Suffolk: All aboard the snooze-choo train!

IPSWICH/WHEREVER: They are bound for Ipswich but before they know it, fall asleep, fly past their stop, and wake up as far along the line as Norwich.

They are the Ipswich Sleepyheads – but today we have come up with a solution in the form of some special badges.

Returning to Suffolk’s county town on commuter, or late-night, trains, more and more dedicated slumber fans are sleeping right on through their home-town destination.

And they end up in Stowmarket, Diss or even Norwich – facing costly journeys back home.

The hour or so it takes to reach Ipswich from Liverpool Street is recognised by experts as the perfect time for deepest slumber.

And with alcohol being consumed by some at office parties in the City of London the lure of the snore is too much – and an over-run is the end result.

Even Ipswich MP Ben Gummer has done it recently – blaming hard work in the House of Commons for his own sleeper service.

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Now The Evening Star is stepping to the rescue by producing some badges so that those who are submerged in the land of nod can be gently woken up by fellow passengers at the right stop.

One sleepy traveller told us he had missed Ipswich station twice in recent weeks – on both occasions he was on the last train of the day and on both occasions he had to pay for an expensive taxi home.

The commuter did not want to be named, but told the Star: “I have fallen fast asleep on the train home from London a couple of times.

“The last two times were after Christmas parties. I have ended up as far as Norwich and Diss and because it was the last train home I have had to get taxis back.

“It is so easily done, if the announcements were louder then I might have woken up.”

The taxi from Diss cost �50 and from Norwich it was a whopping �70 – bills which did not impress his long-suffering girlfriend.

She said: “I tried to wake my boyfriend up on the train once because he told me he had become sleepy on the last train home.

“He said to call him an hour into his journey and not even 40 missed calls managed to wake him. I knew he was asleep but there was nothing I could do but to guess what station he might eventually wake up at.”

Mr Gummer insisted his oversleeping had nothing to do with any Christmas parties.

He said: “It had been a very long day at work in Westminster and I had to come back to the constituency for an appointment early the next day.

“I was on a mid-evening train, it was nice and warm and just nodded off. Luckily I woke up by the time it stopped in Stowmarket, I was able to go across the footbridge and caught a train coming in the other direction.

“I’ve only done it once and now try to make sure I stay awake!”

n Have you ever fallen asleep and missed your station? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk