Fare Dodging Pigeon Cleans Trains

Freeloading pigeon has new role on Brighton line trains

Pigeon fare dodger image by Robert MacMillan (via Shutterstock).
A fare dodging pigeon waiting for the 1652 to Marlow at Cookham station. We think. Image by Robert MacMillan (via Shutterstock).

Whether you leave your train at Liverpool Lime Street, or any of the Manchester stations, the next people you notice on leaving the train are the ticket barrier staff. Northern and Merseyrail hire Revenue Protection Officers from an external body and stop fare dodgers from freeloading. In the animal kingdom, only those of the winged or small furry variety can negotiate their way past the ticket barriers. With the former, pretty straightforward. Especially when you happen to be a pigeon without a Season Ticket or a Permit To Travel.

Though you seldom see pigeons boarding a Transpennine Express train to Scarborough, there is one pigeon that boards a train in Brighton. On GTR Rail’s trains from Brighton railway station, the pigeon has helped to keep the carriages clean. So, how does Pigeon McPigeonface keep the trains clean? It eats the crumbs left by commuters. Bits of bacon butties, overpriced chocolate chip muffins, and cookie crumbs.

On one website, a commenter said “he’s probably paid more than the cleaners”. An appropriate comment for this week, being as cleaners at Southeastern, Southern, and GTR Rail are having a ballot for industrial action at this time of writing. Apart from that, have you ever tried to impose a penalty fare on a pigeon?

Oh, and here’s a video clip of two pigeons aboard a London Underground train. Enjoy.

Clean Hire, 04 September 2017.