Initial investigations into the breakdown of a high-speed train just north of Exeter indicate that it should have been travelling more slowly in recognition of the speed at which the local population gets things done.
Several hundred passengers had to be rescued from the stricken Hitachi 800 and taken to the local village café where they were each expected to discuss the weather and that nice man who asks the questions on The Chase before being served a cup of tea and a slice of home-made cake.
The train operator GWR apologised for the breakdown via social media but, as Twitter is considered a bit frantic in Devon, GWR also plans to issue hand-written letters. They should reach everyone by a week next Wednesday if they can post them in the next couple of days.
Local residents weren’t surprised that the train came to a standstill, however. ‘All that rushing about, no-one needs none of that and these new high-speed trains are not right,’ explained Mrs Jan Hewlett. ‘They should learn to take their time and only when they’ve been doing things at our pace for 20 years will they be accepted around here.’
A GWR spokesman said that automatic rolling stock velocity management systems based on measurements of the local pace of life were being trialled, with trains hurtling out of London and slowing down as they approach the West Country. ‘However, we’re having a few teething troubles,’ he admitted. ‘They tend to come to a complete halt as they approach Penzance.