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Police form human barriers as flooding leads to rail chos

Published 09/03/2016

Passengers crowd the concourse at Euston station in London as heavy flooding led to severe rail disruption and overcrowding at the station.
Passengers crowd the concourse at Euston station in London as heavy flooding led to severe rail disruption and overcrowding at the station.
Flooding on the railway line between Rugby and Milton Keynes (@VirginTrains)

British Transport Police formed human barriers at Euston as heavy flooding led to severe rail disruption and overcrowding at the London station.

Officers locked together in front of the main concourse to prevent passengers from gathering on the platforms, and told travellers they were trying to ensure safety.

One told passengers that people had fallen from trains earlier and warned that people could be killed.

He added that police were at the station due to a shortage of rail staff.

Hundreds of passengers gathered in the station, looking up at the information boards - with most trains delayed.

Overhead announcements informed passengers that "heavy rain" had caused flooding between Rugby and Milton Keynes, with trains subject to "short notice cancellations and delays".

Passenger Lou Davies, who lives near Watford, said: "There were quite a lot of police. They were standing in lines to stop people getting down the corridors that lead to some of the platforms.

"They said the trains had been delayed because of flooding and they were there to keep people safe.

"It was odd. There weren't many train staff around. There were a lot of people waiting. Pretty much all the trains were delayed."

The Environment Agency had issued 43 flood warnings across England and Wales as of 8.30pm on Wednesday following heavy rainfall - with the majority being for areas in the Midlands.

Train operator London Midland said the severe flooding in several areas had caused problems with signalling and electrical equipment, leaving it unable to run trains between Rugby and Milton Keynes.

Passengers were also advised by the train operator that bus replacement services were "not an option" due to the weather conditions in some parts of Northamptonshire.

Although London Midland resumed some services to and from Northampton, the firm said it expected disruption for the rest of the day between Rugby and London Euston.

A London Midland spokesman said "Unfortunately passengers can expect disruption for the rest of the day.

"Once the floodwater subsides we are still faced with trains and train crew out of place across the network.

"This may mean some trains could have fewer carriages than normal.

"The advice is please allow more time and check your journey before you travel."

In addition to the problems on the trains, the rainfall caused problems on the roads in the Midlands.

The A43 between Towcester and Northampton was shut due to flooding while driving conditions on other roads were made difficult by standing water on the carriageway.

Sue Butler, 54, was hoping to travel back to Macclesfield, but was caught up in the delays

She said: "If the worst comes to the worst, I'll go back to my daughter's. But I'm meant to be at work tomorrow."

"I haven't got any clothes with me. I just want to go home", she added.

Other passengers took to social media to vent their frustration.

Jude Butler @nelltent wrote: "Chaos at Euston. Delays are annoying, but my god, people's behaviour to race down the platform with no regard to who they bash on the way!"

Rob @robsribsmk wrote: "Euston is an absolute bun fight. Delays all over the shop."

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From Belfast Telegraph