Together they've travelled further than the moon so now the entire fleet of passenger assistance buggies at London Euston station have been replaced after 18 years.
On average 87,000 passengers who need help getting to and from their train rely on the vehicles at the West Coast main line’s southern terminus each year – that’s around 240 passengers every day.
The first four buggies were introduced in 2004 with a further six added in 2010.
It’s estimated the 10 vehicles have made 1,000,000 journeys between the main concourse and platforms over 18 years. With each trip around a third of a mile – it means they’ve ferried passengers and luggage over 330,000 miles between them – the moon is 238,885 miles away from Earth.
After nearly two decades of serious pulling power, Network Rail today (Friday 20 May) retired the old vehicles for 12 new electric machines. This £200,000 investment has boosted the fleet by 20 percent and will reduce maintenance costs and breakdowns.
Gareth Parry, Network Rail station manager at London Euston, said: “These new buggies will continue to play a vital role in getting passengers to and from trains who need extra help.
“The old buggies have served us incredibly and it’s out of this world to think of together they’ve travelled further away than the moon. These new vehicles will be much more reliable, have a longer battery life and can continue to serve passengers for many more years to come.”
Passenger Assist allows people to request an assistance booking in advance so that train company staff will be on hand to help with things like navigating a station, boarding a train, or arranging a ramp on and off a train. Since 1 April, people can book assistance just two hours before their journey is due to start, at any time of the day and any day of the week.
The reduction in booking times comes after rail companies last year introduced a new app, Passenger Assistance by Transreport, which speeds up the process to request assistance.