Stop Flushing Your Underwear Down Train Toilets, Pleads Virgin

By Holly Brockwell on at

Going for a whizz on a British train is bad enough, but finding said toilet out of service after crossing your legs until the last possible second is a disaster. Apparently, many of the clogged bogs on Virgin trains are a result of people flushing completely inappropriate things, including -- in one particularly bizarre case -- a bra.

Virgin says it's costing them over £180,000 a year to fix toilets that have been broken unnecessarily, just from people flushing things they shouldn't. The main culprit is wet wipes, which ARE NOT FLUSHABLE (how have people not got this yet? Do you want more fatbergs?), but some more bizarre items flushed down the lav included:

  • Wedding rings (ouch)
  • Nappies
  • Glasses
  • A Manchester United scarf (???)

We have major questions about how any of this happened. We can sort-of imagine losing your wedding ring down the pan by accident, but a nappy? Your scarf?!

Virgin says four loos are taken out of use every day by this sort of tomfoolery, and frankly that's ridiculous. You might not know that wet wipes claiming to be 'flushable' often aren't (there's a bin RIGHT THERE, just use that, jeez) but shoving your underwear down the loo for a laugh (or whatever barmy reason the phantom bra-flusher had) is not on. Not only are you inconveniencing all the people who've paid an arm and a leg for a train ticket and might need to be human beings during their four-hour journey from work to more work, you might also cause a major incident for someone with IBS, Crohns, a colostomy bag and so on.

Michael Jacks, Head of Fleet and Engineering at Virgin Trains, comments:

"It did make us smile when we found the bra as it’s not something you would expect to find.

But it does highlight a very serious issue, and one that greatly impacts on our customers. Bins are provided, and we would remind our customers to follow the 3Ps of flushing. Only pee, poo and paper should be flushed down any toilet."

The toilets on Virgin trains are actually unusually specific about this, with the label on the lid reading:

"Please don’t flush nappies, sanitary towels, paper towels, gum, old phones, unpaid bills, junk mail, your ex’s sweater, hopes, dreams or goldfish down this toilet."

But with 484 bogs in use on its trains every day (that's eight flushes an hour, fact fans) some people are apparently incapable of behaving like potty-trained adults. And we think we speak for everyone when we say those people can bog all the way off.