The Notwork Rail guide to your railway station.
- Ticket Vending Machine
Replica of real ticket machine, absolutely correct
in every detail, including the fact that it will not dispense tickets. Driven
by software that once revolutionized the programming of toasters.
- Ghost Train Passenger
Every railway has a ghost train story, but British
ghost train services are often dogged by strikes and the disruption affects
passengers caught in the twin limbos of rail travel and expiry. They face
a long and fruitless death floating towards any light that takes their fancy.
Awayday tickets are not valid on this service.
- Automated Sincere Apology System
Computer-generated announcements about
how fundamentally shagged the rail system is today. A public-address system
is also integrated so that live announcements with unforeseen words and phrases
such as “early” or “on schedule” can still be made.
- Impenetrable Signalling System
An ingenious semaphore-based messaging
system principally used to send off-colour jokes and rude observations about
Rail management up and down the country.
- The Tracks
Due to complex franchising arrangements, the offside
rail is owned by a Portsmouth man who bought it at a jumble sale. The nearside
rail is owned by RightRail who lease it to LeftRail plc who, in order to promote
dynamic, blue-sky environments of risk taking, often use it as a stake in back-room
poker games at international rail conferences.
- Architect’s Illustration Model
As used for original artist’s
impression of the station, and now retained because he makes everything look
fantastically cool. He is 6ft tall, comes condensed for extra effect and
is known as Jeff. Budget for Jeff comes from the Black Projects Division
of Notwork Rail.
- Maintenance Crew
Seven man team responsible for hanging around at the end of platforms in
day-glo jackets and shaking their heads in disbelief as they attempt to
repair infrastructure with bits of old Meccano and bicycle lamps. Many
escaped when British Rail was privatised and are now feral on the nation's
railways, living in remote huts and scavenging for teabags tossed from
passing buffet cars.
"Thank God: a book that's both clever and funny.
Deserves a place on the lap of every comedy fan in Britain." Charlie Brooker
"If you wince at the word 'benchmark', this neat
parody could be just the thing to cheer you up." Sunday Telegraph