After a bed for the night on the Caledonian Sleeper train on Tuesday – expecting to sleep through a 345-mile journey – passengers woke to find it had never left the station.
Jim Metcalfe, a regular passenger on the night train from Scotland to London, reported the strange happenings first thing on the morning of July 20.
“In 15 years of using this train and through many bizarre twists and turns, this has to be the strangest yet,” Mr Metcalfe wrote on Twitter.
“Wake up and the train never left Glasgow. It sat here all night and now we got dropped in the wrong city at 5:30 a.m.
The Caledonian Sleeper operates several routes between London and Scotland, with the Glasgow-London night service normally lasting seven and a half hours. Passengers can board from 10:00 p.m. on the evening of departure and remain on board until 7:30 a.m. the next morning.
Mr Metcalfe, who is from East Renfrewshire, clarified: “Cal Sleeper tweeted that the service was on last night people got in and just let us sit here all night.
“They let everyone get in and go to sleep and just left us here. I travel for work. It’s hard to know what to say…”
After getting off, Mr. Metcalfe said that BBC: “I can’t sleep after it starts moving, so I get up early and try to sleep first, so I got up at 10:30pm and fell asleep at 11pm. It really was.”
Of the next morning he said: “At 5am there was a knock on the door and a guy came out very kindly with a sausage roll and coffee – he explained the train hadn’t gone.”
“We were told we had to get off because they need the platform back. It was more surreal than anything – I should have been 300 miles away.”
He said he checked before leaving that the train was definitely running as Wednesday was a day of rail disruption after the heatwave. It had definitely been planned for him to drive, so he got in as usual.
Praising the Caledonian Sleeper staff, Mr Metcalfe said: “I would say in what was a really difficult situation the train crew on board were really calm and professional and handled it as well as they could.”
He added: “I just went home, for me it was a minor inconvenience. But it brings home what is happening around the world in relation to the climate emergency – it made it very real that you were experiencing this in real time.”
People were amused by the story, with the tweet attracting more than 4,900 likes on Twitter.
“I know it doesn’t really help, but the train will definitely be more than an hour late when it reaches its destination, so you should be able to make claims,” suggested one helpful follower.
The Independent has contacted Caledonian Sleeper for comment.