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Leighton Buzzard signalling restored but passengers warned of continuing disruption

Press release   •   Oct 07, 2020 15:18 BST

Passengers travelling on the West Coast main line between London, the Midlands and North West are being advised to check before they travel after an overnight signalling failure.

Several miles of the signalling system near Leighton Buzzard was left without power in the early hours of this morning (7 October).

Trains are now able to run at normal speed on the West Coast main line between Milton Keynes Central and Watford Junction.

However, passengers should expect disruption to the timetable for the rest of today.

The advice is to check www.nationalrail.co.uk or with train operators London Northwestern Railway and Avanti West Coast for the latest travel information.

James Dean, Network Rail’s West Coast South route director, said: “I’m sorry to passengers whose journeys have been difficult today due to the signalling failure near Leighton Buzzard overnight. I’m pleased to say we can now run passenger and freight trains again. Our focus will be on finding out why this happened and learning from it so it doesn’t happen again. I thank passengers for their patience and urge anyone travelling in or out of London Euston today to check www.nationalrail.co.uk as we try our best to get trains running on time again.”

Gus Dunster, executive director of operations and safety at Avanti West Coast, said: “Due to a fault with the signalling system earlier today, there will be delays and changes to our services at short notice until early afternoon. We strongly recommend customers check before they travel and speak to our team when arriving at their station. We would like to thank our customers for their understanding and encourage them to claim via our Delay Repay service if they were delayed by 15 minutes or more.”

Lawrence Bowman, customer experience director for London Northwestern Railway, said: “Now that the West Coast main line has re-opened, we will look to operate a regular timetable as far as we possibly can. Trains may not be able to operate to our normal timetable, so we would urge passengers to check before they travel for the rest of the day. Any passengers whose journeys have been delayed by more than 15 minutes as a result of the disruption can claim compensation via the Delay Repay scheme"

Meanwhile, passengers are asked to continue following Government guidance around the use of public transport.

Travellers must wear a face covering on train services and any replacement bus services. Those who fail to do so risk being fined £200.

However, some people are exempt, including young children and people with hidden disabilities or breathing difficulties.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

Passengers can plan their journeys by checking www.nationalrail.co.uk.

ENDS

About West Midlands Trains

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email press.office@wmtrains.co.uk

West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.

  • London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast Main Line to and from London Euston.
  • West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street and Birmingham Snow Hill.

For more information on these services visit westmidlandsrailway.co.uk or londonnorthwesternrailway.co.uk

The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. 

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