Hundreds of angry passengers were left nearly 200 miles from their destination after the train they were on suddenly grounded.
The Avanti West Coast service between London and Edinburgh was suspended late last night in Preston, Lancashire.
Frustrated travelers, including dozens of schoolchildren, were left without transport for hours into the night after service was suspended south of the border.
Some passengers traveling to Edinburgh only reached the capital in the early hours of the morning, almost twice as long as originally planned.
The train left Euston station at 4.40pm yesterday, but after almost three hours of travel, passengers were surprised to receive an email saying the train had been cancelled.
After some confusion, the on-board staff confirmed that the train would stop in Preston – 186 miles from the capital – and ordered them off the train.
Stand-up comedian James Nokise said a connecting train was full and after that no trains ran north of the border.
The New Zealander, who described the situation as “ridiculous”, revealed that taxis had been organized to transport people in groups to their destinations.
He shared a photo on social media of a huge queue outside the train station.
Staff at Greenfaulds High School in Glasgow were forced to arrange their own bus as pupils were too young to travel home alone in taxis.
Another passenger criticized Avanti, saying that “50 12-year-old” students were stuck in Preston on the way to Glasgow, adding: “We can’t send children in taxis alone.”
In a message to Avanti West Coast, the school wrote: “We were able to find a bus to take us home on our own.”
“If we hadn’t done this we would be leaving 50 young children on the streets of Preston when the station closed.”
“The apologies from your wonderful staff here are nice, but not enough. Very poor.”
Last night on
Mr Nokise was among the last passengers to leave Preston.
He got into a black taxi with three other men at 10.30pm, about 15 minutes later than the train’s scheduled arrival time in Edinburgh.
The comedian and his fellow travelers only reached the city at 3 a.m., almost twice as long as the actual train journey.
Mr Nokise said he received an email offering him £70 compensation for the disruption.
Avanti said the cancellation was due to the closure of the West Coast Main Line due to a track disruption.
Three hours later the line was reopened, but trains were no longer available.
The problem was reported by another Avanti train in Lockerbie just after 4pm.
The company told passengers that those who were unable to travel from Preston to Scotland last night can still use their original ticket today.
Anyone affected by the disruption can also make claims for damages via the company’s website.
An Avanti West Coast spokesman said: “We apologize to our customers who were affected by last night’s disruption. The closure of the West Coast Main Line for more than three hours due to a track defect had a significant impact on our services, with trains and train crews unable to meet our planned timetable, resulting in cancellations of services north of Preston.
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“Although alternative transport and accommodation options have been offered for most of those affected, we fully understand the frustration of customers whose trips were affected and deeply regret this.”
“Anyone affected by last night’s disruption is entitled to compensation and is urged to get in touch through our normal channels to process their claim.”
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