. Sigh. And relax. Revelling in the need to do absolutely nothing for the next hour and a half. Except maybe look up and take in the countryside, flat fields scattered with the odd copse of leafy trees mostly. It just adds to the mood of enforced laziness pervading the carriage.