England

West Coast main line wiring damage led to 'major' disruption

Passengers await news at London Euston
Image caption Passengers at London Euston had faced lengthy delays

Rail passengers travelling to or from London Euston faced major disruption for hours on Sunday.

National Rail had advised West Coast main line users not to travel as engineers worked to fix damaged wiring.

At about 22:30 GMT, the company tweeted that "trains to and from London Euston are no longer being disrupted".

In separate disruption however, it said trains from London Paddington were being delayed by up to 90 minutes after a freight train broke down.

The train was blocking the line between Hayes and Harlington and Paddington, affecting services between Oxford, Reading and London.

Network Rail later tweeted that the delays had been reduced to 30 minutes, but would affect trains until the end of Sunday as work to remove the freight train was carried out.

Image caption Network Rail said the disruption to services had been resolved, by 22:30 GMT

Services from Euston to a range of stations, including Birmingham New Street, Glasgow Central and Liverpool Lime Street, had been affected.

'It ain't pretty'

Many passengers took to Twitter, using #WatfordJunction to ask train operators about travel arrangements.

Others shared details of their journeys.

Some football fans said they were having trouble reaching Sunday fixtures.

Ross Kennedy, who had taken a weekend trip away, told the BBC he had been badly affected by the disruption.

"Friday night was a disaster at Euston, and we were about two hours delayed getting up to Manchester," he said.

He said he was told by Virgin at around 11:00 on Sunday that he couldn't have a refund.

After 30 minutes on the phone, he said, he was told to proceed as normal as his train wasn't being delayed.

"I was asked where I heard about the disruption, because there was no disruption. I was slightly shocked and surprised, given the guidance on their website was not to travel and to contact them for a refund."

Network Rail had advised passengers not to travel unless it was necessary.

Tickets valid for travel on Sunday would be accepted on Monday, it added.

Virgin Trains customers who chose not to travel can apply for a full refund at the point of purchase.

How to claim compensation

Rail companies will give compensation for journeys delayed by 30 minutes or more.

You claim "delay repay" compensation from the operator and a list of links is available here.

The operator will want to know the departure and destination station, the type of ticket you have, the date and scheduled time of the journey, how much you paid and how long you were delayed.

They will also require you to send a scan or photograph of the tickets, which you upload to their website when making your claim.

You will be able to choose how you want your compensation paid, such as by cheque, rail travel vouchers or via PayPal.

Why did it happen?

Overhead wires near Wembley in north-west London were damaged on Friday.

Engineers were working "as quickly as possible" to fix the problem, a Network Rail spokesman said.

He said the company was "unsure at this stage of the cause of the damage".

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Cabling near Wembley was damaged on Friday

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