“I mar­ried my train crush”

Af­ter a 10 month-long in­fat­u­a­tion, Zoe Fol­bigg, 41, wrote her fel­low pas­sen­ger a love note…

Closer (UK) - - Contents - By Mel Fal­low­field

I’ve been mar­ried I now for eight years and have two chil­dren, Felix, seven, and Max, five. And ev­ery day I feel in­cred­i­bly lucky. The way I met my hus­band Mark is so un­usual, I still find it hard to be­lieve.

I fell in love with him on my com­mute – the 8.21am train from Hitchin, Hert­ford­shire, to London’s King’s Cross.

For four years, I’d made the same jour­ney to my job at a mag­a­zine, sit­ting in si­lence sur­rounded by com­muters, long­ing for the jour­ney to end.

But in July 2003, my com­mute be­came the high­light of my day. That was when I set eyes on “Train Man”.

He was walk­ing down the plat­form and I thought he was un­be­liev­ably hand­some. He had olive skin, dark hair and deep brown eyes and looked about the same age as me. He didn’t no­tice me, but I fell in love there and then.


I was only 27 and I was hap­pily sin­gle, with no huge de­sire to set­tle down. But even so, I got into the of­fice and told ev­ery­one about Train Man. And from that day on I al­ways sat in the same car­riage as him and made sure I looked my best. But he never so much as looked in my di­rec­tion. One day, I dropped my ticket at his feet to see if that might spark con­ver­sa­tion, but he just po­litely handed it back.

In the end, it was my friend who per­suaded me to make con­tact, re­mind­ing me that life was short.

So I de­cided to go for it and handed him a note. It took ages to com­pose the few short sen­tences, “It’s my birth­day to­day and ev­ery­one should do some­thing friv­o­lous. So I’d like to in­vite you for a drink”. I signed it off with my email ad­dress.

It took 11 days to pluck up the courage as I was so ner­vous. I gave him the note, say­ing, “Ex­cuse me, please can I give you this?” Then walked away

He did re­ply, but only to say he had a girl­friend. I was crushed. We still caught the same train and would ex­change the odd smile, but I tried to for­get about him and even went on a few dates with other peo­ple.

Then, eight months later, in Jan­uary 2005, I got another email from him. He’d split with his girl­friend and won­dered if I still fan­cied go­ing for a drink.

I replied im­me­di­ately and on 29 Jan­uary 2005, we had our first date in a lo­cal pub. We talked for hours about ev­ery­thing and any­thing. I was 28 at the time – he was 29 and worked in mar­ket­ing. He ad­mit­ted he’d no­ticed me on the train, too.

Days later, we were barely apart and he moved in with me af­ter three months. We’ve been to­gether ever since.


In 2008, we quit work to travel and he pro­posed, ap­pro­pri­ately, on a train in Aus­tralia. We mar­ried in April 2009 and our first son, Felix, was a hon­ey­moon baby. Max fol­lowed a year later.

It’s now 14 years since I first set eyes on Train Man. I work as a writer from home in Hitchin while Mark com­mutes to his job cre­at­ing web­sites. I’m not go­ing to pre­tend we don’t have our mo­ments – but I’m so happy with Mark. We still have the note and plan to frame it for our sons.


Zoe’s writ­ten a book about her ro­mance, called The Note (£7.99, Aria Fic­tion)

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