Passengers detail harrowing 11-hour journey from London to Scotland after cancelled train

Grant Shapps criticised for not knowing timetable of Avanti West Coast trains
BBC Breakfast

A man has gone viral on X/Twitter after detailing his harrowing journey from London to Edinburgh after his train was cancelled halfway into the trip.

Stand-up comedian James Nokise revealed in a thread how his nightmare trip to Scotland went from bad to worse. He started, explaining that he initially got on the train in London at 4:40pm.

Then, around three hours into the train journey, he received an email saying that the train had been cancelled – a confusing message as the train was still moving and there had been no announcement.

Nokise wrote: “About 10mins later the train manager came on the speaker to say they ‘heard from passengers’ (!) that the train had been cancelled and was going to investigate because everything looked fine to them.”

Passengers onboard were later informed that the “rumours were true” and the train would be terminating at the next station, which was Preston.

Nokise explained that hundreds of passengers disembarked at Preston to catch a connecting train the Glasgow that left without them because it was already full.

“It was around 8pm, and we were told to wait for the next train.. at 9:42,” he wrote, adding that it was also cancelled.

He continued: “It turned out there were no more trains ‘North’ after that and, excitingly, no forthcoming information.

“Some people stood staring at the screens. Some people queued to ask the one ticket booth worker the same question everyone else was. No one knew anything.”

The hundreds of stranded passengers were then informed that alternative travel arrangements had been made. This, it was revealed, was in the form of taxis to Scotland, 3 and a half hours away.

Nokise said, “all of us queued to be taken away 3-7 people at a time. And if that sounds slow and ridiculous, it was”.

In his cab, Nokise was in a taxi with 3 other strangers when the taxi almost collided with another vehicle on the motorway.

After several other “incidents” on the way, the cab passengers eventually made it to their intended destination after 3:00am – over five hours later than their scheduled arrival time and 11 hours after they boarded the train.

The nightmare-ish journey had seen the X/Twitter thread go viral, with more than 25,000 likes.

One teacher also revealed that a class of 12-year-old children were left effectively stranded in Preston as they were unable to send children unaccompanied in taxis.

They tweeted: “Hi @AvantiWestCoast we’ve been stuck at Preston since around 630pm with 50 12 year olds. It’s now 10.08pm.

“We've just been informed that there is no way of getting us home to Glasgow, as we can't send kids alone on taxis. A staff member has said we are effectively stuck here.”

An Avanti West Coast spokesperson said: “We apologise to our customers who were caught up in last night’s disruption. The closure of the West Coast Main Line for over three hours due to a track defect had a significant impact on our services, with trains and traincrew unable to work our planned timetable resulting in cancellations of services north of Preston. Whilst alternative transport and overnight accommodation was sourced for most of those impacted we fully understand the frustrations of those customers whose journeys were affected, and we are extremely sorry for this.

“Anyone who was affected by last night’s disruption will be entitled to compensation and are urged to get in contact through our normal channels to process their claim.”

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