A millionaire boss of a shoe repair chain has vented his frustration after his 15-year-old daughter was left stranded at Euston when staff didn't believe her age.
James Timpson, chief executive of Timpson Shoe Repairs, said his daughter, Niamh, 15, was preparing to get the train from London to Crewe when she was stopped by an inspector at the ticket barrier who believed she was too old for her child ticket, reports the Standard.
Passengers who are under 16 are entitled to use discounted tickets, but Niamh reportedly did not have any ID to prove her age.
Mr Timpson called the initial decision not to let her on the train a "disgrace".
He took to Twitter to share his opinion, writing: "Virgin Rail at Euston. Why do you stop a 15-year-old girl at the barriers (who has a valid ticket) from travelling home?
"You say she has no ID to prove how old she is. It's 7pm and she is alone now at the station. When did you have to prove how young you are? You are a disgrace."
Virgin Rail at Euston. Why do you stop a 15 year old girl at the barriers (who has a valid ticket) from traveling home. You say she has no ID to prove how old she is. It's 7pm and she is alone now at the station. When did you have to prove how young you are? You are a disgrace.
According to the Telegraph, a spokeswoman for Virgin Trains said: "Customers under the age of 16 are eligible for a 50 per cent discount on fares and we do recommend that if a child looks older then it may be appropriate for proof of age to be carried when travelling.
"We're sorry for the experience of Mr Timpson and his daughter and we are in touch with them so we can look into this properly and offer a gesture of goodwill."
However, according to the Independent, some users pointed out that many children don't have ID to prove their age.
Shaz Hussain tweeted: "This is so crazy, at 15 years old why and how would you have any ID to prove your age? Surely a lack of ID would show she is a child."
World's quirkiest train rides
World's quirkiest train rides
Germany's Wuppertal Suspension Railway, or Electric Elevated Railway, is a hanging railway which runs along the Wupper Valley in the Ruhr. Built over 100 years ago, the unique monorail straddles the Wupper River and is a serious part of the region’s transport infrastructure, carrying over 20 million passengers a year. It runs along a route of eight miles at a height of 39 feet and at one point crosses a motorway. Ffestiniog Travel offers a Trams & Trains of Northern Germany holiday which takes in the railway.
Running at speeds of around 18 mph, Battambang's Bamboo Train offers a one-of-a-kind rail journey, which takes travellers four miles south-east from O Dambong to O Sra Lav on a norry, a three-metre-long wooden frame with slats made of bamboo. The cheap trains carry up to 15 people and operate daily.
Inlandsbanan is an 850-mile inland railway which travels from Kristinehamn in Central Sweden, north to Gällivare in Swedish Lapland. There's no rush on this slow train as the driver might stop for photo opportunities, make time for you to pick wild strawberries or even enjoy a swim in a lake. The unhurried train stops at little train stations and halts for meal breaks, with orders phoned ahead.
Thailand's unique Maeklong Railway passes right through the Maeklong Railway Market, one of the largest fresh seafood markets in the country. Centred on the railway's track, the market's vendors pull back their produce as the train approaches and immediately put everything back as it was once the train has passed through. The railway is one of the slowest in Thailand and travels through the market three times a day each way.
The Tunnel of Love railway line starts at Klevan and reaches Orzhiv, stretching for four miles, with around three miles covered by a forest. It passes through around two miles of beautiful green arches and is used by trains carrying wood a few times a day. Visitors can walk through the botanical phenomenon and legend says that couples who go through the Tunnel of Love should make a wish which will come true.
Running through the streets of Bad Doberan, the Molli is a narrow-gauge steam-powered railway in Mecklenburg. Created by German aristocrats in the 19th century to serve their favourite Baltic beach resorts, the train picks up passengers outside the shops on cobbled streets and has stationmasters to wind up the level crossings by hand. Ffestiniog Travel’s Narrow Gauge Steam in Eastern Germany tour takes in the railway.
Starting at Villefranche-des-Confient on the eastern side of the Pyrenees, the Little Yellow Train snakes its way through tunnels, gorges and over breathtaking viaducts up to Bolquere, France's highest railway station at 1200 metres. The historic metre gauge electric railway then drops down to Latour-de-Carol at the end of the 63km journey. Opened in 1909, many of the original carriages are still in use along with open-air carriages. Book a ride with Loco2.com.
Built after World War II, the Children's Railway, or Pioneer's Railway, is run by children under the supervision of adult railway workers. From selling tickets to traffic management, the little workers aged between ten and 14 do various types of jobs. Dreamt up by Hungary's communist authorities to instil work ethic in the young, the Children's Railway is still rumbling through the hills around Budapest and is a popular excursion for families.
The Napier-Gisborne Railway passes directly across the Gisborne Airport runway, with trains stopping to seek clearance from the air traffic control tower before they continue down the line. The track splits the middle of the runway and often both the train and aircraft stop until one of them travels on.
Built in 1942, the Burma Railway earned its name as the Death Railway because of the more than 100,000 Allied prisoners of war who died during its construction. Once completed, it stretched 250 miles from Ban Pong in Thailand to Thanbuyuzayat in Burma. Today, the railway is popular among visitors who ride the train as it passes sheer cliffs and along wooden bridges.