No 36: so you want to get lost property back?

True stories from the Great Railway Disaster: A weekly chronicle of the absurdities caused by the Government's privatisation programme
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The Independent Online
AMID the disruption a couple of weeks ago when West Coast line services ground to a halt because of a power failure, George Wright left his bag on a train.

Mr Wright, travelling north from London, had had to leap off the train quickly because, contrary to what he had been told at Euston, a platform announcement said that its next stop was Crewe, rather than his intended destination, Lichfield.

Next day, he tracked the bag down to Glasgow Central station. Railtrack said there would be a pounds 1.50 release fee, but when Mr Wright asked if Railtrack could send the bag down to Lost Property at Euston, the station- master said that this was no longer possible.

In the "old days", as the station-master put it, this would have been possible, but now Railtrack would have to send it by Red Star at a charge of pounds 22 plus 80p per kilo of weight.

"I should stress that the staff at Glasgow, to whom I spoke several times, were most apologetic," Mr Wright says.

"One said he wished he could just put it on a train for me but wasn't allowed to and lamented the fragmentation of BR."

Mr Wright, without any clean clothes, laments, too. "I still haven't got the bag because, before Railtrack will release it to Red Star, they have to be in receipt of my pounds 1.50 - cheques or cash only - while Red Star will only accept payment by Visa or Access."

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