Angry commuters ‘kick down gates’ at train station after major delays

Furious commuter "kicked down the gates" at St Albans station after signal failures caused major delays.

Large crowds gathered outside the station during rush hour this morning as no trains arrived due to a six-mile signalling failure at Luton.

This resulted in major disruption on East Midlands and Thameslink trains and left commuters furious after weeks of delays due to a new timetable.

Commuters took to Twitter to describe scenes of overcrowding with platforms "crammed" and passengers "kicking down gates" to try and get through.

One furious passenger, Conor Quinlan, shared a snap of the huge crowds on Twitter and wrote: "@ TLRailUK – your shamblolic service continues – this was the view outside St Albans station at 8:13am. Trains cancelled with no notice, no communication to your staff leaving them clueless. Hopeless!"

Another angry commuter, Stephen Argent, wrote: "St Albans train station this morning. Makes you wonder how we can ever make a success of Brexit given we can’t even run a train service that has been around for a hundred years already."

A third, named Matt, also fumed: "@ TLRailUK St Albans city. No trains bad info delays and short services. Fourth day in a row it’s been a shambles. Having to get a slow train because the fast is to full because of cancellations. # scrap2020 really wondering if driving to London would be less painful."

A Dr Peter Saunders said: "Absolute fiasco here at @ TLRailUK St Albans.Trains cancelled. Platforms crammed. Barriers closed. Staff abusive. Angry passengers kicking down gates. CEO resigned last week.

He added: "One gate had been damaged before I arrived by people forcing themselves through. All gates then locked and people diverted to platform 1 entrance. One guy tried to climb over then started kicking gate as staff member yelled at him."

A Thameslink spokesman said: “For passenger safety we closed the gates for short periods to manage the numbers of people on the platform. Passenger announcements explained this.

“Network Rail have now fixed the signalling problem but we regret that the disruption caused is likely to continue into the afternoon. Tickets are being accepted on local buses and we have arranged additional replacement buses from St Albans.”

Network Rail apologised and said that no trains would run south of Bedford.

As large crowds gathers at Bedford station, extra British Transport Police officers were brought in "for passenger reassurance".

Thameslink said that "for passenger safety we closed the gates for short periods to manage the numbers of people on the platform" and "passenger announcements explained this".

A spokesperson for the troubled line also denied its staff were "abusive" or "yelling" at passengers.

"Network Rail have now fixed the signalling fault," a spokesman said.

Vicky Chadwick, a commuter from Bedford told the BBC about the toll the constant delays are taking on passengers.

She said: "This situation is impacting lives. Our time with our families is being impacted and I’m seriously considering whether I can continue working in London."

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Today’s issues comes after weeks of disruptions since the introduction of new timetables on Great Northern, Thameslink, Southern and Northern at the end of May.

The rail firms have constantly apologised for delays with chiefs saying they needed time to "adapt".

A compensation scheme is in place and promises have been made that a new timetable will be installed within the next three weeks.

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