Latest Rail News

08.05.15

Thousands claim for refunds after Clapham Junction chaos

At least 8,500 people have claimed for refunds following the chaos caused by a power failure at Clapham Junction last week, which left thousands of passengers stranded on trains and in the station for hours.

Southern, the worst affected operator, reported that nearly 10,000 people have applied for refunds via its ‘delay repay’ online form.

RTM reported on the chaos that left passengers stranded on platforms, and others on about 10 trains for up to five or six hours.

Commuters reported “absolute chaos” with people fighting to get on trains, and even falling down the gap between the train and the platform.

Emergency services had to be called in to evacuate passengers from some stranded trains and pass out water to others who were stuck on board.

The 900 people on a stricken service from Brighton who had to be evacuated by the London Fire Brigade can claim a maximum pay-out of £27.90, the cost of a peak-time return ticket.

Anyone who was delayed by two hours or more can claim back the entire cost of their ticket, whether they bought a single or return. Season ticket holders will receive money equivalent to the daily cost of their ticket. Passengers have 28 days from the date of delay to claim.

At the time of the delays, Transport Focus (the new name for Passenger Focus) encouraged people to claim.

Speaking the day after the chaos, David Sidebottom, passenger director at the independent watchdog, said: "Thousands of passengers will have been left angry and frustrated by yesterday's events. We saw and heard of distressed passengers trapped for hours on trains before help arrived.

“Clearly the priority yesterday was to get passengers safely off the stranded trains and to get other services moving again. Transport Focus now calls for a review to make sure the lessons of yesterday are learnt and built into future plans for similar incidents.

"In the meantime I encourage any passenger delayed by 30 minutes or more to claim compensation. Send a clear message to the rail industry and make sure your voice is heard."

Earlier this week Network Rail announced that the cause of the chaos was an engineering mistake. It is believed that the conductor rail – which supplies electricity to trains – was not put back in place after engineering work.

In a statement, NR said: "We believe that track repairs carried out the previous evening, which required the conductor rail to be temporarily removed while the repairs took place, may have caused this to happen.

"A formal investigation into the circumstances surrounding this hugely disruptive incident will be carried out and we will make sure that lessons are learned.

"Once again, we would like to apologise to passengers for Thursday's disruption and thank them for the patience they showed."

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email opinion@railtechnologymagazine.com

The April/May 2015 edition of RTM is now available for FREE using the new RTM App, available on iOS and Android. Search ‘RTM Magazine’ in the App Store / Google Play.  

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