Train passengers were left startled when they were asked if they could fix a fault on their broken down train.
The Pendolino service had a faulty wiper blade
The appeal on the Virgin Trains service from London Euston to Manchester came on Friday afternoon when the Pendolino stopped in Rugby, Warks.
The train had a faulty windscreen wiper and was unable to continue in heavy rain. Travellers were asked if anyone had a cable tie to repair it.
Two passengers tried to help with repairs but the service was withdrawn.
Damian Gaskin, 37, from Didsbury, Manchester, said: "There was astonishment and mild surprise to say the least.
"Everybody just looked at each other. It was so unbelievable it was funny.
"I have heard some excuses in my time but I have never heard of passengers being asked for tools to help fix the train before."
Mr Gaskin told train staff he had some plastic cable ties and a tube of superglue in his briefcase.
Another passenger, who was a former Network Rail engineer, climbed on to the front of the engine and tried to fix the loose windscreen wiper blades but was unsuccessful.
A Virgin Trains' spokesman said: "After staff consulted with the train manager, it was decided to ask anyone on board if they had a cable tie.
"One person did kindly volunteer but the cable tie was not long enough and unfortunately the train had to be taken out of service."