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Monday, 24 June, 2002, 13:30 GMT 14:30 UK
'Crisis over' for Virgin train services
Commuters wait in Euston
Commuters were told not to travel unless necessary
Virgin is resuming its train services between London and north-west England and Scotland after a morning of chaos caused by a major power failure.

The company warned commuters not to travel unless absolutely necessary and dozens of services were cancelled between London, Birmingham, Manchester, and Glasgow.

Overhead power lines at Ledburn Junction between Tring and Milton Keynes in Bedfordshire were severely damaged when an overhead cable broke loose and smashed into a train.

On Monday afternoon, Railtrack said the two slow lines to and from London had been reopened.

Chris Green, chief executive of Virgin Trains, said the company had no choice but to cancel services.

"A 25,000 volt cable was sent flying across four tracks and smashed the windscreen of a train so there was no question of running services to London on safety grounds.

"Our deepest apologies go to people caught in it but there really was no other way."

Mr Green said 75% of its services would be running again by Monday evening.

"About five trains an hour are running out of Euston going to all the destinations and Silverlink are also running.

'Crisis over'

"Most of the commuter trains will run this evening. The crisis is over but I fear a lot of people didn't make it into work for the return."

Customers have been told that all unused tickets can be used on Tuesday or customers can be offered a refund.

A spokeswoman for Railtrack said engineers were on site, but had not yet found out what had caused the damage.

British Transport Police said it was not thought the damage was caused by vandals.


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17 Jun 02 | Scotland
26 Oct 00 | Scotland
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