Avanti West Coast: Comedian’s ‘insane’ journey after being kicked off train from London

One user replied to comedian James Nokise’s posts on X saying “possibly…probably the best thing I’ve ever read on here”.
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A rail passenger has described his “insane” journey to Edinburgh after he and “hundreds” of other passengers were ordered off a train in Lancashire.

Stand-up comedian James Nokise told his story on the social media platform X in a series of posts, taking thousands of readers along with him.

Nokise wrote that he and other passengers were ordered off an Avanti West Coast train at Preston station in Lancashire on Monday night (25 September) which led to a “ridiculous” 11-hour taxi journey to Edinburgh.

He wrote on X: “At 4.40pm I jumped on a train from London to Edinburgh. It was comfy, it was quiet. In hindsight, too good to last.”

He said that at 7.26pm he was among the passengers who received an email stating that the train was cancelled, which was “a surprise” as it was still moving.

An announcement was then made that the service was terminating at Preston but another train to Glasgow was being held to take those onboard to Scotland.

But the Glasgow-bound train was full and left Preston just as Nokise and his fellow passengers arrived.

They were told to wait for the next train, which was then cancelled.

Nokise wrote: “It turned out there were no more trains north after that and, excitingly, no forthcoming information. No-one knew anything. Around 9.20pm news came down: alternative transport had been arranged.

“Bus? An extra train? Horses? No. Taxis. For hundreds of people. To a city three-and-a-half hours away.”

At 10.30pm he was in the final group of travellers to get in a cab, describing the situation as “ridiculous”.

The comic detailed his journey in the cab, sharing that shortly after midnight “our cabbie decided to change lanes without indicating and almost crashed into a mini-van overtaking him”.

Nokise said the cabbie stopped to buy two cans of energy drink as “it is late, it’s a dark highway and he’s driving a city black cab not meant for this road”.

He added: “Perhaps, just possibly, throwing money at cab drivers and getting them to drive several hours in the middle of the night might not be the best contingency plan for train companies to have.”

During the taxi journey, Nokise received an email from Avanti West Coast informing him he would receive £70 compensation, which was how much his ticket cost.

After being dropped off at Edinburgh Waverley station at around 3am, he had to take another taxi to his accommodation.

In his final post on the trip, he wrote at 3.30am: “Thanks for being on this journey with me Twitter. A truly insane odyssey. Five hours late, 11 hours after I jumped on the train.

“I’m going to have a shower and eat something. Let’s never do this again.”

His last tweets on the platform seemed not to be linking up to his other posts - causing users to ask where he wants and wanting updates.

Veronica Pullen wrote: “WAKE UP! We need to know what happened next?”

Mo Kanjilal also posted: “When you have rested, please let us know if you’re there. We’re on edge, time invested in this story. Yes yes, but not as much time as you invested in the trip. What a tale.”

This morning (Tuesday 26 September) Noskie quoted his last tweet of his story with the message: “Good morning, I haven’t quite had coffee or breakfast yet.. but I’ve woken up to some slightly worried messages because apparently the last few tweets didn’t properly link up to the thread (or something).”

“So here’s the end, and you can scroll up for the rest.”

His thread of posts on his ordeal now has around 6.4 million views on the social media platform.

Paul Carroll posted on X: “Incredible thread. A horrendous experience, but thanks for sharing. Hope you get there safely. Where would we be without Twitter?”

A user named Angie D said: “Possibly…probably the best thing I’ve ever read on here. Suspenseful. Well written. Thanks.”

Avanti West Coast apologised to customers caught up in the disruption, which it said was caused by a track defect at Lockerbie just that led to the line being closed.

“The closure of the West Coast Main Line for over three hours due to a track defect had a significant impact on our services, with trains and traincrew unable to work our planned timetable resulting in cancellations of services north of Preston,” an Avanti West Coast spokesperson said.

“Whilst alternative transport and overnight accommodation was sourced for most of those impacted we fully understand the frustrations of those customers whose journeys were affected, and we are extremely sorry for this.”

Passengers affected by the disruption will be entitled to compensation and were told to contact the company “through our normal channels to process their claim”.