`Train journey' was by taxi and bus

Great Railway Fiascos No7
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The Independent Online
JANE FRASER will think twice in future before following the advice of John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister, and leaving her car at home. The 47-year-old teacher looked forward to her day trip to Stoke when she arrived at Wolverhampton station.

But upon buying her pounds 12 ticker, Mrs Fraser joined other passengers who were ushered outside where Virgin had arranged taxis to take them to Stafford. There they waited half an hour for a replacement bus to Stoke. "It was like an old seaside charabanc stopping at every train station where no one got on or off," Ms Fraser said.

The bus arrived in Stoke more than an hour behind schedule and the return trip proved equally disastrous.

"There was some problem with Manchester trains so we were packed in together like cattle. One poor woman had travelled from Crewe to Stoke only to be told she could not go on to Manchester and had to go back to Crewe to change trains."

"I thought longingly of my politically incorrect 4x4 parked at home. After this experience, there is not much of an incentive to leave it behind again," Ms Fraser said.

A spokesman for Virgin said: "When we cannot get people to their destinations by train, we find alternative ways."

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