FCC apologises to St Albans passengers

PUBLISHED: 11:48 27 March 2012

First Capital Connect new 12-carriage trains

First Capital Connect new 12-carriage trains

Alvey & Towers

FIRST Capital Connect (FCC) has apologised to passengers who suffered massive disruption to their train travel this morning on the Thameslink route.

A spokesman for FCC explained that there was a severely limited service on the route following an earlier major signalling failure between Bedford and Leagrave.

He said: “The Network Rail power supply failed there, at about 2.15am. It was not fully restored until 8.18am.”

Problems on a 15 mile part of the track, between Flitwick and Bedford, caused disruption elsewhere, including between St Albans and Brighton.

The spokesman added that it was “shocking” for customers this morning, as at one stage, just two trains an hour were able to operate, and this decreased to just one.

He explained that only a single train an hour can operate between two stations in each direction safely in such circumstances. This is called temporary block working. Some services were being turned at Luton, St Albans and Kentish Town.

Apart from causing severe delays, the signal fault also prevented FCC from moving empty carriages from Monday night into the places they needed to be for this morning’s service.

That caused additional widespread cancellations across the route, including services from Brighton.

The spokesman said normal services were expected to resume by 1pm today with minor changes, and the full service should be running normally by 4pm.

He went on: “It has been an extremely trying morning for customers and FCC until Network Rail was able to fix the problem. We would like to apologise to everyone who suffered.”

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Recently we, as a family (minus two of the kids), visited The Lodge RSPB reserve in Sandy, Bedfordshire. I had never been before, which is perhaps amiss of me as a birdwatcher as it is the headquarters of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds or RSPB and only 45 minutes drive from home.

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