The nightmare journey endured by a mum-to-be in the seventh month of her pregnancy while on board one of the overcrowded Worcester to Birmingham trains is just the latest in a long line of unedifying rail travel stories to emerge over recent months.

The commuter said that on every single day in one week, her train arrived in Worcester between 10 and 15 minutes late.

West Midlands Railway has moved to reassure travellers that steps are being taken to increase the number of carriages on some services in an effort to alleviate the problems, which have already drawn stiff criticism from the city’s Parliamentary Conservative candidate when he was the sitting MP.

The truth is we need the rail companies, both those that look after the lines themselves and those the services that run on them, to improve their performance rapidly.

If the increasingly urgent message is that we must get out of our cars and find greener ways of travelling, there ought to be adequate alternatives for doing so.

That a heavily pregnant passenger has to stand on a packed train for more than an hour, suggests we are some way from that provision.