RAIL passengers travelling between Scotland and England endured widespread delays and cancellations yesterday after a derailed train played havoc with some of the country’s busiest lines.
Morning services from Glasgow and Edinburgh to London were terminated in the Lake District and Carlisle, while others were cancelled altogether after a train used to transport ballast for engineering works came off the track near Carnforth in Lancashire.
The incident, which took place at about 8:20am, caused disruption to services on the West Coast Main Line operated by Virgin Trains and TransPennine Express.
Virgin services from London Euston to Glasgow Central were terminated at Preston, while trains going in the opposite direction terminated at Oxenholme.
Services between Edinburgh and London terminated at Preston and Carlisle.
TransPennine services between Manchester Airport and Glasgow and Edinburgh were also affected, along with northern routes.
Passengers caught up in the disruption vented their anger over a lack of information and lengthy waits for replacement bus services.
Diarmid Mackinnon, from Dundee, who was travelling to Edinburgh on Virgin’s west coast service, said the firm’s service was “completely shocking” with “hundreds” of people forced to wait in a corridor at Preston station.
James Orr, another Virgin passenger forced to disembark at Preston, said he waited over an hour for a replacement bus service to arrive.
He said: “The derailment is an unfortunate accident. However, the service has been atrocious. No information, no help.”
Dave Robertson, who was travelling on a TransPennine service, said the scenes at Oxenholme station were “complete chaos,” with just one member of staff on hand.
He added that it took an hour for people to board coaches.
Virgin apologised for the disruption and advised passengers to use their tickets on alternative routes, such as Virgin’s East Coast service. Tickets will remain valid for travel today, it added.
The engineering train was rerailed at around 3:30pm, but disruption continued into the early evening.
A spokeswoman for Network Rail apologised to passengers for the inconvenience.