Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

5-Hour Rail Nightmare; Trapped Travellers Force Doors and Try to Climb out on to Tracks

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

5-Hour Rail Nightmare; Trapped Travellers Force Doors and Try to Climb out on to Tracks

Article excerpt

Byline: ALEXA BARACAIA;NAYAB CHOHAN

A NEW state-of-the-art commuter train service was reduced to farce today after it left hundreds of passengers stranded for a total of four hours.

The breakdown in last night's rushhour - which meant a 90-minute journey took five-and-a-half hours - involved two trains, each costing [pounds sterling]3.6 million, which have replaced the obsolete stock of slam-door carriages.

After a first train broke down, commuters were moved over to a replacement.

That, too, shuddered to a halt.

The problems started on the 17.45 South Central service from London Bridge to Eastbourne only 15 minutes into the journey.

It is believed the highly-sophisticated train, a 377 Electrostar, somehow caused power cables to overload. The Electrostars have been plagued with problems - one even broke down on its inaugural run. It is thought that the first train "blew" a cable after getting too hot.

This latest setback comes after the trains were finally brought into service last year after months of embarrassing delays. They had been left in sidings while engineers worked out how their greater demands for power could be accommodated by the ageing track infrastructure.

The hundreds of passengers were transferred to a second train, another Electrostar, but this stopped at East Croydon - forcing them to catch a third train. Those heading all the way to Eastbourne eventually arrived at 11.15pm.

South Central today launched an investigation into the fiasco. The power had cut out at 6pm, leaving commuters with no lights or lavatories.

Passengers were given no information until 8.45pm, when they were shepherded to the second train.

Tempers had flared in some carriages as frustrated travellers tried to force open the doors and climb down to the tracks. Social worker Haldun Aynaci, 38, finally reached his home in Polegate, near Eastbourne, at 11. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.