Fury from Thameslink passengers after mammoth delays
PUBLISHED: 17:52 02 October 2014 | UPDATED: 09:22 03 October 2014
Former First Capital Connect passengers are less than impressed with the new train providers, Thameslink, after delays yesterday (1) saw thousands of commuters stranded.
An electrical accident on the tracks resulted in the line being out of service, and hours of delays ensued.
People travelling from London St Pancras to St Albans, Radlett and Harpenden were asked to take alternative routes that took them to Luton and Hatfield.
Karl Wilding, 43, of Chiswell Green, claimed that what should have been a 20 minute journey took more than two hours.
He said: “I accept that accidents happen, but it’s how you deal with them. I had to get a train to Hatfield and it was absolutely rammed full 10 minutes before it even left. EU regulations wouldn’t even allow livestock in those conditions.
“There was no effort to put on extra services and once we got to Hatfield we were limited to what buses we could get too. It was utter chaos.
“I’m more annoyed than anything with how they dealt with the situation, they weren’t prepared.”
Debi Alper, 59, an author who was due to give an editing workshop in St Albans, had to cancel her plans following the severe delays.
She said: “I arrived at London Blackfriars 45 minutes before my train as I am very cautious about arriving on time.
“It turned in to utter chaos and there were no official announcements with one woman there to answer questions. The poor staff clearly had no idea either.
“The only information I saw was via Twitter as there was no information at the stations, there was a complete lack of communication.
“After realising that the earliest train would make me at least an hour late, I decided to go home.
“I was so disappointed, as not only did I let people down; I lost money from a wasted ticket and my inability to do the workshop.”
The chaos followed many on their journey home as Suzy Homer, 22, of Wheathampstead, commented:
“They told everyone to get the East Midlands train that only went to Luton Airport and Bedford, they were absolutely rammed with no air con.
“At Luton Airport it was absolutely manic, with no taxis and a huge queue of cars- people were even trying to ‘thumb’ for lifts.”
A spokesperson for Thameslink said: ““Network Rail worked throughout the night to repair the overhead infrastructure; however there were still some cancellations this morning due to displaced stock.
“Further repairs will be carried out as of 23:00 no services will run between London St Pancras and London Blackfriars.
“Services will run between Bedford and London St Pancras, and between London Blackfriars and Brighton. We would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused to our passengers.”