First Capital Connect apologises to commuters over major disruption

First Capital Connect train

First Capital Connect train - Credit: Archant

FIRST Capital Connect has apologised to passengers after services were severely disrupted on the Thameslink route when an overhead wire came down between Radlett and St Albans.

The incident, which happened on February 13, caused five First Capital Connect (FCC) trains to be evacuated when a section of power cable fell onto a train travelling through Radlett station.

For three days services on the Thameslink route were severely limited, with rail replacement buses operating to some stations for two days, while Network Rail engineers worked to repair the damaged line.

FCC managing director Neal Lawson said: “These recent large scale service disruptions are really frustrating for our customers.

“We work with other train operators to ensure that customers can get to their final destination using alternative routes, however our customers deserve better than ongoing replacement buses and long journey times.


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“We will be reviewing the maintenance of power supply with Network Rail to avoid similar disruptions going forward.”

n Commuters are being invited to voice their opinions on how rail companies can improve their services.

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Questions and comments from train users will be put to representatives from FCC and Network Rail at a St Albans council scrutiny meeting on Tuesday.

Cllr David Poor, vice chair of the scrutiny committee, is particularly keen to collect residents’ views on how the firms handled the recent problems on the Thameslink route when a power line came down at Radlett station.

The meeting comes after FCC was voted the worst train operator in the country in an annual satisfaction survey published last week by Which?.

Cllr Poor, who is also a regular commuter, said: “At the next meeting we will have senior representatives of FCC and Network Rail present so this is your chance to have a say on how we think they can improve this service.

“I am keen to see what people thought of how the rail companies coped with the problems.”

The public meeting will take place at 7pm on March 5 in the St Albans district council chamber.

To submit your comments email Cllr Poor on cllr.d.poor@stalbans.gov.uk or contact Cllr Robert Donald on cllr.r.donald@stalbans.gov.uk or 07973208289.

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