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Train reverses back to original destination because muddled driver got on wrong train

First Great Western Train Credit: PA

A rail company is investigating how one of its drivers took the wrong train out of a station in Oxfordshire. The First Great Western driver and his "pilotman" train manager joined a train at Banbury and thought they were heading for London.

But in fact the train was going the other way towards Reading and Didcot and, ultimately, Swansea. It was decided the best course of action was for the train to return to Banbury where the crew boarded the correct train to Paddington station in London.

The "real" Paddington train was delayed for around half an hour at Banbury while other trains were held up as they made way for the return to Banbury of the "wrong" train. The incident happened on Easter Monday evening, prompting Graham Henry to tweet the FGW announcement: "Ladies and gentleman, sorry for this delay ... we've found out we've picked up the wrong driver and have to reverse."

Another tweeter, Master Keys, wrote:

"Stuck on delayed train because a driver ahead has taken the wrong train on the wrong route!"

An FGW spokesman said: "We are looking into what happened. The crew got on the wrong train. We are really sorry about this."

The incident brings back memories of the old music hall song Oh! Mr Porter which was often sung by Marie Lloyd.

The lyrics go:

Oh! Mr Porter, what shall I do, I wanted to go to Birmingham, and they've taken me on to Crewe, Take me back to London, as quickly as you can Oh! Mr Porter what a silly girl I am.

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Network Rail apologises as more commuters are stranded

It's been a week of misery and chaos for rail commuters. Passengers were left stranded again, today, because of cancellations and delays.

The disruption was caused by signalling problems at Slough - and between Twyford and Maidenhead. Routes through Reading station to Paddington were badly affected.

Today, Network Rail apologised for the problems. Cary Johnston talked to Dan Panes of First Great Western - which is likely to get an extension to its franchise.

"Standing room only" thing of the past for commuters?

As thousands struggle home tonight on overcrowded trains, many with standing room only, we can reveal a new scheme to improve the lives of commuters. In a major break with the railway class system, work has begun to rip out thousands of first class seats on the busiest trains to ease overcrowding.

The carriages on Great Western are being converted for standard class passengers. Campaigners says it's a major victory for the majority of travellers over the privileged few.

Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse has this exclusive report. He spoke to Managing Director of First Great Western Mark Hopwood and Frazer Langford, also from First Great Western.

Seats ripped out of 1st class to ease overcrowding

ITV News can reveal work has begun to rip out thousands of first class seats on the regions busiest trains in a radical new move to ease overcrowding.

The carriages on Great Western trains will be converted for use by standard class passengers.

ITV Meridian spoke to Frazer Langford from First Great Western about the drastic move.

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First class seats to be ripped out to ease overcrowding

First class seats to be ripped out to provide more extra seats

Thousands of first class seats are to be ripped out of trains in the Thames Valley and converted for use by standard class passengers in a radical move to ease overcrowding.

Passengers have long complained that first class carriages are empty while commuters are packed into standard class.

First Great Western to provide an extra 3,000 seats a day

Now an agreement has been reached with First Great Western and the Government that will mean an extra 3,000 seats a day. The work will be complete by next summer and cost £13 million.

It is one of a number of measures - including extra carriages - to provide more capacity at the busiest times.

Storms slash results for trains on time

The severe winter storms took their toll on train punctuality last month, according to the latest official figures. A total of 87.1 per cent of trains ran on time in the period 2nd February to 1st March, compared with 91.1 per cent in the same period last year, Network Rail said.

Some train companies were able to maintain near-100 per cent punctuality records, but others were badly hit by the extreme weather which wrecked south and south west England services. Southern ran only 77.1 per cent of trains on time last month - well down on 88.5 per cent for February 2013.

First Great Western, affected by the severe damage to the coastal track at Dawlish in Devon, had a trains-on-time figure of only 80.4 per cent, compared with 91.8 per cent in February 2013.

Network Rail said Southern was affected last month by multiple landslips and flood sites.

Chiltern Trains issue services update

Travel advice for Saturday 15 February: **

One train an hour between Birmingham Moor Street and Leamington Spa departing Birmingham at 15mins past the hour. One train an hour between Banbury and London Marylebone. The trains will depart London at 36 past the hour

There may be some last minute delays and cancellations as a result of the landslip. If you are travelling north of Banbury, we are advising to travel with Virgin Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street and then take services south.

Chiltern Trains are running a bus replacement service between Banbury and Leamington Spa and Cross Country are running a bus replacement service between Coventry, Leamington Spa and Banbury

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