Flying saucer flap
It's extraordinary mainly because this really isn't news. This same patent, far from being suddenly 'discovered on the website of the European Patent Office by a student', received wide press coverage just a few years ago (I think as part of a Patents Office publicity push, or something similar - annoyingly, I can't find anything in the various archives). It's been in books. A simple google on 'flying saucer' and 'British Rail' turns up references, such as this one from UFO journal Magonia, going back to at least the mid-80s.
Presumably this is in the papers today because someone, somewhere, has put out an agency story or a press release - many of the stories feature the same quotes from people like Colin Pillinger. But are national newspaper journalists - even science specialists like the Guardian's Alok Jha - really too lazy, ignorant or short of time to do the smallest piece of background research? It's stuff like this that gives journos a bad name.