back to article IT error at Great Western Railway charging £10k for 63-mile journey ticket

Great Western Rail has been advertising the bargain of a lifetime; a first-class journey from Taunton to Trowbridge for £10,000. We don't know if anybody could hate cider that much, but the extraordinarily priced direct trip was advertised from 22 May to 14 July, leaving potential customers stumping up £156 per mile. Great …

  1. Dave 126 Silver badge

    As Jack Dee on I'm Sorry I haven't a Clue said: the Romans settled in Bath, and named it for its natural hot spring waters, and for its proximity to a toilet like Trowbridge.

    1. CustardGannet
      Coffee/keyboard

      Amen. In 20 years of canal boat holidays I've been to an awful lot of English towns - and a lot of awful English towns - but never to any that were more awful than Trowbridge (not even Stoke).

      If you ever get stuck there for an evening, just go straight to the Wetherspoons - it is the only vaguely-decent pub in town, so don't waste your time looking for any better ones.

      Escape, if you can -> ->

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Pint

        Escape Trowbridge?

        Well, Devizes is not that far away and home to 6X. You shouldn't need any more help.

        Beer icon naturally. I would dearly love a pint of that nectar right now as I'm in Southern France so getting even some Belgian beer is out of the question.

        1. 080

          Re: Escape Trowbridge?

          Just go to Le Clerc's and get a few cans of Bavarian Brewing Company (from Amsterdam naturally) 8.6

          And it's Trowhole not Trowbridge

  2. wolfetone Silver badge

    "We welcome readers' suggestions for other ways in which Tauntonians could spend £10,000 to escape the small city."

    Buy a Dacia Sandero.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Great News!

      The Dacia Sandero currently has an RRP starting from £5185, a saving of £4815 on the Great Western Railway £10k first class rail journey!

      1. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Re: Great News!

        currently has an RRP starting from £5185

        Almost low enough to buy two. Presumably the proper thing to do would be torch the outbound one on arrival to avoid paying for parking, and then buy a brand new one for the return journey.

        1. wolfetone Silver badge

          Re: Great News!

          Guys!

          Have you not considered the cost of insurance? That's £4,000 on it's own before you take Petrol, Tax, etc.

          1. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Re: Great News!@ wolfetone

            Insurance? Why would I want that on a "burner" car? Admittedly the filth might take a dim view if I were caught on the road without insurance, but these days they do little real road policing, preferring to rely on cameras and back office flunkies to issue tickets. Even were I caught on a speed camera, by the time the ticket arrives my disposable ride will be a mixture of ashes and crushed metal in a scrappies yard, and I'll be saying, "wasn't me driving it gov'nr, was some yoof that twocked it".

            1. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Great News!@ wolfetone

              The car dealer has to arrange the road tax[1] on it before you can collect the keys, and you need proof of insurance to get it taxed.

              [1] Note to pedants, it is once again road tax, George Osborne changed it back.

            2. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. Evil Auditor Silver badge

          Re return journey

          Why would you want a return journey?

  3. Just Enough

    Not a denial

    "We are aware of an IT glitch which has published fares for a first class journey that does not exist,"

    Is it the fare or the journey that doesn't exist? Cos it sounds like they're saying its the journey and the fare is a certain possibility.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not a denial

      Chances are there are no first class carriages.

      1. John Riddoch

        Re: Not a denial

        That was my thought - there's no 1st class available, so we put a "dummy" price in of £10k. It could then fall into an IT problem because the systems didn't exclude the £10k fare and mark it as "not available".

        1. Spudley

          Re: Not a denial

          That was my thought - there's no 1st class available, so we put a "dummy" price in of £10k. It could then fall into an IT problem because the systems didn't exclude the £10k fare and mark it as "not available".

          If you're willing to pay ten grand for the ticket, I suspect they'd be willing to add a first class carriage specially for you.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not a denial

          "[...] there's no 1st class available, so we put a "dummy" price in of £10k."

          I once contacted an eBay seller because an item price was ludicrously high. Apparently they were going on holiday - and it was easier to change the price to prevent a sale instead of temporarily withdrawing the long term listing.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Not a denial

          £10000 is still a valid ticket price (e.g. a season ticket from Bath to London), so the dummy fare should probably have been set at £100000.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not a denial

        > Chances are there are no first class carriages.

