RUNCORN travellers boarding state-of-the-art trains have complained of an eye-watering stench.
Now Virgin Trains have admitted their high-tech Pendolino trains would have to be modified after the smell from used toilet water began flooding carriages.
Virgin, which runs services via Runcorn, to London and the Midlands from Liverpool Lime Street, Warrington and Chester, have confirmed a design flaw on the £1.2bn fleet, which it said would now be altered.
The problem stems from air-conditioning inlets being placed too near to vents from retention tanks which hold flushed water from the toilets. The vents are supposed to force the smells outside, but the air-conditioning inlets have been sucking it back in.
Last month's high temperatures led to passengers being affected by the smell - and complaining in their droves.
A spokesman said: 'During the hot weather, speed restrictions were put on some lines which meant journeys were longer and the trains didn't get back to bases to have the tanks emptied.
'The hot weather meant that the smell was more apparent, and we apologise to passengers.'