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Rail chaos as power failures add to Storm Ciarán woes

Rail chaos as power failures add to Storm Ciarán woes

Rail passengers hoping to use the East Coast main line from Edinburgh Waverley to London King’s Cross have been urged to avoid travelling today – after both ends of the line were hit by electricity supply failures.

At Edinburgh Waverley, just before 5pm on Thursday, what Network Rail calls a “power surge” wiped out the signalling system around the station. It brought everything to a halt and led to all trains being cancelled to and from the Scottish capital, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

Network Rail said “the complex nature of the fault” meant trains could not run until Friday. Services have restarted, but due to trains being out of position and speed restrictions in Scotland, many services are cancelled, including links to Plymouth and Newcastle.

Liam Sumpter, Network Rail Scotland’s route director, said: “The complex nature of our signalling systems means identifying and repairing faults can be a difficult process and we are sorry for the disruption caused to our customers.”

Chaos reigns at the southern end of the East Coast main line, which links Edinburgh with northeast England, Yorkshire and London King’s Cross. A “dewirement” between Huntingdon and Peterborough brought services to a halt on Thursday evening, leaving passengers, trains and crews out of position.

Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “We’re sorry for the disruption that passengers have faced due to Thursday’s dewirement. Our teams have worked tirelessly since the incident and will continue throughout the night to fix this issue to allow for trains to operate safely again.

“While the problem may be fixed by the start of Friday’s service, there will be some residual delays while the railway gets back to normal, so we are asking people to check before they travel.”

LNER, the main operator on the route, says “We strongly advise you not to travel today, Friday 3 November. We have an limited train service, trains that are running are heavily will be extremely busy.

“We are sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”

LNER has halved the number of trains between Edinburgh and Newcastle, partly because of speed restrictions related to repairs to a viaduct near Morpeth.

Speed restrictions in Scotland are affecting services from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness to Aberdeen, with some…

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