Letter: Rail disasters

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The Independent Culture
Sir: While Richard Branson navigated his way through a crisis in the ether above China, his passengers on the 21.30 from Euston to Wolverhampton were also trying to make their way home.

We were heavily delayed outside Bletchley because of a fire and brake failure, but the Virgin guard assured us that buses and taxis would be waiting at Milton Keynes to take us home.

We arrived at Milton Keynes at about 2am. It was freezing, and no buses were in sight. The 300 passengers from the train were left to fight with each other and drunken night-clubbers for taxis.

Our taxi driver said his firm would be charging Virgin approximately pounds 200 for the return journey to Wolverhampton. I estimate that the taxi bill alone will cost pounds 15,000 to pounds 20,000, a sum which will only escalate with refunds and demands for compensation.

While Branson amuses himself by bringing Phineas Fogg to life, the thousands of people who regularly have to travel by train in Britain suffer the harsh reality of his management of our railways. Will the Government take heed - allowing the music man to take over our railways has been a disaster.