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Leading article: Ticket to ride

It has sometimes been tempting to ask what, as Transport minister, Lord Adonis is for. Well, we are delighted, and humbled, to record that he has a project. He's spending the week test-riding our railways – on the unimpeachable grounds that "it's very important for ministers who are in charge of public services to really experience intensively the public services they are responsible for". Perhaps he will set a trend.

Alan Johnson could sample a week at what used to be Stafford General Hospital and see whether he gets a drink of water. Lord Myners could try opening an account at one of the quasi-nationalised banks; hint, if you're not on the electoral register, it's not easy. And Tony McNulty might care to sign up for the New Deal at his local Jobcentre Plus. As for our Rail Rover, Lord Adonis, we note he has chosen a season when neither snow nor leaves, of the right or the wrong kind, should impede his progress. We wish him bon voyage, and a safe arrival in Brighton tonight.