19 July 2005

Passengers' breathing inconveniences train company

Sorry, it’s too hot for air conditioning, rail travellers told

A TRAIN company has come up with a novel excuse to explain the stifling heat in its carriages: guards are telling passengers, “it’s too hot for the air conditioning.”

South West Trains (SWT), Britain’s biggest train company which makes £1 million profit a week, is also blaming hot passengers for contributing to the problem.

Operating a mobile sauna is also contributing to profits as buffet managers report that drinks sales triple on the hottest trains.

Guards on SWT’s services from London Waterloo to Bournemouth and Weymouth are telling angry passengers that the air conditioning units were not designed to cope with the high temperatures regularly experienced this summer.

A spokeswoman for the company said: “The problem is the system was designed in 1985 to cope with normal British summer weather and it struggles when it’s hotter than that.”

She said that the air conditioning units became overloaded when the outside temperature climbed above 28C.

“Temperatures have been in excess of that recently and a train is, after all, a metal box"

The Times, 19 July

[So is that proof of the effect of global warming since 1985, or maybe just that British passengers are sweatier?]

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