Thameslink and Great Northern 'attempting' to run trains amid disruption
- Credit: Yui Mok/PA
Thameslink and Great Northern are "attempting" to run trains throughout the East of England this evening.
Passengers travelling on commuter routes between London, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire and Norfolk are likely to face severe disruption on most Thameslink and Great Northern routes.
The disruption follows very high temperatures throughout the East of England, with highs of 39C recorded across all four counties and a Met Office red weather warning on Monday and Tuesday (July 18 and 19) for "extreme heat".
Disruption on the railways over the past two days included a buckled rail at Watlington, between Ely and King's Lynn, on Monday and a fire which melted a level crossing between Sandy and St Neots yesterday (Tuesday).
A Thameslink and Great Northern statement this evening (Wednesday. July 20) reads: "We advise you not to travel.
"Major disruption is affecting the Thameslink and Great Northern networks after the extreme weather on Monday and Tuesday.
"The following routes have reopened, with attempts being made to run some trains.
"Only a very limited number of trains will run, and they will generally be busier than usual.
"We expect your travel time will be extended by at least 90 minutes and possibly longer.
"If you can, please travel at a later date."
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There is severe disruption on all routes out of St Pancras, King's Cross and Moorgate stations in London, including:
- London St Pancras to Bedford (via St Albans, Luton Airport and Luton)
- Central London to Cambridge/Ely/King's Lynn
- Central London to Peterborough
- St Albans City to Sutton/Wimbledon (via London St Pancras and London Blackfriars)
- London Moorgate and Welwyn Garden City/Hertford North/Stevenage
On other routes, there is no Southern service on the West London Line, which runs between Hemel Hempstead, Watford Junction, Shepherd's Bush and Croydon.
An additional Thameslink statement reads: "Trains will also be disrupted after cattle were on the railway in the Salfords area, between East Croydon/Redhill and Gatwick Airport."
The firm said passengers affected by disruption this week can choose to travel on another date, or opt for a refund.
A spokesperson said: "You can use tickets dated for Monday 18, and Tuesday 19 July for travel with Southern, Gatwick Express, Thameslink or Great Northern on Wednesday 20, and Thursday 21 July instead.
"If you choose to delay your journey to these dates, please note that, the original ticket time and route restrictions will still apply.
"If you've purchased a ticket with us at one of our ticket offices or on our website and you are unable to travel or choose not to travel, you can apply for a refund. If you bought your ticket with us, simply return your unused ticket to a Southern, Gatwick Express, Thameslink or Great Northern ticket office (unless it's an e-ticket) or apply using our online refund form: https://bit.ly/3PLJSQ5
"You will not be charged the £10 administration fee.
"If you've purchased your ticket from another train company's ticket office or via another online retailer, please contact them directly to discuss the options available to you."
They said season and flexi ticket holders who choose not to travel can fill in the "delay repay" form (https://bit.ly/2F7MCDo) to claim 120+ minutes of compensation - to receive the value of one day's travel.
Earlier today, there were no trains running from London King's Cross, which has affected multiple train operators.
A spokesperson for LNER, which runs trains between London, Stevenage, Peterborough, the North East and Scotland, said: "Due to earlier delays today, Wednesday, July 20, we are very busy and there will be fewer trains than usual.
"Please check before you travel."
A Hull Trains spokesperson said the firm experienced cancellations to trains this morning, and urged passengers who have kept their tickets following disruption earlier this week to complete their journeys by Friday, July 22.
Network Rail confirmed that the East Coast Main Line is open following the serious fire near Sandy.
Simon Pumphrey, Network Rail's East Coast infrastructure director, said: "The fire at Sandy has really impacted on our inspections, as well as caused damage to the railway, which has meant severe disruption to services on the East Coast Main Line today - particularly at London King’s Cross.
"Whilst we have completed repairs so that some services can run again, disruption will continue as staff and trains aren’t in the right place.
"Most train operators are advising passengers not to travel to or from London King's Cross today and we'd urge passengers to follow that advice.
"We're sorry for this disruption and would remind people to keep up to date with the latest travel information by visiting National Rail Enquiries or their train operator's website."