Passenger rescue after Stevenage station roof drama

PUBLISHED: 10:41 27 February 2012 | UPDATED: 11:14 28 February 2012

Passengers were led along the track between Knebworth and Stevenage. Photo by Joanne Collins sent in via

Passengers were led along the track between Knebworth and Stevenage. Photo by Joanne Collins sent in via

(c) copyright

Stranded train passengers were forced to wait for over two hours in darkness before being evacuated onto the track after a man climbed on to the roof of Stevenage railway station in the early hours of Sunday morning.

First Capital Connect cut electricity to the overhead power lines in response to a 999 call shortly after 12.30am, stopping services around the town and leaving passengers in darkness. Two trains were left stranded in the Langley junction area south of Stevenage, while others were brought to a halt at Welwyn Garden City, Hitchin and Hertford North.

The man on the roof was thought to be suicidal. Police tried to get him to come down while ambulance crews were dispatched to the scene. He was eventually brought to safety by officers after three hours of negotiations. He was unhurt.

Passengers in the trains south of Stevenage were stuck for over two hours before British Transport Police and First Capital Connect (FCC) engineers helped them to safety along the track and to waiting busses to continue their journeys.

Joanne Collins who was on the 12.06am train from Kings Cross to Cambridge was stranded between Knebworth and Stevenage. “We all sat in total darkness not knowing how long we would be there. A couple of drunk men managed to get the doors open and they escaped on to the track. The rest of us sat there until around 3am when we were rescued by police and train personnel,” the 33-year-old said.

“We had to climb down a ladder off the train and onto the tracks. Police and train personnel ensured we walked in a single file between the tracks along the gravel for a few minutes until we reached a set of very steep steps we could climb down.

“Eventually we reached the road where coaches were waiting to take us to the intended stops.”

A FCC spokesman said it was a very difficult situation which they had to deal with in the best way possible to ensure the safety of passengers.

A 19-year-old Stevenage man was taken into custody at Watford police station. He was cautioned for trespassing and obstruction without intent.

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