A Friday evening of woe for Hertfordshire commuters after huge power cut grounds trains

PUBLISHED: 18:32 13 August 2019

It took some people more than six hours to return home. Picture: James Acraman.

It took some people more than six hours to return home. Picture: James Acraman.

Archant

Some Hertfordshire commuters endured six-hour delays on Friday evening after a power cut affected large parts of London and the south east, leading to massive disruption.

Commuters were left stranded for hours following a massive power cut. Picture: James Acraman.Commuters were left stranded for hours following a massive power cut. Picture: James Acraman.

Many residents were forced to pay for taxis in order to return home due to the power cut, which occurred at around 5pm.

The outage was caused by two generators failing, which led to significant issues with the rail network - continuing into the following day.

A spokeswoman for the Hatfield Association of Rail Travellers said: "I was at Hatfield station from about 9pm, where an enhanced local team was preparing to receive approximately 180 passengers from two stranded southbound trains.

"Technicians and British Transport Police officers were on the trains with the drivers, and after six hours the passengers were transferred gradually and safely to a rescue train and then brought into the station - among the last to be rescued across the network.

Trains were unable to move followinf the power cut. Picture: James Acraman.Trains were unable to move followinf the power cut. Picture: James Acraman.

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"The local Govia Thameslink Railway team had water, bananas and chocolate bars ready for those who wanted them, and the passengers were swiftly moved onto a fleet of coaches and cars.

"Many of those involved from the various companies were doing extra shifts or had come in on rest days and there were some very exhausted individuals by the time they finished."

Local rail users went online to post about their delayed journeys: "£125 taxi ride and six hours after leaving work finally got home!" one man commented.

Many commuters had to rely on expensive taxis to return home. Picture: James Acraman.Many commuters had to rely on expensive taxis to return home. Picture: James Acraman.

Another rail user said: "I've just done Tube to Liverpool Street and train to Hertford East and picked up a taxi there - £37 to Stevenage."

A National Grid electricity system operator spokesperson said on Saturday: "We appreciate the disruption caused by yesterday's power outage and investigations have continued overnight to better understand the situation.

"The root cause of yesterday's issue was not with our system but was a rare and unusual event, the almost simultaneous loss of two large generators, one gas and one offshore wind, at 4.54pm."

Rail passengers can claim compensation through 'Delay Repay' if you're delayed by 15 minutes or more - see greatnorthernrail.com/help-and-support/journey-problems/delay-repay-compensation or thameslinkrailway.com/help-and-support/journey-problems/delay-repay

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