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Four hours to travel 100 metres: Southeastern train passengers entitled to £100 compensation after being trapped on board

Nic McBride

Nic McBride
Mar 8, 2018


Southeastern train passengers who were trapped aboard carriages for more than four hours last Friday will get £100 compensation.

The service from London Bridge to Dartford via Bexleyheath came to a standstill near Lewisham station when tracks iced over during the freezing weather that lashed the country last week.

Hundreds of passengers were stranded on the train for hours, prompting fights and causing some to urinate in cups out of desperation.

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Liam Kinsella was one of the passengers, getting aboard the train at 5pm and not arriving home until 10pm.

Liam, from Bexleyheath, said it was a trip from hell.

"There was a guy dancing around desperate for the bathroom, I heard of people peeing in cups, and even fights.

"It was so packed, it was uncomfortable for everyone."

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The trip had been fine until they reached Lewisham.

"As we attempted to leave the station the train kept juddering to a halt then travelling a couple metres then coming to a halt. This went on for about half an hour."

The train only made it about 100m out of the station before stopping completely.

"At first it was quite friendly, but after about an hour-and-a-half people's patience started to wear thin."

Frustrated passengers started pulling the emergency cords and jumping off, Liam said.

"We kept hearing messages telling people not to jump onto the tracks as the line had to be turned off each time."

This would happen every half an hour.

After 9pm Liam and others on his carriage decided to jump out as there was no progress being made.

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Southeastern apologises and offers compensation

Southeastern said it would offer extra compensation for passengers stranded on trains for more than 2 hours on Friday.

A spokesperson for Southeastern said: "We’ll be doubling Delay Repay for all passengers caught up in disruption from Tuesday to Friday last week, and for passengers stranded for 2 hours or more on trains on Friday, we’ll be giving them £100 or double Delay Repay – whichever is greater."

Apply for compensation or find out if you are eligible here.

Delay Repay is a national scheme train companies use to compensate passengers for delays. You can claim compensation if you're delayed by 30 minutes or more when you travel.

Liam said he was happy with the compensation.

Southeastern apologised for the long delays.

“The safety of our passengers and employees is our foremost priority, and with people on the track Network Rail staff had no choice but to switch off the power supply until people cleared the track, which prolonged the situation further.

“We are encouraging those passengers who were disrupted last week to contact us through our website so that we can compensate them. We are doubling Delay Repay compensation for all passengers caught up in disruption from Tuesday to Friday last week, and will be providing enhanced compensation for those who were stranded on trains on Friday.”

Southeastern and Network Rail are launching an investigation into the incident.