        Maybe they'll add one for £10k. That's a fair price for having an exclusive first-class ride.

      3. Bill M

        Re: Not a denial

        Not first class passengers at that price.

    2. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Is it the fare or the journey that doesn't exist?

      A good question, as it addresses a likely error in the class hierarchies from which the software is built.

  4. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Joke

    Taunton ?

    And I thought they smelled bad on the outside !

    1. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Taunton ?

      No that is Bridgwater

  5. Wiltshire

    One of the joys of travelling by train to Trowbridge was that, from the station, you got a first-class view of the Bowyers factory. With truckloads of pigs going in one end and sausages coming out the other. You could also hear the pigs screaming, because they knew it didn't look good.

    1. Korev Silver badge
  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IT Error?

    Was it really an "IT Error"? Did the computer really make an error or did a human goof up and the computer took one for the team?

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: IT Error?

      IT here stands for "Idiot Technician" perhaps?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: IT Error?

      They just got caught, that's all. Then blame the computer.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: IT Error?

        PEBKAC

    3. Jay 2

      Re: IT Error?

      GIGO = Garbage In, Garbage Out. I put it down to duff (human supplied?) data somewhere and the computer just doing its normal thing.

      Meanwhile, to err is human but to really mess things up, it takes a computer.

    4. David Nash Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: IT Error?

      "Did the computer really make an error or did a human goof up and the computer took one for the team?"

      What's the difference? Computer error is always a human error at the end of the day.

      1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

        Re: IT Error?

        It's probably an instance of the classic code smell known as "magic values".

        First class tickets aren't available, so the price should be null. You can't use null because it's not supported or it breaks something elsewhere. How about zero? No, we don't want to risk people travelling for free. A negative number? No, we might have to pay them to travel. OK, we'll use a big number.

        Long.MAX_VALUE might have been a better choice. If it ever got printed it would be pretty noticeable.

  7. Andy Livingstone

    Probably no more than a hangover from the British Rail philosophy of charging what the traffic will bear.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Given the current state of the railways, British Rail and their legendary sandwiches look like a never to be repeated golden age.

      1. Alan J. Wylie Silver badge

        British Rail and their legendary sandwiches

        Don't forget the cans of Ruddles County

      2. Ledswinger Silver badge

        Given the current state of the railways, British Rail and their legendary sandwiches look like a never to be repeated golden age.

        OK, lets go back to a state owned railway system using ancient, slow and dirty rolling stock, providing half the number of journeys as our current system, and run apparently as a job creation scheme for the indolent and surly. I can recall the days of British Rail very well, and anybody who thinks things were better has clearly got their head wedged in the back pages of Socialist Worker.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "I can recall the days of British Rail very well, and anybody who thinks things were better has clearly got their head wedged in the back pages of Socialist Worker."

          Can I recommend rush hour journeys on Southern Rail?

          1. Ledswinger Silver badge

            Can I recommend rush hour journeys on Southern Rail?

            Not materially worse than my recollection of the old Southern Region at peak time. Of course, back in those days you used to get Lillibolero played at Waterloo to keep everything moving along smartly, and I'll wager they don't do that any more. However, fans of the good old days of nationalisation will presumably be approving of the 1970s industrial relations that appear to have been reintroduced on Southern Rail.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Er????

            Can I recommend rush hour journeys on any train into London

            There fixed it for you.

            FWIW one of the most overcrowded trains is the 07:30 something GW service from Reading into Paddington but yes Southen Services (or not) with all that Union action is bad. About time that came to an end. As all new trains are being designed (by government diktat) for DOO they should get used to having more staff not sitting in their compartment doing the crossword for the entire trip and actually interracting with the passengers. As the Union Leader is name Cash, I guess only a hefty solution in Cash would settle it..

            1. GingerOne

              Re: Er????

              But at least the union action is posted in advance so you can make alternative arrangements. It's the days when it is supposed to be working properly that the problems occur. Overcrowded trains running late, services cancelled at the last minute. Southern Rail are a terribly run operation, made all the more galling by the millions of pounds their shareholders take from Government coffers.

