Porters return to railways

BRITISH RAIL yesterday reintroduced platform porters to carry passengers' luggage. Porters disappeared on the railways in the 1970s and passengers had to make do with trolleys. But now they are being brought back on trial on InterCity platforms at King's Cross station in London.

For pounds 2, passengers arriving at the station can have their bags carried to the train, and those leaving trains can be escorted to taxis, the London Underground or BR's Thameslink service.

Six staff are being employed and will wear distinctive uniforms. The service can be booked in advance.

The old portering service was provided free, although most passengers tipped the porters. 'We don't think the pounds 2 charge is excessive, especially compared to airport baggage services which cost about pounds 5,' a spokesman for InterCity said.