Train passengers stranded after signal failure

PUBLISHED: 12:54 24 April 2013 | UPDATED: 12:54 24 April 2013

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Archant

PASSENGERS were left stranded at a railway station for more than two hours on Saturday after a signal failure caused major disruptions.

People travelling from Stevenage to Cambridge on the 4.15pm service were told to get off at Letchworth GC, but when the train arrived it was total chaos, according to one passenger.

Catherine Arthur from Guilden Morden, who was on her way home from a day’s shopping in Stevenage, said: “It was a nightmare. They made the announcement when we got on the train at Stevenage, but by the time we got to Letchworth it was total chaos because there were no replacement buses, and no one seemed to know what was going on. You had people pushing and shoving the whole time.”

Mrs Arthur, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, was travelling with her three children, one of whom was in a pushchair.

“There are no lifts at Letchworth and there was nobody to help me up the stairs. There was no organisation when the buses arrived because everyone was trying to get on them. It was appalling,” the 41-year-old said.

Another passenger, Terry Hutt, who was on the train from King’s Cross, said: “The chaos on Saturday just proves how much we need a lift in Letchworth. The elderly were struggling to get up the stairs and the poor mums had no way of getting the buggies up. People were getting more and more frustrated and angry. It was a total nightmare.”

Mr Hutt, who has campaigned to have a working lift at Letchworth, had a journey of four hours before getting home to Whaddon via Royston.

First Capital Connect transported people from Letchworth GC to Royston by coach but passengers on their way to Cambridge had to make their own way home.

A spokesman for First Capital Connect said: “We would like to apologise to all our passengers caught up in this disruption, which was caused by a major signalling failure and lasted the rest of the day, despite the best efforts of Network Rail engineers to repair it.

“Our passengers also suffered a delay in the rail replacement buses arriving because there were fewer vehicles available as a result of planned engineering work elsewhere on the network.”

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