              More taxpayer money is spent funding 'privately' run railways now than it ever was when nationally owned. We could re-nationalise, spend the same amount of money but return the profits to the treasury and have the same level of service we currently have.

              1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

                Re: Er????

                According to the last figures, the sums paid to the Government vs the sums paid in subsidy to the TOC's is around £816M per anum in favour of the Government.

                This little factoid is glossed over by those who want to re-nationalise the railways.

                Granted, the GW electricification has been an unmitigated disaster yet Crossrail will come in on time and on budget. Perhaps the lack of meddling by the government in Crossrail might have something to do with it?

                The newly let Southwest Trains Franchise will have to pay mony to HMG right from day 1. No subsidy there. Crazy decision to axe the new class 700 trains for the Windsor/Reading lines before they have all been built... Railways seem to have this effect on people. Look at some of the frankly stupid schemes that received royal acent in the 19th Century.

            2. katrinab Silver badge

              Re: Er????

              8 of the 10 most overcrowded journeys are Reading to Paddington, one is Henley to Paddington, and one is a Transpennine service from Glasgow to Manchester.

        2. MJI Silver badge

          Was not that old

          I remember the locos were all around 20 years old, prime of life

          Comfy roomy coaches sometimes downgraded first class (Mark 1 FO as a second, nice).

          Rather a Type 4* + 8 to 10 than a multiple unit.

          Rather a HST than the new stuff

          * Peak 47 or best of all a 50

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Was not that old

            I detect the whiff of a railway nerd...

            Thumper double header has the best noise though.

            I did prefer compartments with my own light and blind though. The old EMU's were already about 40 years old when I started using them as a kid though. These had windows that let air in too which is also limited nowadays in sealed box trains.

            All new plastic, uncomfortable, densely packed sardine tins that pass for trans nowadays. Hypnotising drivers going through a permanent tunnel of overhead cable gantries (trust me a font view needs effort at speed to see anything through the blur)

            Ahhh, reminicences

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Was not that old

              2-BIL or 2-HAL or possibly a 4-SUB gave way to 4-COR and 4-VEP and now you have Class 700's.

              then spotting at Holme Box on the ECML as Diesels replaced the A3's and A4's. Oh, the good old days.

              Hated the 2-BILs used on the Brighton Line. Got in one of the non corridor coaches at Victoria only to be joined by a bunch of Chelsea skilheads/boot boys who proceeded to kick the daylights out of me because Chelsea had lost at the 'Bridge' due to two goals by Greavsie. Even the guard wouldn't go near them.

              Dammit it, showing my age.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Was not that old

                Blimey you must be 70 years old young man!

              2. MJI Silver badge

                Re: Was not that old

                BILs and HALs that is old

                Near me is was Met Camm 101, Swindon 120, and lots of Peaks on NESW services.

                Excitement if we saw an HST

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I too can remember state owned BR and whilst it wasn't perfect atleast it was ours

          Whilst I did not eat the food on the trains, I did however use the service daily for years to get A to B that is before it was "privatised" and I had to get a driving license.

          Like every other service that we used to own that was "privitised" to make it more "efficent", things cannot be said to have improved and clearly "efficent" here doesnt mean less expensive, safer or better value.

          "efficent" in this context clearly means sell off anything not bolted down such as real estate, research centres and associated patents etc. Then lay off the "expensive" highly educated and competent staff and replace them with cheap semi-skilled, disinterested short term contractors.

          When the wheels invitably fall off then repeatedly demand yet more cash from the state to give to the share holders so the inept management can keep their sinecures. It used to be that only people buying a ticket paid for the service where as now every tax payer does and gets far less out of it to boot.

          I also remember the "Socialist Worker" guys and they didn't work at BR or any of the "privatised industries", in my experience they worked for Socialist Worker Magazine itself simply because the "privatised industries" used to required you to have passed some technical exams. Now however if they keep stum they would fit right in, so the premise that privatisation removed them from the industry is shown as the lie it always was.

        4. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge
          Mushroom

          so we've gone "forward" to a system where the public subsidy doubled on privatisation; that exists to funnel taxpayers money to boards of directors and shareholders and that has to have at least two regulators because otherwise the chiselling twats wouldn't bother with maintenance, eg Hatfield.

          we did actually go forward and have the ecml run by the state and it was something like affordable. of course, that didn't work, because the hereinbefore mentioned chiselling twats hadn't got their snouts in the trough, so they gave it to branson who recommenced the gouging.

          hth, hand.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          <Quote> Given the current state of the railways, British Rail and their legendary sandwiches look like a never to be repeated golden age.

