UPDATED 4.30pm: York commuters facing rail chaos after wire collapse

First published in News
Last updated
York Press: Photograph of the Author by , mark.stead@thepress.co.uk

THOUSANDS of rail passengers travelling between York and London are facing travel misery today because of an overhead wire collapse on the East Coast Mainline.

Services run by East Coast and Grand Central have been severely disrupted, with journeys expected to take up to an hour longer than normal due to the problem at St Neots, in Cambridgeshire, and further disruption is expected tomorrow.

A limited East Coast service - one train an hour - has replaced the normal trains between Peterborough and London Kings Cross, after buses had to be brought in between the stations earlier today. The services are leaving London on the hour, and leaving Peterborough at 30 minutes past each hour, with all trains calling at Stevenage. Grand Central and First Hull services are making additional stops at Peterborough to provide extra space and East Coast tickets are valid on these trains as well as on alternative routes to London, including East Midlands Trains and Virgin West Coast routes.

East Coast passengers travelling to and from stations south of Peterborough, including Kings Cross, are being advised not to travel today unless absolutely necessary, and tickets for today will still be valid for travel tomorrow. All ticket restrictions on East Coast trains have been lifted for the rest of today.

"We apologise to passengers for this disruption to travel and Network Rail, which manages infrastructure on the railway, have teams working hard to repair the damage, which extends over one kilometre of the line," said an East Coast spokesman.

"We are hopeful a near-normal East Coast service will be able to resume tomorrow morning."

The company has advised passengers to check before travelling, with information available at eastcoast.co.uk, by following @eastcoastuk on twitter, using the hashtag #StNeots, or by phoning National Rail Enquiries on 08457 484950.

It has been reported that the problem led to some passengers, including football fans who had attended the Champions League match between Arsenal and Bayern Munich, having to spend last night on a train at Kings Cross after the last service was cancelled. The station remained open all night as passengers refused to leave the train, with the London Evening Standard saying a decision was made to allow them to stay on it.

The problem has emerged as a report by the Office of Rail Regulation accused Network Rail of "areas of poor management of the railways" and instances of "basic operational planning mistakes". Bob Crow, leader of transport union RMT, said he had been warning about a shortage of overhead line crew and capacity for many years.

Are you affected by the rail chaos? Phone The Press newsdesk on 01904 567131, e-mail newsdesk@thepress.co.uk, or tweet @yorkpress.

Comments (7)

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6:46pm Wed 20 Feb 13

jumbojet says...

Is this the same team that 'look after' the track?, because we know what a bad state that has been in, ref. pictures of large pieces out of the metals. Are the cables the responsibility of Network Rail? the system is in a dreadful state, forget HS2, start looking at HS1, and get some new kit ordered, although the old 125's, as per Grand Central,are exempt overhead cables, they can still operate, as long as deisel is available.
Is this the same team that 'look after' the track?, because we know what a bad state that has been in, ref. pictures of large pieces out of the metals. Are the cables the responsibility of Network Rail? the system is in a dreadful state, forget HS2, start looking at HS1, and get some new kit ordered, although the old 125's, as per Grand Central,are exempt overhead cables, they can still operate, as long as deisel is available. jumbojet
  • Score: 0

7:29pm Wed 20 Feb 13

velvetdixie says...

Coal fired steam locomotives never seem to have this sort of problem. Perhaps it's time to bring them back.
Coal fired steam locomotives never seem to have this sort of problem. Perhaps it's time to bring them back. velvetdixie
  • Score: 0

8:17pm Wed 20 Feb 13

johnwill says...

Yes Network Rail is responsible for the overheads, one problem is that when electrification was undertaken a cheaper type of overhead line layout was installed which is more prone to fouling by the train pantograph. Unusual for both tracks to be affected often single line working can keep a service running.
Yes Network Rail is responsible for the overheads, one problem is that when electrification was undertaken a cheaper type of overhead line layout was installed which is more prone to fouling by the train pantograph. Unusual for both tracks to be affected often single line working can keep a service running. johnwill
  • Score: 0

1:48am Thu 21 Feb 13

Magicman! says...

Indeed... as I recall, when the ECML was electrified be BR, it was a Tory government in power at the time and so the work was done to a cheap budget. The self same reason why the wires go down north of York everytime a cow **** in the wrong direction.
Indeed... as I recall, when the ECML was electrified be BR, it was a Tory government in power at the time and so the work was done to a cheap budget. The self same reason why the wires go down north of York everytime a cow **** in the wrong direction. Magicman!
  • Score: 0

1:49am Thu 21 Feb 13

Magicman! says...

really?? F.A.R.T.S gets asterisked out?!
really?? F.A.R.T.S gets asterisked out?! Magicman!
  • Score: 0

7:33am Thu 21 Feb 13

pedalling paul says...

Magicman! wrote:
Indeed... as I recall, when the ECML was electrified be BR, it was a Tory government in power at the time and so the work was done to a cheap budget. The self same reason why the wires go down north of York everytime a cow **** in the wrong direction.
Are you referring to Mk 4 OHLE ...?
[quote][p][bold]Magicman![/bold] wrote: Indeed... as I recall, when the ECML was electrified be BR, it was a Tory government in power at the time and so the work was done to a cheap budget. The self same reason why the wires go down north of York everytime a cow **** in the wrong direction.[/p][/quote]Are you referring to Mk 4 OHLE ...? pedalling paul
  • Score: 0

5:15pm Thu 21 Feb 13

AB- says...

This plays right in to the hands of the 'stop the HS2' lobby. Lets stick with Deisel we cannot afford the electric trains, we do not produce enough electrcity to waste on trains.
This plays right in to the hands of the 'stop the HS2' lobby. Lets stick with Deisel we cannot afford the electric trains, we do not produce enough electrcity to waste on trains. AB-
  • Score: 0

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