Pensioner says fat family got him booted off tourist train

A tourist was told he could not board the scenic Snowdon Mountain Railway in Wales because a family of a 'large stature' was taking up too much room. Photo / 123rf
A tourist was told he could not board the scenic Snowdon Mountain Railway in Wales because a family of a 'large stature' was taking up too much room. Photo / 123rf

A disappointed tourist says he was kicked off a scenic steam train in the Welsh snowy mountains because a "fat family" took up too much room in the carriage.

Pensioner Anthony Poppel, 69, paid £32.50 ($NZ60) for a return trip on the Snowdon Mountain Railway, which takes a spectacular, 90-minute trip to the peak of Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.

But when he arrived at the platform ahead of his journey on the traditional steam service, he was told there was no room and was refused from boarding the train, The Mirror reported.

In a letter of apology to Poppel, Snowdon Mountain Railway said while his ticket for the midday journey was valid, "unfortunately it seems that other occupants of the carriage were large in stature and refused to move their family group to accommodate you more easily in your allotted carriage".

The letter continued: "Our carriages accommodate 10 people but the issue of obesity in our country is leading to more incidents of this type every year."

Poppel, from East Anglia, said he was unable to re-book the trip to the mountain peak and told The Mirror: "It ruined my holiday".

"I was told to arrive there at 11.30 to pick up my ticket to get on the compartment of the one-carriage train. But there was no space for me, it was full-up," he said.

The traditional steam service takes people to Snowdon's 1085m summit. Photo / 123rf
The traditional steam service takes people to Snowdon's 1085m summit. Photo / 123rf

"When I went to get in, there were people sitting down and several kids in there as well. The young guard who was there said 'sorry, it is full'. I had to go and get my money back.

"It ruined my holiday really. I had travelled a long way to see it and I thought it was poor show.

"It was my first time in Wales and I was really looking forward to going up Snowdon."

In a statement to The Mirror, a spokesman for Snowdon Mountain Railway said: "More than 130,000 passengers travel on Snowdon's narrow gauge railway every year.

"On the day of Poppel's visit a family of four occupied the full width of his carriage due to their physical size and weight, taking the space normally reserved for five people.

"We requested that they sit opposite one another but they refused.

"We did everything we could to accommodate Poppel and we apologise for any disappointment he experienced."

The 7.2km narrow gauge railway was built in 1896 and takes passengers from the foot of the mountain to Snowdon's 1085m summit.

- news.com.au

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