Great Western Railway announces disruption to service
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Passengers on a packed Great Western Railway (GWR) service from Penzance to London had an eventful journey. After their train missed a stop at Swindon, some passengers kicked up a fuss.
The train had to go back to Swindon, leading to delays.
But it was not the only problem for the GWR service.
The service between Penzance and London on Sunday night was packed.
It also, for unknown reasons, missed its Swindon stop.
After the train failed to stop, six emergency alarms were sounded, according to reports.
The train had to turn back.
It eventually terminated at Reading, more than two hours after it should have been in London Paddington.
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Hayley Winter said on Twitter: “Please can you update us on what is happening on the Paddington train that stopped around Swindon? We are being told not to panic and people keep pulling the passenger alarms. The train is dangerously over crowded.”
They continued: “Absolute shambles – we are now going back to Swindon to let off the people who were pulling the alarm. We have now been stuck outside Swindon for over an hour.
“The trainline is saying that the next Swindon train is busy – how are you going to fit a totally overcrowded train onto another busy train?
“We now got kicked off at Reading and told to wait for another train!”
Hayley was not the only one taking to social media to let the rest of the country know what was happening.
James Ewen said: “Farcical journey from Exeter to Paddington tonight. Not much you can do about the passenger alarm but kicking a full train off at Reading and expecting them to squeeze on to two other busy services was never going to work, was it?”
After the GWR Twitter account replied that an extra train would be added, James continued: “Would it not have been easier for everybody from the original train to terminate at Paddington as planned? Lack of announcements and contradictory information has led to absolute chaos.”
Shanti Daffern wrote: “But why did the train terminate at Reading with no advance warning, after we endured a return to Swindon and almost an hour sitting stationary?”
And Susannah Butter said: “Do you know what’s happening with the 2.26pm from St Erth that was due to get into Paddington at 7.42pm? We’ve been stuck outside Swindon for 40 minutes now with no information and the train is too busy to move down the carriage and ask.”
GWR confirmed: “A passenger communication alarm has been activated on-board.”
However, it seemed information was not being passed on to passengers onboard.
Twitter user MJ said: “Hi can you please give more info to the passengers on board? This is INADMISSIBLE.
“We are feeling very distressed, please help.”
Unfortunately for GWR Twitter team, the information they were told to give was not accurate.
GWR said: “The train will move back to Swindon, where Swindon and Chippenham passengers will disembark, there will then be a train running back to Chippenham at 20:39. The train will then proceed to reading and Paddington.”
And MJ replied: “The train is not going to London. All passengers kicked out in Reading – the train will be out of service. People are told to get onboard one of the next two trains.
“So ridiculous – we will have 2h delay on an 1:20 journey! You keep on changing the plans – everyone was keen on going to London and you forced everyone out of the train.”
Michael Wegier summed it up by saying: “This is all a disaster isn’t it. We’ve completely been misinformed the whole way through this disgraceful episode since Swindon. Still stuck on Reading waiting for the promised trains ‘five minutes apart’.”
GWR commented: “We’re really sorry for those inconvenienced yesterday and those who were delayed will be able to get their money back by claiming a refund.
“The 1418 Penzance to Paddington service was diverted via Chippenham and Swindon to assist passengers affected by an earlier cancelled train. The service was however too busy to carry more passengers safely, so the extra stops were removed.
“While those on board were informed of the decision, having passed Swindon the emergency ‘passcomms’ was pulled and the train stopped – further delaying the service by well over an hour. The train was returned to Swindon before continuing on its journey towards Reading.”
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