Heritage rail company West Coast Railways is chuffing to the rescue of abandoned commuters who live, work and travel along the Lake District line, with the mass cancellations of franchise holder Northern leading to an ancient old diesel coming online to save the day.
The Lakes line has been completely abandoned by Northern in the wake of the massive timetable shake-up disaster that's introduced delays and chaos and ruined trains for millions of commuters. The nightmare term "replacement bus service" is greeting those looking to board a Northern train along the route, as the operator says it can't manage to do the one thing it's supposed to do until early July at the earliest. But it can, for some reason, organise a bus.
But now old Mr Chuffington, a 40-year-old diesel engine and some rag-tag old carriages that usually ferry tourists and their packed lunches and bored children around the area, has stepped in to run a shuttle service on the line. And passengers won't even be charged to travel the 10-mile route between Oxenholme and Windermere, as it would appear that the Department for Transport is paying the £5,500 a day cost of running the six services a day.
The free old diesel huffer is running between 9.25am and 7pm. [Guardian]
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