I've started a new thread as I'd like to discuss the general case rather than the particular one of the lady travelling from Kings Cross to Skipton reported in the press. If the reservation cards cannot be placed for any reason the usual procedure seems to be to suspend reservations and have a free for all Would an announcement along the following lines work instead? A and B are the unreserved coaches, The reserved seats are in C and D. "We are sorry that reserved seats are not marked on this train. If you have a reservation please sit in the coach and seat shown on your ticket. If you do not have a reservation please sit in coaches A or B. Passengers without reservations may sit in coaches C or D but must be prepared to move if the person who has reserved the seat shows them their ticket. The Train Manager will be checking all tickets and reservations shortly."