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Broken down train, leaves and faulty signals mean more misery on railways

Published 17/11/2016

Services from St Pancras were affected
Services from St Pancras were affected

A broken down train, leaf fall and faulty signalling systems have caused headaches for commuters and rail operators alike, with services delayed and cancelled as a result of the various problems.

The train broke down on Thursday evening between Kentish Town and West Hampstead and has caused "major disruptions" to services between London St Pancras International and Luton, Thameslink said.

Both lines were eventually reopened at about 9:30pm (GMT), with the operator then beginning the task of clearing delayed trains and their passengers.

It came after attempts to move the faulty train using a rescue train failed.

Customers affected by the fault tweeted their frustration at the delay and warned others to dodge the disruptions before it was too late.

One tweeted, sarcastically: "Train broken down at Kentish Town. Send rescue train to push it out the way. Rescue train not powerful enough. Well done everyone."

Another said: "Looks like I'll be spending my evening sitting on a broken down train somewhere between Kentish Town and West Hampstead."

But Thameslink advised customers could use their tickets on "reasonable" bus, overground and underground routes, with replacement buses ordered but not due to arrive until 10pm (GMT).

Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said: "How much more of this unprecedented chaos on Govia Thameslink Railway have passengers got to endure before the Government pulls the plug on this basket case franchise?"

Meanwhile, commuters faced delays of more than a hour on Thursday after trains were cancelled and disrupted across the entire South West network because of poor rail conditions as a result of "leaf fall".

Areas affected included Weybridge, Portsmouth, Southampton and Basingstoke.

A spokeswoman for South West Trains said: "We are sorry for the disruption customers have experienced this evening as a result of poor rail conditions across parts of our network."

Southern Rail was also plagued by delays and cancellations after a fault with the signalling system in the Sydenham area affected services to Forest Hill, Honor Oak Park and Brockley.

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