Madness-inspired rail road vehicle becomes social media sensation

A rail road vehicle inspired by legendary band Madness has caught the attention of the famous musicians.

The ‘Mad Mess’ welfare vehicle, owned by Cambuslang-headquartered plant hire company AB2K, pays tribute to the band with a wrapped design of the group’s ‘One Step Beyond’ cover and ‘Our house in the middle of our track’ emblazoned on the side.

The vehicle provides rail construction employees and key workers with a safe place to take a break from the cold, wet tunnels and tracks where they are carrying out essential rail repairs.

The inside of the vehicle includes a kettle, fridge, microwave, seated area, a sink with hot and cold running water and separate toilet.  It can be driven on road or on rail and is well ventilated for Covid safety.

It was brought to the attention of Mark Bedford, the bass player from Madness, who took the time to respond to the company with a morale boosting video.

He said: “Hello everyone at AB2K. This is Mark Bedford from Madness. I’ve just seen some fantastic pictures of a rather unusual vehicle! It’s a big lorry that goes along railway tracks. What made me most pleased and proud about it is that it was covered in Madness imagery.  I found out it was called the Mad Mess and it looks absolutely brilliant! You’ve really gone one step beyond. I loved it so much I actually showed the rest of the band and they’ve asked me to pass on my very best wishes to you all there and also to thank you for all the essential work you’re doing on keeping the railways going. I hope you are really going to enjoy your very own Mad mobile. We actually like it so much we quite fancy building one ourselves.  If we do, you know we’re going to come up and see you. Stay safe, stay well, take care.”

The video of Bedders’ message, posted to AB2K’s social media channels, has had a brilliant response and been shared across a host of different Madness fan sites, construction sites and profiles including fan page Mad Chat, which has 28,000 members.

AB2K MD John Murphy said, “We are immensely grateful to Bedders and the band for this response. The reaction on social media has been overwhelming. Rail staff work in cold dark places and as key workers their welfare is paramount.  We wanted to do something to bring a smile to their faces so we took an unused vehicle and designed it around a band that many of us really love – Madness. 

“There’s no doubt about the fact that this band, a national treasure, makes people feel good.  The very sight of the vehicle approaching remote locations on rail with the Madness image on the side next to ‘Mad Mess’ instantly makes rail workers feel happier. On the road drivers honk their horns and wave – the presence of the nutty boys has lifted spirits for so many people, way beyond our company.”