Lost and found: the weird and the wonderful found on South West Trains
By AdFeatures | Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 09:35
It might seem like your daily train ride is a boring necessity associated with the mundane everyday routine. However, this certainly isn’t the case for the operators of South West Trains, who see a whole host of items regularly left behind in their carriages, ranging from the usual to the downright odd!
So what is most commonly left behind on trains? Wallets, mobile phones and keys are some of the more regular items found — ironic perhaps, given their importance to the owner.
Since they usually contain some form of ID, wallets are claimed back 60-70% of the time, and South West Trains will even write to tell you they have your item if they find your identification inside. Now that’s service with a smile!
Although around 250 pairs of keys are found each month, these are rarely claimed back even though some of them open the doors to snazzy drives such as Porsches, Ferraris and Mercedes! Given the fact that owners usually have a spare set though, this statistic is perhaps unsurprising. Still, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of getting off at the train station in order and finding that your keys are missing!
These are just some of the more standard items that are left behind on South West Trains, but what about the stuff that is so precious, even priceless, that forgetting it seems almost impossible?
Recently, a million-dollar Stradivarius violin was recklessly left behind on a train by a man in Switzerland, only to turn up a few days later having been handed back at a lost property office. Even more devastating for the worried person involved was the fact that the priceless 300-year-old instrument was not even his!
South West Trains staff have recovered some similarly surprising and, one would think, hard-to-forget items left behind on their trains, including a prosthetic arm, a birthday cake and even a little boy!
Although the child was found and taken care of until someone came to collect him, surprisingly this isn’t the first case of a child getting lost on this particular mode of transport.
An Indian boy who got left behind by his brother and subsequently got on the wrong train home ended up being separated from his family for an amazing 25 years. The story does have a happy end though, as by using Google Earth and satellite images, the boy, now grown-up, was able to track and find his mother and reunite with her.
We’ll never know why people leave their items behind on trains—carelessness, excitement, preoccupation with their thoughts or just pure bad luck.
Nevertheless, next time you find yourself on your daily train ride into work, or travelling from one faraway destination to another, think about the treasure chest of items left behind in your particular carriage previously. Most of all though, be sure you’re not one of the passengers who will add to the booty found every single day!