UPDATE: Train signal repair making good progress

Rail passengers are being thanked for their patience as engineers continue to fix signalling equipment which was damaged at Luton.

Thursday, 10th November 2016, 5:07 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 4:23 pm
Commuters on Tuesday night were provided with a taxi service to destinations including Bedford, Leagrave and St Albans

On Tuesday, November 8, a cable came into contact with the overhead lines, creating a power surge which caused extensive damage to the signalling that controls trains.

Passengers faced significant disruption on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday.

East Midlands Trains continues to operate the majority of services on its London route today (Thursday 10 November) but there is still significant disruption for Thameslink passengers.

Rob McIntosh, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “I am sorry for the continued disruption to passengers. I know this situation is immensely frustrating and our engineers are working to resume services as quickly as possible.

“Today we are renewing the signalling equipment which was damaged beyond repair. This equipment is an essential part of how we move trains safely so we need to carry out methodical and meticulous testing overnight to make sure that it is working as it should. If this goes as planned East Midlands Trains will run a full service tomorrow. Unfortunately the level of disruption to the network means that there will be some changes to Thameslink services but we will work with them to get a full service restored as soon as possible.

“Testing is a safety critical process which can identify issues, therefore we have back-up plans in place with the train operators in case further work is needed, meaning that they have to run a similar service tomorrow as today.”

Passengers are advised to check with their operator or www.nationalrail.co.uk for the most up to date service information.

Jake Kelly, Managing Director of East Midlands Trains said: “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience they have experienced over the past days. Following the repair work carried out by Network Rail engineers, the majority of our services are running as normal on the London route today Thursday, November 10.

“We will keep our website, eastmidlandstrains.co.uk, up to date with full information on our services and there’s also information on how customers who have been disrupted can claim compensation.”

Thameslink’s Passenger Services Director Stuart Cheshire said: “Work carried out by Network Rail has allowed us to run some more trains today between Bedford and St Pancras but the service is still severely reduced meaning very difficult journeys for our passengers for the third day running and for this we sincerely apologise.

“We continue to urge people to follow travel advice at www.nationalrail.co.uk and to use alternative transport wherever possible.

“This includes buses we have running between key Thameslink stations and the Great Northern route where trains run into King’s Cross and Moorgate.

“There is also ticket acceptance with East Midlands Trains, which is now running a near-normal service. Anyone who is delayed by 30 minutes or more can claim compensation via our website www.thameslinkrailway.com/delayrepay.”