15 March 2009

The 'Poo Train'

Last July we brought you the Graffiti Train, this year we can go one better and bring you the Poo Train. While the Graffiti Train was miniature and a toy for wanna-be daubers, regrettably the Poo Train is very much was you'd first think.

Residents waiting for First Capital Connect trains at Hatfield station have complained at being sprayed with 'liquefied sewage' as passing high-speed National Express East Coast (NXEC) trains thunder through the station. Their shock claim has been confirmed as being true by workers at the station.

Many old carriages operating throughout Britain's rail network have toilets that empty their contents directly onto the tracks. This has, quite rightly, been phased out over the past years, with newer carriages having retention tanks where effluent is stored before being emptied at their respective operator's maintenance depots. However, NXEC has been cutting back on more than just on-board services and on-line discounts! They've not been emptying their retention tanks as regularly as they should be and this has caused them to overflow, especially when turning corners at speed.

Hatfield is specifically affected as its station is located on a curve in the line.

Adam Edwards of the Hatfield Association of Rail Travellers said, "I have been on platform one on a couple of occasions when it has happened... We would be curious to know if there is a specific danger. It would be interesting to hear what National Express has to say."

A NXEC spokesman said, "We have been aware of isolated instances of a small amount of effluent escaping from some of our electric trains at speed and are taking steps to resolve this. We are fitting more accurate measurement equipment at our train depots to ensure waste tanks are fully emptied before each train enters service. We are also replacing toilet flush valves with a more efficient and reliable design to prevent leakage of water from toilets to the flush valves."

Until then, LEYTR is proud to bring you our first-ever Top Gear-style Top Tip: Stand well back if you find yourself stood on Hatfield station platforms 1 or 3 and a fast-approaching Class 91 (electric) train is in view!! (GL)