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>> News > United Kingdom
Virgin Trains Passengers Asked to Push Start Broken Down Train - October 31st 2006

Passengers riding on Virgin Trains London to Manchester service were asked to push start their train after it broke down after stopping in Rugby. The request came after it turned out the train driver had inadvertently left the lights on whilst the train was stationary causing the vehicle to be unable to start up again.

“To be quite honest I was quite shocked,” passenger Keith Wilson commented, “I mean does this sort of thing happen often? Perhaps here lies the problem with the poor time tabling of the rail service – they are not factoring in the time taken for 200 people to push start a 125 tonne express train.”

Whilst many passengers were unwilling to vacate their seats and help out (presumably in case the genuine seat's ticket holder took the change to claim it) a handful of well meaning volunteers did try to get the train moving. Unfortunately, whilst they were able to get the train rolling, it soon ground to a halt once the driver took it out of neutral.

“I'm not sure what that train driver was thinking,” Keith Wilson continued, “He took it from neutral into first, everyone knows it's much better to kick it into fifth straight away, you're not having to turn the engine so much.”

Everyone on the platform had their own suggestions on why they had failed to get the train moving – some agreed with Keith Wilson, others thought it had been a bad plan of action to try pushing the train up hill – however ultimately Virgin decided to stop the efforts, largely down to the fact their health and safety adviser pointed out having 25 passengers milling about on the railway line was a bad idea.

“I'm surprised Virgin haven't learned from their previous experiences,” Keith Wilson concluded, “They didn't have any luck jump-starting their 747 London to New York flight with my Rover 25 so quite how they expected this stunt to pull off I'm got no idea.”

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