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Train nightmare for mum and daughter
A MOTHER and daughter suffered the worst two-and-a-half hours of their lives when they were trapped on a train with almost 1,000 rowdy football fans.
Kingsmead mum Rebekah Pyatt said she and her daughter Paige Phillips, 14, were subjected to swearing, drugs, drunkenness and men going to the toilet in front of them on the crowded train journey.
Rebekah was taking Paige, an up-and-coming singer, to an audition for a Disney programme in London on Sunday, February 26.
They caught the 8.43am train from Crewe to London Euston but the train was swamped by Liverpool fans making their way to the Carling Cup Final at Wembley after an engineering train derailed at Winsford.
Services from Liverpool Lime Street to Crewe were cancelled for 10 hours so many fans headed to Crewe to catch the London train.
The platform was crowded with fans, who all swarmed towards the train doors when it arrived.
Rebekah lost her footing getting on the train and was almost trampled.
“It scared me to death,” she said.
“If a man hadn’t seen that I’d fallen and shouted I think they would have trampled all over me.”
Once they got on the train they found it so crammed that they could not move from the corridor by the toilet.
Rebekah said they were subjected to constant swearing from the fans, who were also passing round alcohol and even smoking marijuana.
The men also forced open a jammed toilet door and started using the toilet in front of Rebekah and Paige.
“Me and Paige tried to act like we weren’t bothered because if we started complaining or looking like we were turning our noses up at them it would all kick off,” Rebekah said.
“We just kept smiling.”
She said she did not see any police officers on the platform or in the train and has complained to Cheshire Police, British Transport Police and Virgin trains.
“I just want to make them realise what happened so they can put something in place for next time,” she said.
“I just want them to know what me and my daughter went through.”
A spokesman for British Transport Police (BTP)said: “Sunday was a particularly challenging day for the rail industry with thousands of fans travelling to Wembley for the Carling Cup final, exacerbated by the derailment of a train at Winsford which closed a section of the West Coast Mainline.
“BTP had been planning, in partnership with the rail industry, for the movement of Liverpool fans for some time and had a special operation in place to deal with the large number of people expected to use the railway to travel to London.
“The derailment at Winsford meant these plans had to be dynamically altered to deal with the resulting dispersal of fans from Liverpool Lime Street to Chester, Crewe, Warrington and Manchester.
“BTP had drafted extra officers in to deal with the large number of rail users, but these also had to be dispersed across the region to mirror the movement of fans.
“We monitored all services travelling between the north west and London and placed officers on-board those trains which were considered to be most problematic.
“The train in question had almost 1,000 football fans on board and was extremely busy.
“BTP officers were at Crewe station and were on-board the 8.45 Crewe to London Euston service to respond to any issues, but, due to the sheer number of passengers, were unable to be in all carriages.”
The spokesman added: “Anti-social behaviour on the railway is totally unacceptable and BTP, together with train operators, works hard to reduce incidents of this nature. We take all reported incidents extremely seriously and will do everything in our power to trace those responsible and, where appropriate, put them before the courts. If anyone on-board a train, or at a station, witnesses anti-social or criminal behaviour please contact BTP on 0800 40 50 40. In an emergency alwayd dial 999.”
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