Rats on the line bring trains to a halt

PUBLISHED: 12:04 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 20:19 03 May 2010

THIS time is wasn't leaves on the line or even snow which brought chaos to rail commuters. It was a more unusual reason - a rat on the line, or at least one which chewed through a power cable last Thursday morning. The damage caused a major signal failure

THIS time is wasn't leaves on the line or even snow which brought chaos to rail commuters. It was a more unusual reason - a rat on the line, or at least one which chewed through a power cable last Thursday morning. The damage caused a major signal failure at Chiltern Green between Luton and Harpenden and resulted in early-morning peak Thameslink services from Luton to St Albans being reduced to just two trains an hour with no services at all from Harpenden. To compound the problem, It was decided to bus Harpenden passengers to Hitchin because of congestion at St Albans City Station. But they faced further delays when the main road, the dual-carriageway A505, was closed at Offley because of accidents caused by ice on the road. The problems caused by the rat knawing at the cable were discovered soon after midnight on Wednesday and engineers from Network Rail completed repairs at around 7.30am. But by then morning peak services had been completely disrupted. Thameslink spokesperson Chris Hudson said: "It was a bad morning and by the time the signalling problems were solved most of our trains and drivers were out of position and it took a considerable time to get services back to normal. "Unfortunately the passengers who were being taken to Hitchin faced a double whammy." During the partial shut-down, Thameslink operated four trains an hour between St Albans and Sutton. A spokesperson for Network Rail said: "We would like to apologise to passengers for the delays.

More news stories

51 minutes ago

A crash and a broken down vehicle near the M25’s Potters Bar junction have been causing delays anticlockwise this morning.

Yesterday, 15:00

It’s said to be the most wonderful time of the year, but is it really for everyone?

Yesterday, 14:30

Tickets have gone on sale for an annual Hertfordshire music festival at a special discounted price.

Yesterday, 09:00

More than 100 children in St Albans will be homeless this Christmas, according to housing charity Shelter.

CountryPhile

I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the The Herts Advertiser e-edition E-edition
Zoo Watch CountryPhile

Newsletter Sign Up

Herts Advertiser weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read stories

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists

Herts Most Wanted Herts Business Awards