Man wakes up after night on sleeper train only to find that it never left station

Gulf Today Report

Imagine yourself getting into a train which presumably offers an overnight journey to your destination. You get in, get into your nightsuit and prepare to sleep.

The next morning, you wake up and prepare to deboard, thinking your destination is approaching. It is then that the attendant walks in with a coffee and tells you something that makes you freeze in your tracks: the train never left the station!

Strange, but very true. This is no fiction but plain fact. This is what happened on the Caledonian Sleeper train which shuttles between London and Scotland.

After a bedding down for the night on Tuesday,  expecting to sleep through a 345-mile journey, passengers woke up to find it had never left the station.

Jim Metcalfe, a regular user of the sleeper train service from Scotland to London, was totally gobsmacked by what he saw: in the 15 years that he had been travelling on the train, something like this never happened.

The Caledonian Sleeper takes several routes between London and Scotland. Its Glasgow-London stretch usually lasts seven and a half hours through the night. Passengers can board from 10pm on the evening of departure and stay on board until 7.30am the next morning.

Metcalfe, who is from East Renfrewshire, Scotland, clarified: “Cal Sleeper tweeted that the service was on last night, let people board, and just left us sitting here all night., according to the Independent.

“They let everyone get in and go to sleep, and just left us here. I’m travelling for work. It’s hard to even know what to say…”

After disembarking, Metcalfe told the BBC: “I can’t sleep after it starts moving, so I get on early and try to sleep first, so I got on at 10.30pm and was asleep by 11pm. That was it really.”

Of the next morning, he said: “There was a knock on the door at 5am and a guy very kindly appeared with a sausage roll and coffee – he explained the train hadn’t moved.”

Now blame it on the heatwave. He was informed that the severe weather beating had damaged a railway line, disrupting services.

The whole thing had a surreal effect. “I should have been 300 miles away.”

He had already made enquiries about the departure. He said he had checked before leaving home whether the train was running. It was. Wednesday was a day of disruption on the railways following the heatwave. It had

definitely been scheduled to run, so he boarded as usual.

People were amused by the story, with the tweet attracting more than 4,900 likes on Twitter.

“I know it doesn’t really help but the train is definitely more than an hour late in reaching its destination so you should be able to claim,” suggested one helpful follower.

The train authorities apologised for the inconvenience to the passengers and said they would receive a complete refund.


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