Virgin Trains: my seat is missing!

Where is coach B?

There is no Coach B

I’m on a train from London to Birmingham. A Virgin Train. I have a ticket and a reservation for a seat. I’ve paid and everything. I’m supposed to be in Coach B. So are a few other people.

The coaches are numbered in reverse alphabetical order from the beginning of the platform. It starts with First Class (naturally!) and then progresses through the white trash coaches that people like myself inhabit.

I walked down the platform all the way to the front of the train – Coach G. That’s it – no more coaches. Where was Coach B? Had it been kidnapped by aliens or a rival train company? I saw some other people standing, looking very confused. I said “I’m supposed to be on Coach B.” “So are we,” the replied.

At that moment a staff member headed out of the train and we quickly grabbed him and explained our predicament – no Coach B. “It’s back there,” he pointed vaguely. Which one? The next one or the one after? We had no idea. He disappeared leaving us more confused. We ended up in Coach H which has roving finger seemed to indicate, but the seat I had reserved had a sign saying “Not Reserved“. And there was no place to put my luggage. The tiny, tiny area allocated for luggage was already full.

It was then I realised a undeniable fact of life: “Richard Branson is a c*nt and needs a hard kick in the balls!”

I ended up flopping into another seat with my smaller case as the passenger in the next seat. What else could I do? I hoped that no-one would get on at Watford Junction or Coventry and demand I vacate their seat.

To calm my nerves, I made my way through (seemingly) 20 doors to the coach with the shop and bought a 500ml beer and some crisps. While it isn’t even 4pm, I feel justified. By the time I get to Birmingham, I will hopefully be feeling very relaxed! 😉

Sensibly I brought along a packet of Maynard’s Wine Gums. Well, one does such things when one is travelling by train in the You Kay! The flaky 3-Mobile broadband connection is making even doing a Google Maps search for the location of my Birmingham hotel impossible. Oh,and the laptop powerpoint isn’t working either. Goddamn it! All there is to do is eat and drink.

The clouds look very grey outside. The English countryside looks grey. Hopefully this is not a sign of a crap weekend in Birmingham coming up. I haven’t explored Birmingham’s Gay Village since 1997 – and I’d like to do it in a relatively dry condition.

I’m still a little worried as to the whereabouts of Coach B and my reserved seat.

Perhaps another beer will help me forget!



  1. Hi, I would like to subscribe for this webpage to take most recent updates, therefore where can i do it please help.

  2. hi im booked into coach b seat 13 on the 26th feb 2011# hoe i have better luck.

    • Hope it went well and you didn’t find yourself hanging on to the back of the train!

  3. While I cannot condone the recklessness of mixing beer and wine gums, your predicament is all too familiar. You might enjoy this:

  4. So, did you ever locate coach B?

    • No I didn’t. It seemed as if they’d decided to only send half a train because bookings were low. It would have been nice if they’d explained this via a platform announcement!

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