East Midland Trains criticised over ‘replacement piggyback-from-a-tramp service’
Commuters on a journey from Glasgow had little praise for East Midlands Trains last night, after arriving in St. Pancras a lot later than scheduled. While seasoned travellers recognised they were in for delays after getting on a replacement bus service at Leicester, none expected to eventually end their journey carried into the London terminus by tramps.
‘They were 294 of us on the train and they herded us into an ageing 38-seater coach,’ complained one passenger. ‘But no sooner had we set off than the coach stopped and the driver clocked off. Then an announcement came over the tannoy telling us that due to a lack of drivers, we’d have to continue our journey by tramp.’
East Midlands Trains eventually delivered a skip which attracted enough vagrants for the passengers to continue their journey, but most were far from satisfied with the arrangement.
‘I paid £165 to go from Glasgow to London by train,’ said businessman, Derek Hornbridge. ‘It should have taken me five hours. Instead I ended up being carried most of the way by a tramp, arrived two weeks late for my meeting and seem to have caught some sort of skin disease.’
Sarah Wendle lost one stone during her ordeal. ‘My economy tramp was bloody uncomfortable, and stopped at every Wetherspoons between Corby and Luton. The toffs in first class arrived a bit quicker – I think it’s because they got the tramps that weren’t lame. Plus of course they got unlimited supplies of Special Brew and a paper napkin over the tramp’s shoulders.’
East Midlands Trains have apologised to their customers for the disruption, but some have already made up their minds not to use the service again. ‘I try to travel by train when I can because it’s the greenest way to travel,’ said Sarah. ‘But then I ended up on some tatty old hobo that clearly hadn’t been serviced for ages. I think from now on I’ll just drive. If you ask me, his emissions were worse than my Micra.’
By waylandsmithy and Vertically Challenged GiantClick to send this story to a friend