Cat got your train? In the UK, Felix does at Huddersfield

Posted by Jim Wrinn
on Tuesday, July 25, 2017

It’s time to let you all in on a secret. Railroaders are into cats. Yes, this predominantly male occupation and avocation is full of feline fans. I have several friends in the business and on the edges who adore cats and have agreed to be owned by them (those who’ve been there or who are there now will understand the phrasing of this). Adoration for Chessie, Peak, and their clan has not diminished through the years since Chesapeake & Ohio employed the cat to sell its passenger services. Neither mergers, nor lack of corporate support for feline railroading shall dim this passion. I too, having been owned by a cat (RIP Taylor, 2001-2017), share this obsession.

So, it excites me greatly to tell you that in the United Kingdom, the relationship between cat and train has never been stronger. To zero in on the epicenter of British feline railway influence, let me point you to Huddersfield, a city of 162,000 about 190 miles north of London. Here, the station that sees more than 5 million passengers per year is home to Felix, a black and white cat with, as the Brits say, “floofy” fur. Felix is quite the celebrity in the UK with more than 100,000 Facebook followers (myself included), a book deal, a name badge, safety vest, and a title, Senior Pest Controller.

I am eager to meet Felix, who is often seen patrolling the platforms, declaring “Pub O’Clock” at a nearby watering hole in the afternoons, or generally posing for pictures. I know of 100,000 reasons to visit England (history, culture, preservation railways, modern railways, etc.), and Felix adds yet one more. And when I get there, I have a surprise for Felix. Check out the cover we’ve already prepared.I’d say it is purrrrrrrfect!


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