London-Glasgow passengers stranded after train terminates at Carlisle

Avanti West Coast apologises after many were forced to sleep on the floor of the Cumbrian town's railway station.

London-Glasgow Avanti West Coast passengers stranded after train terminates at Carlisle @gillsyuk via Twitter
Passengers had to sleep on the floor at Carlisle railway station.

Train passengers travelling between London and Glasgow were left stranded in Carlisle until the early hours of Friday morning.

Some people were forced to sleep on the floor of the Cumbrian city’s railway station due to a lack of alternative onward transport.

Travellers on the Avanti West Coast service that departed London Euston at 8pm were told as they approached Carlisle that the train would be terminating.

Gillian McLees, 45, from Port Glasgow, was on board the train after her earlier booking was cancelled.

“I was initially booked on the 6.30pm train from Euston to Glasgow Central but it was cancelled because someone had been hit by a train near London, she told STV News.

“The 8pm service was therefore jam packed. Around 10-15 minutes before we arrived in Carlisle we were told the train had to terminate.

“Everyone on board had to leave the train and make their way to the front door of the station but there were only three taxis waiting.

“The rest of us were told we would have to wait for the first train in the morning. It was absolutely freezing as it was just after midnight and everybody was getting really, really angry.”

Ms McLees said there was a group of around 50 people trying to get to Glasgow.

They were told to get back on board the train while in the queue for taxis – only to be told to get back off because there was no driver to take the train north.

She said: “I eventually phoned a friend who drove all the way from Port Glasgow to Carlisle and get me. He arrived at 3.30am and we eventually got home at 5.30am.

“I was very pragmatic about the initial delay and even viewed being kicked off at Carlisle as an inconvenience but what really frustrated me was there was no plan to deal with the situation.

“I got a basic compensation form from Avanti but that does not compensate for the physical and mental turmoil that we all had to go through.”

Avanti said the last train from London to Scotland was terminated due to a lineside fire.

The company ordered alternative transport but it took several hours before the last of the stranded customers could make their way north.

The situation was further complicated by a lack of hotel rooms within walking distance of the station.

An Avanti West Coast spokesman said: “We can only apologise to those caught up in last night’s disruption. Our customers have the right to deserve better and we will be conducting an immediate review into what happened.

“We would also like to thank those customers for their patience and encourage them to contact us to ensure they receive compensation for their journey.”