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The only way is bork for the UK's embattled rail travellers

Destination 'Preinst aborted'

Bork!Bork!Bork! Come join your friends at The Register on a train journey to Bork. Or at least one to destination Aborted.

Spotted by Register reader Ian – who resides in that trainspotter's paradise, a house beside a siding – something is not well with the South Western Railway train. Unless "Preinst aborted" is a station of which we are unaware.

Or it might be where the Class 450 Siemens "Desiro UK" trains go when the powers that be decide the current seating arrangements can be made somehow even more uncomfortable.

Certainly, the timing is unfortunate and came as the live train information was equally borked, leaving punters unsure if their transport was delayed, on time or where it was going. Still, one could always look on the side of the train for an indication... oh, wait.

Those concerned that the message might indicate a more deep-seated level of borkage in the carriages need not worry. Most likely the onboard Passenger Information System (PIS) has had a wobble during startup or a step in the boot sequence has been skipped for the display.

The Class 450 trains first put in an appearance back in 2003, replacing the old slam-door units that had spent the end of the last century toiling up and down the tracks. While those elderly electric carriages had their issues, we doubt a "Preinst abort" was one of them.

Sadly, the last time we rode in one was on the Brockenhurst-to-Lymington line as part of a treat aimed at reminding passengers how life used to be (altogether better ventilated in the humble opinion of this hack).

We also recall some having a wondrous buffet car that would serve the most splendid fresh bacon sandwiches. These days, alas, one is lucky to see a trolley of overpriced snacks being glumly pushed down the aisle as one endures a buttock-numbing trip courtesy of the recently refitted interiors.

We contacted South Western Railway for its take on the matter but have yet to receive a response.

In the meantime, perhaps the borked message is a delicate hint in these trying times that we should not be using public transport anyway, unless we absolutely, truly have to.

Still, on the other hand, the sight and scent of someone tucking into a horror burger in one of the sealed carriages is also very much Preinst aborted. You have to look on the bright side, right? ®

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