London train delays: passengers stranded amid mass cancellations face 7 hour delay and told to book hotels
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Following a week of industrial action, chaos on Britain’s railways continued today as passengers have been left stranded and told ‘it’s a waiting game’.
Rochelle Barrand, a NationalWorld reporter who is currently among those stranded in London, said: “There’s absolute chaos on the trains. Coaches are sold out now too as people are trying to find any way to leave, and I believe people have paid through the nose for any last remaining coach tickets.
“No replacement buses offered by train companies that I’m aware of. I was supposed to be on the 11.03am LNER London King Cross to Leeds and I’ve been at the station since 10am and there’s just nothing, no communication, no help.”
The Trainline app shows that so far 19 trains from London to or via Leeds have been cancelled today. Travellers have been told that they can book hotels and/or taxis and claim their money back, but it is unclear if these claims will be accepted.
Rochelle spoke to fellow travellers and heard that one couple had to pay £220 for a hotel room for one night, whilst another considered booking an Uber to get back to Leeds and were quoted £450 for the one-way trip.
Rochelle also heard a member of LNER staff tell a passenger that ‘it’s a waiting game’ whilst others were advised not to travel today and assured that their tickets will be valid tomorrow. Around 2.15pm, Rochelle was informed by another member of LNER staff that trains were not expected to be running until 6pm, seven hours after Rochelle’s first train was due to depart.
Other northbound trains are similarly affected - 22 direct and connecting trains from London to Edinburgh Waverley have been cancelled today.
The Transport for London website has noted that there are severe delays on the following operators: East Midlands Railway, First Hull Trains, Grand Central, Great Western Railway, Heathrow Express, LNER, Lumo, and South Western Railway.
LNER, which has limited who can respond to its post on X today, posted: “due to severe overhead damage to overhead lines between Peterborough and Grantham yesterday. Customers are advices not to travel today”.
They shared a map advising those aiming to travel between London King’s Cross, Peterborough, Grantham, Lincoln, Doncaster, Leeds, and York, not to travel today.
Have the December train strikes ended?
Train drivers from several operators were on strike at different points between December 2 and December 8, whilst an overtime ban across all operators was in place from December 1-9.
Whilst the latest industrial action has now ended, it is likely that the overtime ban will have had a knock-on effect into today (December 10).
Additionally, if stranded commuters are forced to wait until tomorrow to travel, this could cause overcrowding on trains on Monday during the rush hour.