          OK, lets go back to a state owned railway system using ancient, slow and dirty rolling stock, providing half the number of journeys as our current system, and run apparently as a job creation scheme for the indolent and surly. I can recall the days of British Rail very well, and anybody who thinks things were better has clearly got their head wedged in the back pages of Socialist Worker.</Quote>

          some of the trains are newer, but the rest is the same...Now you just get a choice of one sandwich from a trolly that runs over your feet or gets stuck in crowded carriages and cant get to you.

          Telling me it is better now means you have your own head stuck in Computer Weekly or some other periodical...

      3. Little Mouse
        Childcatcher

        "a never to be repeated golden age..."

        "This is the aaaaage - Of the train!"

        </two thumbs-up></jewellery jewellery></creepy stare>

        Ah - the good old days.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Given the current state of the railways, British Rail and their legendary sandwiches look like a never to be repeated golden age.

        Ah yes, "British Rail - We're getting there."

        Not exactly optimistic or dynamic, but on the whole, accurate.

  8. Captain Hogwash Silver badge
    Headmaster

    Re: small city

    Taunton is the county town of Somerset but it is no city.

    1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

      Re: small city

      Yes, it has neither a Cathedral nor a University, although the Somerset College of Art and Technology (SCAT - what a bad acronym to use), rebranded itself first as Somerset College, and recently merged with Bridgewater College to form University Centre Somerset.

      According to the list at https://www.gov.uk/check-a-university-is-officially-recognised/recognised-bodies, it cannot award degrees itself, and it's tag line is "In partnership with Plymouth University, Oxford Brookes University, UWE Bristol & The Open University", so I suspect that it relies on Plymouth, Oxford Brookes, UWE and the Open University for the award of the degree.

      This does not make it a University, in my opinion, so Taunton does not qualify as a city.

      1. Spudley

        Re: small city

        ...rebranded itself first as Somerset College, and recently merged with Bridgewater College to form University Centre Somerset.

        Small point, but Bridgwater doesn't have an 'e' in the middle.

        (No, I don't know why either. Probably down to some early map-maker who couldn't spell)

        1. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

          Re: small city @Spudley

          Yes. I do know. Typo.

          I had two kids go to Bridgwater College and one of them then went to SCAT. One of the first things I learned was that the 'e' was missing, but when quickly typing a post, it's easy to forget. If you look back at my posts, it's hard to find one that does not have a spelling, typographic, punctuation or capitalization error, no matter how hard I try to get them right.

          I think the real reason for the tone of my comment is that the conversion of first Polytechnics, and now Further Education colleges to 'University' status has, in my opinion, devalued degrees, and damaged the vocational education system in the UK. The current system still churns out graduates in 'soft' disciplines, who then struggle to work in their chosen field, and end up not using their education in the jobs that they end up in. And the flip side is that 'real' universities are starved of resources and funds for the required 'hard' disciplines, leading to shortages of STEM graduates in industry and education, and very valuable intermediate level qualifications in these subjects (BTEC HNC and HND for example) have pretty much disappeared.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: small city

        This does not make it a University, in my opinion, so Taunton does not qualify as a city.

        A city needs a royal designation saying it's a city - nothing more, nothing less...

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_status_in_the_United_Kingdom

        1. Andy Livingstone

          Re: small city

          Seen the signs at the entries to Milton Keynes? Been there since it was a new town.

          The pint that thinks its a quart. The New Town that insists it is a City.

      3. Robert Baskerville
        Coat

        Re: small city

        Sadly the presence of a University has no bearing on the modern legal definition of a city in the UK. If it has a royal charter to make it a city, then it is a city. Otherwise, it is not.

        Take Guildford - University, Cathedral, decent size. City? No - it has no royal charter, thus it is not a city. In fact, there are no cities in the whole of Surrey (a county so strange that the County Council HQ is actually outside of the county!)

