Reports from south London this afternoon state there was a dramatic and disturbing experience for dozens of Southern passengers when their train actually moved.
The incident has been described by rail transport experts as unprecedented and unlikely to be repeated.
Whether this is a one off or not, what is certain is that emergency services were summoned a little after lunch to Clapham Common station to discover dozens of people huddled under silver foil blankets and weeping uncontrollably.
The Herald’s Transport Means Motion reporter was on the scene rapidly, having by chance been stranded on the other side of the station half an hour earlier when his own train was cancelled.
He sent this report.
“Scared. Terrified. Barely able to comprehend the gravity of what had occurred, dozens of Southern Rail passengers huddle together attended to by emergency services on platform 15.
“It seems that twenty minutes earlier a Southern operated service, which had had its route shortened to travelling between Wandsworth Common and Clapham Junction by staff shortage, actually moved between stations as the startled passengers were hunkering down to wait out the afternoon, trying to figure out if walking would be faster?” reported our equally stunned correspondent.
“I spoke to one woman who said the experience was more terrifying than the time she crashed her car into the Thames while attempting to avoid a man with an axe in the middle of the road,” he added.
Other witnesses described the experience as being similar to time travel.
“It’s what it must have been like riding on Stevenson’s rocket!” Many exclaimed, before accepting a cup of reassuring tea and waiting for an Uber to come to take them back home where their terrified loved ones waited.