Plagued by disruptive delays caused by frequent suicides, Network Rail has announced plans to run an after-hours railway service dedicated to the needs of those who wish to take their own lives by jumping under a train.
Already dubbed by railway workers as the Ghost Train, the new skeleton service will run at night once timetabled services have finished for the day. Operating companies are hoping that would-be suicides will take advantage of this initiative saving commuters of many hours of inconvenience whilst the emergency services attend to the consequence of a member of public choosing to terminate themselves at a busy railway station.
“We are working with South West Trains on this project,” said a spokesman for the railway authority. “There is clearly a public demand for this kind of service, which we feel we are obliged to respond to under our charter. If the suiciders can achieve their ultimate goal without causing inconvenience to passengers then we believe everyone will be happy.”
“Apart from the loved ones of the deceased of course,” he added swiftly.
The proposed new service has had its critics, even from would be jumpers. Divorcee Norman Price heard of a trial run last week and, feeling rather low after his recent redundancy, decided to take advantage of the nocturnal service. Sadly, he was to be disappointed. “I was feeling very run down,” recollected Mr Price, “and decided to jump under the 01.42 at Surbiton. Unfortunately, the train was delayed for due to a points failure and after spending the best part of two hours waiting I decided to end it all and go back home. If it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here now. Bastards!”
To add to Mr Price’s misfortune, he received a parking fine for not buying a ticket at the station car park. His excuse that he ‘hadn’t been planning to return to his car’ fell on deaf ears.