Many years ago British Railways moved most of its mineral traffic by loose-coupled trains. The locomotive would be attached to wagons by a three link chain and three-link chains coupled the wagons together. At the rear the guard sat in his van. The only brakes on the train when it was moving were on the locomotive and the guards van. Should a train be required to descend a steep gradient, it would stop and brakes on individual wagons would be pinned down.
A mineral train starting from rest on the level would have each of the links tauten in turn. It had to be done gently, otherwise the 'snatch' between the final wagon and the guards van would send the guard hurtling across his van unless he had clung to a chair or the brake wheel.
Mineral trains moved slowly and often were put into sidings to let faster trains pass. They made slow progress as they clanked towards their destination. Much like the eurozone.
Europe's dangerous days.
A reminder of what Clegg said on 2010.
The following is a must read article: