It hasn’t been the best of weeks for Southern Rail, but there has been one shred of hope thanks to the company’s social media account.
This week the company’s Twitter account - a constant target for frustrated commuters - was left in the hands of a work experience student.
15-year-old Eddie first popped up on the Twitter-sphere on Tuesday, tweeting: ‘Hi, Eddie here! Here on Work Experience and ready to answer your questions!’
Within minutes, Twitter users had bombarded the teenager with their own questions - with very few being related to train services.
Adam Winstone said: ‘Hi Eddie! Would you rather fight 1 horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horse?’
In unflustered style Eddie replied:’ 100 duck-sized horses. A horse-sized duck would be pretty scary! You?’
And Jules Graham posted: ‘Why do English men always wear socks and sandals on holiday?’, to which Eddie said: ‘Personally, I prefer flip-flops, so I couldn’t possibly answer!’
Controversially, he was asked whether Southampton or Portsmouth was a bigger football club - but sadly opted for the red side of the south coast.
Speaking to BBC Radio 1’s Scott Mills yesterday, Eddie said: ‘I was just being me.
‘I just tried to be myself and everything just turned out as it has.’
He also thanked Twitter users for being ‘nice and forthcoming’ but admitted some of the questions had been ‘very strange.’
The hashtag #AskEddie also began trending on Twitter after he was introduced.
A Southern spokeswoman said: ‘We are pleased to have given Eddie an insight into working life in our social media team and are thrilled to see that he won over so many of our customers yesterday.
‘We have been very impressed at his quick-wit and positive approach at the age of just 15.’
The controversial train operator has been subject to constant strike action by its drivers, and has been told by the government to cough up £13.4 million to fund improvements.