        Take St Asaph in sleepy North Wales. Smallest cathedral in the country, no university, population of a large village (~3-4k). City? Yes - it was granted its royal charter for the most recent jubilee, and thus it is, quite laughably, a city. The only city in Denbighshire (Denbigh is not a city) so maybe it should be renamed St Asaphshire or Llanelwyshire / Sir Llanelwy?

    2. Dr Who

      Re: small city

      Is it small? Or is it far away?

      1. Locky Silver badge

        Re: small city

        Careful now

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: small city

        Is it small? Or is it far away?

        Yes, no[1].

        HTH, HAND etc.

        [1] About 86 miles according to Gargle Mopes. Which isn't really next-door but is, in terms of real distances, not that far.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. EastFinchleyite

    Trussed Up

    For that sort of money you could afford to by a vehicle which is something between a large bathing machine and a very small second-class carriage.

    As Liz Truss for details.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "We welcome readers' suggestions for other ways in which Tauntonians could spend £10,000 to escape the small city."

    They could buy a house in Trowbridge ..

    1. VinceH Silver badge

      I was thinking they could take off and nuke the site from orbit. That should put an unhealthily large number of zeros on the end of the (rounded) cost, far exceeding the £10,000.

      Plus, it's the only way to be sure.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I was thinking they could take off and nuke the site from orbit

        If you are going to do that, can you wait until the wind is from the south? That way, the fallout will end up somewhere that doesn't really matter, rather than in Wiltshire[1].

        [1] Prevailing wind is usually from the south-west..

        1. Toni the terrible

          Wiltshire matters? thats a new one...

  11. phuzz Silver badge

    As GWR is now owned by First, the mistake was presumably that they were intending to charge £12,000.

    And then to swap it for a rail-replacement bus which never turns up.

  12. TRT Silver badge

    I think...

    they were testing the current IT system's behaviour in advance of when they come to include the fares for HS2.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El reg adds to the problem

    by using a picture of an American train...

    I am sure you can find some exploding UK train images el reg! ...

    Anon, otherwise I would use the I'm getting my (rain)coat icon...

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: El reg adds to the problem

      I am sure you can find some exploding UK train images el reg! ...

      Or even a video.

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: El reg adds to the problem

        I just knew it was 46 009

        The carriages survive quite well

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: El reg adds to the problem

          I like the way the diesel motor flies out of the top of the loco :)

          The US did a similar test but went with planes instead of trains. I love the way 95% of the plane just 'goes away' :)

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: El reg adds to the problem

            Mythbusters did similar with a car, and you get to see it in very slow motion!

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Demand pricing...

    Someone else had searched for this weeks ago and probably got a 1st class ticket for £6.50. Each search ratchets it up (you can try this for yourself if you open multiple browser windows, you don't even have to buy a ticket to have fun at the expense of the next customer...).

    Wonders if the ratchet tops out at £10,000...

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Demand pricing...

      Airlines/online travel agents have done this for a long time. It's not the searches that ups the price, it's the cookies on your local computer. For a long time (haven't tried for a while) the only safe way to buy such things online was to search using one browser and then go back with a different browser (or clear all cookies) and then buy the damn ticket/holiday/flight at the original price. Operated by Utter Bar stewards.

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Demand pricing...

      A good tip I was given a while ago is to always do this sort of online shopping with the private browsing set 'on'.

    3. cantankerous swineherd Silver badge

      Re: Demand pricing...

      clearing cookies seems to get you back to square one.

      edit, as mentioned by learned colleagues above.

  15. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Are they reducing prices in case the election goes 'wrong'?

    It costs a lot to get in a replacement bus for a non-existent service.

    1. Toni the terrible

      Re: Are they reducing prices in case the election goes 'wrong'?

      use a 'Battlebus' they will be all over the place

  16. MJI Silver badge

    I have it worked out

    Price of a used first class carriage?

    Not sure what they are going for these days

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have it worked out

      Price of a used carriage in habitable running condition can be around £25k...

      Enough used track to rest it on is less than £4k extra...

      Anon as no one should ever know ... :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I have it worked out

      For less than 10 friends to share the journey you could charter your own private train...its quite cost effective if you have a lot of mates (i.e. a supporters club or similar)

  17. adam payne Silver badge

    "Great Western Rail has been advertising the bargain of a lifetime; a first-class journey from Taunton to Trowbridge for £10,000."

