The Avanti West Coast mainline has been going viral for all the wrong reasons this week as beleaguered passengers used social media to express extreme disgruntlement at terminated services.

September 25's London to Edinburgh evening train service is now the stuff of legends thanks to the live tweeting of both a New Zealand podcaster and a group of secondary school teachers at their very wit's end.

Kiwi comedian James Nokise was - and no wonder - utterly bamboozled by the twist his journey north took on Monday evening, judging by his stream of social media messages on X, formerly Twitter.

But on the other hand, it must have its upsides, when your job involves self-promotion, to find yourself on just about every mainstream news platform possible.

For the teachers at Greenfaulds High School, however, the benefit of live messaging a rail nightmare must be more about letting off steam than anything else.

What happened?

Well, according to Mr Nokise, he ended up embroiled in a "truly insane odyssey" that started when he received an email from Avanti saying his train was cancelled.

This came as a surprise to him because he, to the best of his knowledge, was on the train and it was moving.

It was three hours into the journey and there had been no announcement made about the cancellation but then the train manager appeared to say that passengers had told him the train was cancelled.

Finally it was announced the train would terminate at Preston but a connecting train to Glasgow was full so the stranded passengers were told to wait for the next train, due about an hour later.

In a series of events that will be familiar to anyone who's travelled Britain's railways, this train was then cancelled - the last of the night.

So, the answer? Taxis, and lots of them.

Mr Nokise then ended up in a black cab with three other men and the odyssey onwards continued the driver quibbled over the location of the drop off point and had a slew of navigation issues.

According to Avanti, the disruption began after a driver of an Avanti West Coast Service reported a track defect at Lockerbie just after 4pm that day.

Network Rail engineers were called to the scene and the line was closed.

It was fixed and the line reopened around three hours later but the subsequent disruption had a severe impact on services. For the teachers from Greenfaulds, however, they were left at Preston with a group of nearly 50 S2 pupils who were tired, hungry and not able to travel without chaperones.

Their posts on X show a large group of impressively patient teenagers sitting on the pavement outside the station while the Cumbernauld school's staff tried to work out what to do next.

They should, frankly, be hailed as saints because somehow the staff managed to sort out transport home - and chips for all.

With two heart-eyed emojis, the school posted a photo of a coach with the words: "The most glorious thing I've seen in many a year."

A special shout out seems due to Mick's Hut in Preston.

The school posted: "[They] didn't have enough stock at 9pm to serve us all, but after some calls buckets of potatoes arrived by car! 40 mins later we were all fed for a fraction of the real cost."

A photograph of 50 delighted young people wolfing chips then followed.

The one upside for the self-titled The Preston 50 was an extra day off school on the Tuesday to rest.

Dozens of other people joined in on X to post their own tales of woe on the Avanti west coast line, including others who had been on Monday night's service and recounted not making it home til 3am or 4am or staying overnight in Preston.

According to its latest statistics, 6.7% of Avanti trains travelling between London and Scotland were cancelled in the past year, while 5% were delayed for more than 30 minutes.

LNER, which runs the east coast service, reports 2.9% of services from London to Scotland were between 30 and 60 minutes late while 3.5% were cancelled.

You might say the route has a... bad track record.

An Avanti West Coast spokesperson said the company apologises to customers who were caught up in Monday night’s disruption.

She added: "Whilst alternative transport and overnight accommodation was sourced for most of those impacted we fully understand the frustrations of those customers whose journeys were affected, and we are extremely sorry for this.

"Anyone who was affected by Monday night’s disruption will be entitled to compensation and are urged to get in contact through our normal channels to process their claim."

Those caught up in Monday night’s disruption can claim for compensation via delay replay

For additional costs and to make a complaint see