Britain’s rail operators, the entire scientific community, and 1,439 passengers were in shock today as First Capital Connect published tentative proof of their Brighton to Bedford service arriving at London Bridge 20 seconds before it was meant to.
Bill Gosbee, a spokesperson for the company, says they were as surprised as everyone else when one of their trains breached the supposedly unbreakable ‘On-Time Barrier’; a key extrapolation from Thatcher’s First Law of Privatisation.
‘I can assure everyone we weren’t trying to achieve this result. We’ve done this thousands of times and have never seen any evidence that OT, let alone faster-than-OT, travel was possible.’
Tony Miller, one of the train’s many startled passengers, was incredulous. ‘I thought this sort of thing only happened in science fiction, or Japan. I mean, how am I going to explain this to my boss? I’ll just have to concoct some kind of elaborate excuse to justify my punctuality and hope he swallows it.’
Physicist, Brian Cox, is, for one, excited at the possibilities and took time to comment on the rail operator’s findings from the top of a dormant volcano in French Polynesia whilst being filmed by a circling helicopter.
‘I’ve seen some majestic things in my time, but this trumps them all. It runs contrary to all the tests we’ve been carrying out with model trains under Switzerland.’
‘I really hope this turns out to be true because the BBC have already booked me first-class tickets to a number of unnecessarily exotic locations so we can film some expensive and unrealistic metaphors. And I understand they’re already shipping James May to Watford.’
Tim O’Toole, CEO for First Capital Connect’s parent company, FirstGroup plc, has embraced the findings. ‘It’s still early days, but we encourage other rail operators to try and replicate these results. If we can pin the science down and achieve this on a consistent basis then the sky’s the limit. For ticket prices that is.’