Furry subversives undermine Britain's railways

 作者:况世扇     |      日期:2019-02-27 08:11:01
By Rob Edwards AS EXCUSES for trains being late go, “leaves on the line” and “the wrong kind of snow” are classics of their kind. Now Railtrack, the company responsible for maintaining Britain’s railways, has come up with another: rabbits. Warrens dug by burrowing bunnies are threatening to undermine railway lines throughout the country, Railtrack says. Embankments and cuttings riddled with rabbit holes are at risk of collapsing in heavy rain. There have already been problems on the main west coast line at Rugby, on the east coast line in Yorkshire and on the Perth to Inverness line in Scotland. Rabbits have been on the increase in Britain since the 1950s, when populations were devastated by an epidemic of the viral disease myxomatosis. According to scientists from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the virus has been growing weaker and the rabbits have been gaining resistance. Embankments are the perfect habitat for the fluffy fast-breeders. Railtrack admits that “they do have the potential to cause destabilisation” but stresses that delays to trains because of them are rare. When rabbits do start to cause damage, they are killed. “This is a problem we have nipped in the bud,” says a spokeswoman for Railtrack. It is not a problem that is limited to the railways. Supporters of Animal, Swampy and the other “human moles” who protest against roads by digging tunnels underneath them may be happy to learn that they have been joined by some fellow subterranean subversives. According to the Scottish Office, rabbits are now busy undermining the embankments of the A9,