Passengers flock to join sheep fun
Passengers might think they have the wool pulled over their eyes by train companies when accounting for delays.
But in the case of those travelling on a Virgin Trains service on the West Coast line today, yes, the train really was being held up by sheep on the track.
The incident, near Crewe in Cheshire during the morning rush-hour, led to a rush of puns on Twitter by those affected.
Phil Morrison wrote: " Sheep on the line. It's baaaad, but the Virgin Train Border Collie is on the way."
Ian Briscoe, referring to comments by the train manager, tweeted: "Sorry for slow running - Little Bo Peep lost her sheep and we've found them."
Samantha Robinson asked: "I s Ba Ba Black Sheep in with the herd? But at Crewe where the heck is a farm for them to get on to the track?"
Travellers appeared fairly relaxed about the incident.
John Dalton tweeted: " Crewe itself doesn't strike me as being that rural. Still who can complain about nice sheep piccies."
Eventually Virgin was able to announce: "Cleared in true One Man And His Dog style, the sheep that were on the line at Crewe are now back in the pen. The line is now clear."
Those held up by the sheep would at least have had a genuine excuse for being late for work.
A survey of 2,000 people out today showed that 58% of British workers were late at least once a month due to commuter delays.
From conference call provider Powwownow, the survey also listed some of the most-frequent, and bizarre, excuses for being late.
Topping the list was "leaves on the line", with the excuses also including "the driver got lost", "the bus driver fell asleep at the wheel" and "the grass on the track was too long".
One late-arriving worker blamed it all on "the milkman not arriving". Another claimed his driver had "a sprained eyebrow".
The poll found p ublic transport in Nottingham and Derby has been discovered was the most reliable in the country, with just 10% of commuters from these areas experiencing regular problems on their journey, compared to 46% of people who regularly have difficulties in London.