Two days of woes for First Capital Connect commuters

FRUSTRATED Thameslink passengers faced two days of disruption this week as they made their way to and from work.

On Monday, a lineside fire in the early hours caused damage to signalling cables at Elstree. Despite Network Rail’s efforts to repair the damage as quickly as possible, the morning First Capital Connect services were badly affected with many customers experiencing delays.

The problems were compounded on Monday evening when there was a cable fire at around 6pm in the Gatwick area which resulted in further delays.

On Tuesday Network Rail discovered a significant track fault close to Farringdon Station and a decision was taken that it had to be repaired before services could use the line. While the work was being carried out, the central part of the route - between St Pancras and Blackfriars - was closed and FCC was told to implement a contingency timetable running as many services as possible at either end of the Thameslink route.

Although the line was reopened by Network Rail after the morning peak, many trains and drivers were out of position and it took most of the day to return the service to normal ahead of the evening peak.

Customers affected by the problems can claim compensation through the FCC Delay Repay scheme.