Daily Archives: Tuesday, 31st Oct 2006

You couldn’t make it up

Now I’ve been on trains when they break down. I won’t go into the six hour journey from hell[1], or other random delays and overcrowding. I won’t go into details, because they all pale into insignificance compared with this Virgin trains horror story. It seems that one of their fancy tilting west coast trains developed a fault in its windscreen wiper. This would make driving it a wee bit risky in heavy rain, so it needed to be repaired. So naturally, the trained crew broke out their repair kit, sorted it out and the train went on its way, only slightly delayed. Well, no. Apparently the Virgin Trains procedure for situations like this is to ask the passengers to fix it.

One passenger had some cable ties and superglue[2], but the bit that alarmed me was:

Another passenger, who was a former Network Rail engineer, climbed on to the front of the engine and tried to fix the loose windscreen wiper blades but was unsuccessful.

What?!? I have this sneaking suspicion that somebody’s insurance company would be a wee bit concerned about that. I’m sure there’s some petty regulation or other about members of the public not climbing on the front of trains…

Now the question that I have to ask is this:

Does this creative repair policy apply to other Virgin companies? Like Virgin Atlantic? Or the one with the stunningly grandiose name, Virgin Galactic? :eek2:

[1] It involved a train not moving for over two hours with no air conditioning in hot weather. Nasty.
[2] At least it wasn’t a bit of string…