‘Person hit by train’ are 4 words I dread to see on my Twitter feed.

It’s how the rail providers describe, on social media, the horrific consequence of a person taking their life.

But on Tuesday evening Virgin East Coast tweeted.

It is with great sadness I advise a person has been struck by a train near #Doncaster. As a consequence all lines are blocked and trains may be delayed by up to 90 minutes whilst the emergency services do their work and deal with this tragedy.

This was followed an hour or so later with:

My heart is broken for all involved in this tragic incident. Services are returning to normal but so much pain will remain. If you have been affected by tonight’s events, please talk to the @samaritans on 116 123. 24/7 #SmallTalkSavesLives. #ItsOkayToTalk, it’s @TimeToChange. ^BG

This was no longer just an announcement. It was a human feeling pain for another human – and sharing it.

Thank you ‘^BG’ at Virgin Trains East Coast.

Thank you for showing what it means to be human.

Be Brilliant




  1. March 29th 2018 by sandy

    Living in Doncaster, this has been a really tragic and close to heart incident whereby it seems two people took their own lives holding onto each other…may they rest in peace xxx

  2. April 4th 2018 by Karin Borland

    Hi Michael. Wow! Impressed by this, very moving. However, as I write this I’m thinking “Shouldn’t we always react like this?” I suppose what IS amazing is that the person writing this tweet has been chosen to be there by the company. I’ve been enjoying your thought provoking emails for a few years now. If you’re ever in Scotland, come to see us. Would be good to have a catch up. All the best. Karin Borland

  3. July 25th 2019 by DEE

    Scrolled back through your blogs/comments and saw this one! Ours was, I think, more recent but I WAS travelling north from Milton Keynes when our young train attendant announced in a similar vein. So much compassion in his voice but also a sense of his duty to be professional and communicative. Means such a lot. DEE x

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