St Albans women speak of snapped electric cable horror as FCC disruptions continue

PUBLISHED: 09:35 14 February 2013 | UPDATED: 09:44 14 February 2013

FCC passengers being evacuated near Radlett station

FCC passengers being evacuated near Radlett station

Kirsty Hornblow

TWO St Albans women have spoken about the “terrifying” moment that an electric cable snapped and struck the roof of their train while travelling into London.

One feared the First Capital Connect (FCC) train was going to crash while the other was amazed no one at Radlett station was injured as a result of a cable breaking near the platform.

Network Rail and First Capital Connect (FCC) have apologised for severe disruption to services on the Thameslink route after an overhead wire came down at Radlett station at about 11.30am yesterday (Wednesday).

Passengers from five trains had to be evacuated as a result and delays are expected to last until 6am tomorrow (Friday).

Kirsty Hornblow, a blogger, said that she had been on her way to a blogging event to talk to Education Minister Elizabeth Truss when she and fellow passengers on the full eight-carriage train heard an unusual sound.

She explained: “There was a huge whipping noise and it kept going and everyone was waiting for the impact. Everyone knew something was wrong, and that a cable had snapped.

“The cable was striking the roof repeatedly, slapping down on it.”

The train came to a stop and the driver immediately walked along the carriages to explain that a cable had broken and passengers would have to wait until they could be safely evacuated.

A fellow blogger, whose twitter account is @eatingstalbans but wished to remain anonymous, said that she was on the same train, heading to Blackfriars Station, as she is studying her PhD at Kings College.

She said: “I just got past Radlett Station when I heard a noise. I thought it sounded like cables that were whipping the roof. I thought it was going to go through the window.

“The driver came down and said that the cable had broken. He thought that the roof was going to be ripped off; he was shaken up as well.”

The two women waited for 90 minutes before being evacuated along the track to Radlett Station nearby.

They both praised the driver for keeping them informed throughout their ordeal, and said that fellow passengers had remained calm.

Kirsty said: “I can’t believe that no one was injured on the platform because that is where the cable snapped. We could see the cable on the track.

“It worries me that the line is being run to breaking point. You feel less and less that you can rely upon it.”

A spokeswoman for Network Rail apologised for the incident and said that no one had been injured.

DELAYS

According to FCC’s website, because of the overhead wire problems between Elstree and Borehamwood, and St Albans city, fewer trains are running, and services may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 minutes at short notice because of the major damage to overhead lines at Radlett.

Trains are only able to run on two out of four lines between Radlett and St Albans in either direction, and FCC “expects” this to be the case for the rest of the day.

Passengers from St albans can use Uno buses to travel to Hatfield for FCC services in Kings Cross.

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