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Passengers drink man’s beer after he falls out of train

August 12, 2014 Headline News, Rail No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Any suggestion that bad behaviour by travellers happens only aboard aircraft has been dispelled by the reported conduct of passengers on a train outside Moscow.

When a drinker toppled out the door of the train, passengers stole his luggage and finished off the beer he had left behind, media reported.

The incident took place aboard the the notorious “train of drunks” or “alcoholic train”  that runs from Moscow to the town of Petushki, 120 kilometres to the east. The train is said to be popular with lovers of beer and vodka.

An unlucky passenger was holding open the door of a moving train carriage and possibly leaning out “to get some fresh air in the unventilated Notorious 'alcoholic train'. Pic by Alexander Fomichev -Flickrvestibule”, the Moskovsky Komsomolets tabloid newspaper reported.

As the train sped around a corner, the drinker fell or was propelled out the door, leaving behind his unfinished beer, two car bumpers and a screw gun. The unfortunate traveller’s fate is not known.

Train guards ignored requests to pick up the man’s belongings, or were too slow to do so, the paper said on Friday.

Before guards arrived, a light-fingered male passenger was seen to lurch up to the scene and drink the man’s unfinished beer before making off with the bumpers and power tool.

“I’m not giving it to the [train] driver – he’ll just keep for himself,” the thief was said to have exclaimed. “I’m giving to my friends at a car repair.”

Such events are not uncommon on the so-called “alcoholic train”, apparently. The Moscow Times notes that the train was immortalised in the prose poem “Moscow-Petushki” (1973) by Venedikt Yerofeyev, “considered by many critics to represent the pinnacle of post-Soviet Russian literature”.

The postmodernist, quasi-autobiographic poem describes a philosophising alcoholic’s journey to Petushki. In an eerie parallel with the recent incident, the poem’s protagonist is robbed of his booze. He manages to track down the perpetrators – which seems unlikely in the latest case.

Written by : Peter Needham

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