UK Rail Company Tries to Charge Cellos for Seats on Half-Empty Train

Classic Arts News   UK Rail Company Tries to Charge Cellos for Seats on Half-Empty Train
No bunch of cellos was going to enjoy a free ride on the railways if a certain ticket inspector had his way. But he was forced to give up the fight when when police and passengers stood up (literally) for the instruments.

BBC News and London's Evening Standard report that a group of musicians heading back to London last Sunday (April 22) from the International Music Seminar in Cornwall — on a half-full Sunday afternoon train from Plymouth — were ordered to purchase Ô£107 tickets for their cellos, which were occupying empty seats next to their owners.

The musicians refused and the police were called; the inspector announced that "There is an incident with some cellos," according to The Evening Standard. Other passengers onboard were supportive of the musicians.

The train was delayed for several minutes until one of the group told police that she would stand and give up her seat for a cello. After the police said there was nothing they could do, the ticket inspector left the train car with no further argument.

A spokesman for First Great Western, the railroad company serving the route, said, "We apologize for any inconvenience. But the fact is that under the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, no group with bulky luggage, especially large items like cellos, should expect to receive seat space or free seating for their instruments. This group did not make prior arrangements with us for their large and valuable items, and therefore the train manager was entirely correct to charge for seats being used."

First Great Western now plans to investigate the incident, according to BBC News.

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