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Armoured Trains

I went to the Bovington Tank Museum the other day with my family. Jacqui found the whole thing a bit odd – a happy family day out to see killing machines, and I have to say that now she mentions it, I suppose if you think about it like that it is a bit strange. Still, I don't think about it like that, so that's OK. I think about it in a “YAY TANKS!” way. Tanks are pretty cool.

I was taking Zak around the museum looking at the tanks- we haven't discussed the killing part, just that fact that they are big machines that go BRRRRRRUMMMMM- when we walked past an armoured train section. Zak likes trains very much, so I mused aloud “Oh look, it's a train with guns on!” I should point out at this point that he thinks the guns on all the vehicles were trumpets.

Anyway, a woman walking by chortled and said “Good idea if you ask me, it would keep the queues shorter!”

I chortled in recognition and continued on my way.

Now, I've been thinking a lot about her comment ever since, and now I wish I'd taken her phone number so I could pull her up on a couple of things. Basically, her comment makes no sense. Let's think about it.

If we added armoured carriages to commuter trains, it would mean there was less room for normal passenger carriages, and hence surely the queues would be longer, not shorter. If this is what she meant she was just plain wrong. I wish I'd pointed this out to her at the time.

Maybe she meant that the armoured carriages should open fire on the commuters. This could keep the size of the queue down, I guess. People wouldn't want to stay in the queue being static targets for artillery and machine guns to slaughter them. I can't help feeling she simply hasn't thought this through either though. It wouldn't just keep the queue sizes down, it would stop you using the service entirely- I mean, no-one is going to catch that train if you're going to get shot or blown up when you try and get on. That would be crazy! So the idea is basically commercial suicide for the train operator. You'd go out of business very quickly. Especially if you had competitors who were offering services which didn't try to kill you. This is free market capitalism at work.

Added to this is another problem – if someone bought a ticket to go to (for example) Peterborough and then was maimed by your shellfire on the platform, presumably they would be entitled to a refund as they never got to their destination – hastening your commercial demise. If you shelled people before they bought their tickets, I'm not even sure that would be lawful.

So I have so much to say to that woman and her stupid scheme to put guns on trains. She's completely wrong! Her idea is idiocy! She is a bloody moron! And yet I said nothing! And now I have no way to get hold of her to put her right! I can't sleep at night. Aargh.