We’ve all heard of “leaves on the line” affecting the smooth running of trains.

But commuters yesterday were surprised to hear a new excuse: “Awaiting a spare part for the GPS beacon.”

Passengers on the 8.45am Brighton to London Victoria received the news yesterday.

Matt Wickham, of Surrey Street, Brighton, said the train was only delayed by three minutes but he was “amazed” by the excuse.

Mr Wickham said: “I’ve heard many excuses for delays to train services in my time – some obvious and believable like people being hit by trains, some obviously made up to cover poorly organised services.

“But this was one never I’ve heard before this morning.

Then there was a longer spiel about how they need to know exactly where the train is for the doors to open. Has anyone else heard better?”