A stout animatronic wooden cartoon man has been brought in to improve service in a major shakeup at Southern Rail.
Sir Topham Hatt, who has extensive experience in business dating back to his days as chief executive of British Leyland in the 1970s, has been compared very favourably to the current management of the railway – who he has proposed be bricked up in a tunnel to teach them a lesson.
Hatt has been involved in many major projects, including GNER, Hinckley Point Nuclear Power Station, the BHS pension scheme, Rover Cars, and British Rail before privatisation, which sources say makes him substantially better qualified than the current shower.
Hatt’s time at British Rail ended when he was given a Baronetcy in return for him going away without a fuss by the Wilson government in 1976.
His first move has been to announce that any train which is more than ten minutes late will be sternly told off and sent to bed without any supper, and to replace train guards with static dolls – which have been shown to be more reliable and friendly to customers, and spend less time on strike.
Southern Rail customers have already praised his appointment, saying that the new company livery of large, smiling faces on the front of all the trains has made the interminable waiting much more enjoyable.