A COMEDIAN has been left exhausted after spending a gruelling 11 hours making his way home to Edinburgh after his train was cancelled – whilst he was onboard.
James Nokise was en-route from London to Edinburgh yesterday, when he received an email informing him that his train was no longer running.
The comedian from New Zealand was then left stranded along with hundreds of other Avanti passengers at Preston station.
Despite assurances from Avanti West Coast that a train would take passengers home from Preston the train was full on arrival.
This meant that all the passengers who were on the train along with James were going to be travelling back across the border in taxi cabs.
James’ journey home would see him face a taxi journey with three strangers who were also heading back to Edinburgh.
The comic gave updates throughout the night on social media, firstly with the caption: “I’m not quite sure how to explain what’s happened tonight because it’s still happening but here goes.”
“At 4:40pm I jumped on a train from London to Edinburgh. It was comfy, it was quiet. In hindsight, too good to last. Around 7:26pm I received an email that my train had been cancelled.
“This was a surprise because:
“a) I was still on a moving train, b) there had been no announcement on the moving train.
“About ten minutes later the train manager came on the speaker to say they “heard from passengers” that the train had been cancelled and was going to investigate because everything looked fine to them.
“Shortly after that, they informed us that the “rumours were true” and the train had been cancelled and would be terminating at the next stop: Preston.
“So, we got off at Preston. Apparently, there was a connecting train to Glasgow we could get that was being held so we could jump on it.
“It turned out that train was full, so as we arrived, it left. It was around 8pm, and we were told to wait for the next train at 9:42.
“Preston Station has a few cafes, and they all were shut except for one coffee stall who saw a couple of hundred people on a platform and went “they won’t need food or hot drink”, so they closed at nine.
“No one noticed because at 8:50 the train we were waiting for was cancelled. It turned out there were no more trains “North” after that and, excitingly, no forthcoming information.
“Some people stood staring at the screens. Some people queued to ask the one ticket booth worker the same question everyone else was. No one knew anything.
“Around 9:20 news came down: alternative transport had been arranged. Bus, an extra train, horses?No. Taxis. For hundreds of people. To a city three and and a half hours away.
“Except we weren’t all going to Edinburgh because it wasn’t an express train. Some were going to Glasgow, some to Dundee, Carlisle, and other stops but all of us queued to be taken away – three – seven people at a time and if that sounds slow and ridiculous, it was.
“Take a moment to appreciate how long the trip to Edinburgh from Preston is, how long the return journey would be.
“Think about how big the fare would need to be and then try and estimate how many various cabs were needed to shift a couple of hundred people off home.
“Somehow, I ended up in the last cab with three other strangers, all guys travelling alone. Probably the correct people to be catching the latest cab in terms of safety and also the cast of a 70’s British play.
“We left the station, and then he pulled into a petrol station to fill up and ‘grab some snacks’.
“The driver then asked us, while holding his android phone, what the postcode for Edinburgh station is. We said there two stations. He called his boss.
“He explained he is only paid to take us to one station and that is Edinburgh station. We explained Edinburgh has Waverley and Haymarket, but he probably meant Waverley.
“He said he would drop us there and only there, as though we were trying to trick him. After a bit of light banter, we realised we were all staying near the same station.
“The oldest of our cab team asked if the cabbie might drop us at our locations, since he was getting a flat rate, and he was not in fact a train, bound by rail lines. The cabbie refused.”
As fans waiting for the next update, James claimed that the taxi driver had then struggled to find the correct roads, getting lost and almost crashing into other vehicles on the road.
In a final update, James claimed that he and two other previous train passengers who had been in tow along the arduous trek up to Edinburgh, had finally reached their destination after jumping out the taxi near Waverley station.
James wrote in the post: “5hrs late, 11hrs after I jumped on the train.
I’m gonna have a shower and eat something.
Let’s never do this again.”
An Avanti West Coast spokesperson said: “We apologise to our customers who were caught up in last night’s disruption.
“The closure of the West Coast Main Line for over three hours due to a track defect had a significant impact on our services, with trains and traincrew unable to work our planned timetable resulting in cancellations of services north of Preston.
“Whilst alternative transport and overnight accommodation was sourced for most of those impacted we fully understand the frustrations of those customers whose journeys were affected, and we are extremely sorry for this.
“Anyone who was affected by last night’s disruption will be entitled to compensation and are urged to get in contact through our normal channels to process their claim.”