UK heatwave: Rail passengers stranded near Peterborough

Passengers by open doors on stopped train
Image caption Travellers were stranded in two trains when they became stuck near Peterborough

Hundreds of rail passengers were stranded on two trains as high temperatures caused disruption.

They were evacuated from carriages after services got stuck near Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

A spokesman for London North Eastern Railway (LNER) said "record high temperatures have caused several incidents on the East Coast route".

Temperatures reached 38.1C (100.6F) in Cambridge, making it the hottest place in the UK on Thursday.

The Met Office said it was only the second time a temperature of more than 100F had been recorded in the UK.

The two trains were unable to travel because of damage to overhead cables caused by the hot weather.

Image caption Passenger Destiny said the train engines were turned off, which meant there was no air conditioning

Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service helped with the evacuations.

Group Commander Dave Lynch praised passengers for "making our job far easier" despite the "unbearable" conditions.

The knock-on effect was that travellers at Peterborough Railway Station had to wait for up to five hours for onward connections.

Image caption They were taken to Peterborough Railway Station, where some waited for up to five hours for an onward journey

Passenger Destiny Ebiredelu told the BBC it was "a nightmare" when his train was stopped south of Peterborough for about half an hour due to the problems on the other services.

He said the air conditioning cut out when its engine was turned off.

"They had packed all these people heading north in one train. I was sweating. Everyone around me was sweating," he said.

Mr Ebiredelu missed a university meeting as he tried to travel from Biggleswade in Bedfordshire.

He was stranded at Peterborough for five hours and said he saw another traveller faint on the platform.

He added that railway staff did not keep passengers informed, but eventually he got a train to York, where was able to continue his journey to West Yorkshire.

Having originally planned to arrive in Leeds at 16:16 BST, he did not get there until 22:30.

Warrick Dent, LNER safety and operations director, said: "We apologise to customers for the inevitable inconvenience this will cause."

Network Rail said it hoped services would have returned to normal by Friday afternoon.

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