    That'll be the limo replacement service for the day.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still cheaper.....

    Than Heathrow Express....

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Maybe they could donate it to Lindley House?

    In my misspent youth I stayed there, lovely place, had a resident crazy who used to run round naked singing "the ace of spades".

    Also if you want the proper cider you have to ask for it in the shops as it was usually hidden away at the back due to it's proper strength and questionable contents.

    I managed to escape to Torquay on the train, it was free for me back then.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cheaper to fly

    So let look at Private Jet.

    The nearest airport to Towbridge is Bristol Airport (BRS / EGGD).

    The nearest major airport to Trowbridge is Exeter International Airport (EXT / EGTE).

    So look in to flight with a "small jet" that comes in as £2350.

    https://www.privatefly.com/private-jet-charter/estimate-prices.html?flightSearch=3630370

  21. hatti

    I think this is a very reasonable fare based on some of the prices commuters are having to pay for peak hour travel.

  22. Michael B.

    Taunton to Bridgwater - Somerset Solar Walk

    Taunton isn't all that bad as between Taunton to Bridgwater alongside the canal there is a scale model of the Solar System that really enforces how empty the outer solar system is. Also, you can use phrases like "have we missed Uranus" and "Uranus is coming up".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Somerset_Space_Walk

    1. Laura Kerr

      Re: Taunton to Bridgwater - Somerset Solar Walk

      If Taunton's not all that bad now, it must have improved since I lived there as a child. I might have found it nicer back in the day if I'd mastered the banjo, though.

      1. Michael B.

        Re: Taunton to Bridgwater - Somerset Solar Walk

        Not all that bad as in there is a lovely footpath, and many roads, leading out of the place.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I wonder if Trowbridge was the naming model for HMS Troutbridge?

    Err - left hand down a bit. Everybody down!

  24. Tony S
    Headmaster

    City

    Officially, the part about having a cathedral to be a city was done away with in the 19th century; the only criterion now is that the town has received a charter from the monarch making it a city.

    Hence Taunton is a town; and the only city in Somerset is Wells, because it has had a cathedral for centuries, which gave it city status a long time ago. (Bath hasn't been in Somerset for some time; it's now within BANES).

    An interesting point is that Rochester lost their city status because of re-organisation; and it took 4 years before they realised that.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-13841482

    But to get back to the main point; probably not an "IT Problem" but a "Data problem". I.e., someone put the wrong data in the system, and it output a bogus result.

  25. Bloodbeastterror

    Obviously...

    ...it's just an inadvertent early display of next year's timetable.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Signed number

    The service is so bad they pay you to travel. Fare is a negative number. System doesn't recognise negative numbers, outputs maximum allowed

  27. Alistair Silver badge
    Boffin

    Ummm

    I live just outside of toRONto, and Taunton Rd is north of me, Trowbridge ave is (well to the) west of me. That image is a CN rail engine with the logo's wiped off. There is no way that trip takes 10,000 lbs of fuel.

    Oh, wait. I'm confused.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've got a screen-capture of a £999,998 fare on nationalrail website from Jan 2011

    For a standard class journey from Cambridge to Horley (near Gatwick).

    Will forward at some point...

  29. This post has been deleted by its author

  30. Karl H

    Surely something better than a Dacia Sandero ...

    I have no clue if either of these are possible for £10K, but maybe :

    (1) charter a helicopter or light aircraft (along with pilot)

    (2) hire a Bugatti Veyron

    1. SkippyBing Silver badge

      Re: Surely something better than a Dacia Sandero ...

      '(1) charter a helicopter or light aircraft (along with pilot)'

      Yes, I have flown people much further for less! Something like a Jetranger or Robinson R66 is ~£750 an hour and will get you around 100-120 miles (nautical) in that time. Depressingly the pilot's cut is only around £45.

  31. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    The Great Western Train Robbery

    @Alexander J Martin

    The loco in the picture at the head of the article bears no resemblance whatsoever to those that are in service in that area - not unless Taunton is over on the other side of the pond.

    So to make up, here are some pictures of the Great HSTs around Taunton, Somerset.

    http://www.tauntontrains.co.uk/HST.htm

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