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Now lack of back up hits E.C. passengers

Monday, March 1 2010

37692 and 47767 in Booths scrapyard. In BR days a certain number of spare locomotives was held in reserve. Photo Phill Davison.

(Click image to see the original picture on Phill Davison’s site on Flickr.)

The London Evening Standard reports that 3,000 London-bound passengers were stranded on trains for up to four hours last night after a breakdown and power failure on the East Coast main line. Some passengers were still waiting for taxis at 3am. and police were called in to ‘control the crowds’.

The irony is that in the days of the much-maligned British Railways there was enough ‘built in redundancy’ in the railway (spare locomotives, spare coaches and duplicate routes) to ensure that in ordinary circumstances such delays were unheard of. Now with 14 [!] companies operating over the East Coast main line it seems that when a breakdown or power failure occurs spare diesel locomotives to haul the crippled trains are nowhere to be found.

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