Thousands of rail passengers were stranded in London because of a signalling problem.
Only four Midland Mainline services ran during the evening peak
Services from St Pancras to the East Midlands were cancelled on Wednesday evening because of a systems failure in the Luton area.
Network Rail staff worked through the night to rectify the problem.
Midland Mainline has apologised for the disruption and said compensation may be available for commuters who were affected by loss of service.
Communications manager Emma Knight said: "We had a lot of problems.
"We actually suspended services for a large chunk of the evening. Fortunately we were able to run some services out of London.
"We ran about four services in the evening peak and then some of the later services.
"In addition we asked all other train operators to accept Midland Mainline tickets to ensure that people got back home."
Services were back to normal on Thursday morning.
Ms Knight added: "On behalf of Midland Mainline and Network Rail, I'm sorry for the inconvenience passengers had.
"We don't want this kind of thing to happen. It's so rare nowadays on Midland Mainline that we have disruption that we take it very seriously."