The same day's Daily Telegraph carried the alarming news that these rates are soon to rise to £50 or twice the single fare.
Except it didn't.
Because the paper's story, written by Rebecca Lefort, began:
It is clear that the Telegraph's prejudices - hates foreigners, likes big business - outweigh the interests of its readers.
Foreigners let off train penalty fares
Ministers plan to more than double the fines for most people who travel without a valid ticket. But under current regulations there is a clause allowing ticket inspectors to waive the rules for passengers who do not fully understand the ticketing system because they are visiting from abroad or speak poor English.
This means foreigners may escape the penalties, which are due to rise from £20 to £50, or double the cost of a single ticket if it is greater.
The discretionary policy is recommended for train operators despite another rule which requires them to produce leaflets and display signs about fares in other languages in "areas where a large number of people do not speak English as their first language."
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said: "This is absolutely absurd. We would not expect to be let off fines overseas because we didn't speak the language."
And in reply to Sir Andrew, if I found myself in a country where I did not speak the language and got on the wrong train as a result, I hope I would be let off any fine.
Besides, to return to my original post, why should private companies be allowed to fine their customers in the first place?