Travellers standing on board a packed London to Liverpool Virgin train service were shocked when the train manager made an announcement advising them to sit on the floor because the train was going to speed up.
Around 180 commuters on the West Coast Mainline route, who can pay more than £180 for a ticket, had been forced to stand up for the two-hour trip because it was so busy, and there were 600 people travelling with only 439 seats available.
And, annoyance turned to disbelief when they heard the announcement, which many thought was a joke.
One passenger told the Metro the announcement caused 'mass confusion', adding:
'Everyone was just looking around wondering what to do. I didn't see anyone actually sit down but there was definitely a few looks around to see if somebody else was going to do it.
'On a London to Liverpool train you can expect congestion and you can expect to stand but being asked to sit on the floor is bordering on the ridiculous.'
The service had been late due to a cable theft along the line, and was reportedly upping speed to make up for lost time.
A Virgin spokesman said the announcement was not normal procedure and it was investigating.
Ken Gibbs told the Daily Mail that 'we suspect he was just being a bit over enthusiastic', adding: 'Overcrowding on trains is an issue we take very seriously.
'If people do not have a seat for their journey it is not comfortable but it does not pose a risk to safety.
'Trains are always going to be crowded for as long as we have walk-up railway, where people can buy tickets just before they travel.'