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The wonders of RailwayWorld

Struth Kelly, the new Transport Secretary, recently announced a £10billion injection of cash into the railway industry. Hot on the heels of the Harry Potter Theme Park, informed sources tell us that some of the loot will be used to set up RailwayWorld.

It promises to be every boy’s dream day out, with attractions for the whole family. RailwayWorld will be built in the Midlands to exacting Network Rail standards.

The site will have overgrown access points. The only link between each ‘territory’ will be a railway operated by Virgin. Fares are not included in the entrance fee so mortgages should be arranged beforehand. Please note that at busy times the service will be curtailed and carriages taken to the depot for unnecessary maintenance.

Those choosing to walk will discover that there’s no cess alongside the lines. Scrap will be dumped at strategic locations with excess ballast tipped along their full length.

So come and experience the wonders of RailwayWorld!

One of RailwayWorld's access routes has just been signed off

Roam the site in the freezing rain, snow or fog, light or dark. Slip and slide along the ballast whilst carrying a pair of fishplates or an AWS magnet.

‘Make do and mend’ as a family of four attempts a job that at least ten people should do. See if you and your partner can carry a sleeper for 50 yards along the ballast.

Discover the truth about green zones. See copies of all green zones worked in the last three months, reproduced on the back of a postage stamp. Find out how to do paperwork on your knee in the van.

Take the test: can you listen to a new train horn without your ears bleeding?

Try the kids out on the hand bond drill. Forage for cables in the bottom of a stinking, mud-filled manhole. Marvel at the experts who position train departure screens so that the sun always shines on them, and install flower beds on platforms so they’re always in the way.

Can you close the doors of a departing train as customers run to get on? Give it a go! Try timing an important announcement so it’s drowned out by a noisy train, or distort your voice so it can only be heard by South American fruit bats. Learn how.

Do you know which window seats on a Virgin train have a window you can actually see out of? Have you got the bottle to charge £1.40p for a tea bag and warm water? Site managers will remove your conscience for a small fee.
Have you got the bottle to charge £1.40 for a tea bag and warm water? Site managers will remove your conscience for a small fee.

The catering facilities will be second to none - a row of old, converted mess vans. Toilets will not be provided, but ladies can squat in the left field whilst gents aim towards the right.

Visit the Network Rail garden centre where giant buddleias are cultivated for propagation around the trackside. Sample entries to the nettle and elderberry wine festival, for wines made from plants gathered from the lineside. Last year’s entry from the East Coast Main Line was highly commended as the result of a unique fertilization service provided by GNER. Judges described it as having “a rather nutty taste, the likes of which we have never come across before.”

Become a health and safety expert for the day by burying your head in a sandpit. Or read one of the dossiers written by our research consultants, including their annual survey of the hardest things to understand:

In 3rd place with 7%, it’s politicians. In 2nd place with 14%, it’s the Olympic logo. But in 1st place with 79%, the worthy winner for the 12th year in a row, it’s…the Railway Rule Book.

Well I can’t wait for the opening day. Hope to see you all there soon.

Story added 1st September 2007

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