Travel CHAOS hits trains as power outage sparks massive delays at London's Kings Cross


London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has been forced to cancel a number of services or cut some short due to overhead electric wires. This include trains between London and Edinburgh. Services between Peterborough and Stevenage are also blocked, according to the rail operator.

Travellers are being advised to check LNER’s website with the outage affecting scheduled to either depart, end or call at stations including Inverness, Aberdeen, Doncaster, Leeds and Newark.

Tickets are being accepted on services run by other operators while LNER carries out an investigation into what happened.

Other operators along the East Coast Main Line are believed to have been affected.

News of the disruption comes on the same day it was revealed this year has been the worst on record for train cancellations.

Industrial disputes, severe weather and coronavirus-related staff absence caused the worst year for train reliability in Britain.

Analysis of Office of Rail and Road data shows the cancellations score in the 12 months to July 23 was 3.6 percent.

That is the highest figure in records dating back to 2015.

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Drivers’ union Aslef insists this is “disingenuous” and blames the company for failing to employ enough drivers.

Other operators which saw their highest cancellations scores on record in the four weeks to July 23 include CrossCountry (10.3%), LNER (7.4%) and Merseyrail (5.5%).

The scores reflect the number of full and part cancellations as a proportion of planned trains. Each part cancellation counts for 0.5 of the total which is used to calculate the percentages.

Severe weather also caused major disruption to services during the past 12 months. A rare “do not travel” alert was issued across the network on February 18, with seven operators suspending all services because of Storm Eunice. Lines were blocked and damaged by fallen trees and flying debris as winds exceeded 120mph.

July’s heatwave brought services to a standstill due to the closure of lines or speed restrictions amid fears of tracks buckling as temperatures exceeded 40C.

The spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant towards the end of last year led to a rise in staff sickness which resulted in a spate of cancellations, leading to timetables being slashed.

Last month’s retail prices index (RPI), an inflation figure usually used to determine the next annual rise in regulated fares such as season tickets, will be released on Wednesday morning.

The Department for Transport announced on Monday that the 2023 increase in fares in England will be below RPI, which is expected to be around 12 percent.

Chris Page, who chairs pressure group Railfuture, said: “The Government claims that the fare rise will be below inflation, but the devil will be in the detail.

“They won’t say what the increase will be, or which fares it will apply to. If the Government was serious about tackling the cost-of-living crisis it would make rail travel much more affordable and make it easier for people to use cars and planes less.

“Germany has shown the way with its nine euro (£7.58) travelcard offer. It proves that if the price is right, people will flock to the trains.”



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