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MAYHEM at Euston: Passengers forced to sleep in station overnight as engineers fixed lines

Hundreds of passengers were forced to sleep on the floor of London‘s Euston station last night after a fallen tree brought down overhead lines.

One journalist travelling to the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow was quoted almost £1,000 for a taxi between Edinburgh and Glasgow after battling train cancellations.  

Services were halted on Sunday and engineers worked overnight to repair the damage after storms led to chaos on the network. Dozens of cancelled trains left hundreds of delegates unable to reach Glasgow.

Network Rail last night admitted the ‘extreme weather’ had ‘got the better of us’ as they told stranded passengers at London Euston, the worst-hit station, to give up, go home and hope the situation improves overnight. 

The damaged lines have now been repaired and trains are running in and out of the station, but there are still delays. The backlog means trains that do leave the station are crowded, with reservations mostly unavailable. 

A spokesman said: ‘All repairs were successfully completed overnight and all the infrastructure is fixed and raring to go. Services have already resumed out of Euston this morning but there will be some residual disruption and passengers should check operators websites for more specific information on their chosen services.’ 

The railway company last night said it was ‘truly sorry’ for the disruption, caused by damage in the Rugby area, which came at the worst possible time for people trying to reach the COP26 summit venue ahead of its opening today.

Sky’s Samantha Washington was quoted £870 for a taxi from Edinburgh to Glasgow as she tried to get to the climate summit, according to Politico.eu. Other passengers spent the night in hotels or lay on the station floor as they waited for services to resume.

One woman said she had to pay a £110 taxi fare to get home after she struggled to get trains out of London heading in the right direction.  

Services were halted on Sunday and engineers battled overnight to repair the damage after storms led to chaos on the network. Some passengers were forced to sleep in the station amid the delays

Services were halted on Sunday and engineers battled overnight to repair the damage after storms led to chaos on the network. Some passengers were forced to sleep in the station amid the delays

Passengers were left looking in despair at departure boards revealing trains were facing major delays even at 5.31am

Passengers were left looking in despair at departure boards revealing trains were facing major delays even at 5.31am

Passengers sat on the floor as time ticked by without trains running out of London's Euston station at 5.30am this morning

Passengers sat on the floor as time ticked by without trains running out of London’s Euston station at 5.30am this morning

The latest statement on the Avanti West Coast website revealed yesterday's tickets would still be valid for travel Monday

The latest statement on the Avanti West Coast website revealed yesterday’s tickets would still be valid for travel Monday

One passenger posted an image to Facebook with the caption 'we have a problem'. The photograph showed crowds outside Euston Station this morning

One passenger posted an image to Facebook with the caption ‘we have a problem’. The photograph showed crowds outside Euston Station this morning

One passenger got a Chiltern Railway train instead

Another had to stay another night in London

Passengers shared their woes online as one said they managed to get a crowded train on another service. Another said they were forced to stay another night in London

This woman paid £110 to get a cab home after the trains were cancelled

This person's son faced trouble travelling

When the trains were cancelled one woman paid £110 to get a taxi home from Bicester Village. Another social media user said their son was refused entry on a train because of overcrowding

Another Twitter user was more than 12 hours late for his nephew's graduation after the trains were cancelled

Another Twitter user was more than 12 hours late for his nephew’s graduation after the trains were cancelled

Network Rail last night admitted the 'extreme weather' had 'got the better of us' as they told stranded passengers at London Euston, the worst-hit station, to give up, go home and hope the situation improves overnight

Network Rail last night admitted the ‘extreme weather’ had ‘got the better of us’ as they told stranded passengers at London Euston, the worst-hit station, to give up, go home and hope the situation improves overnight

Passengers slept at the station

Damaged lines have now been repaired

The damaged lines have now been repaired and trains are running in and out of the station, but there are still delays. Pictured, passengers waiting for their trains last night 

Many of the passengers were hoping to travel to Glasgow for the Cop26 climate summit, but have been left stuck in London Euston

Many of the passengers were hoping to travel to Glasgow for the Cop26 climate summit, but have been left stuck in London Euston

Journalists and academics were among the thwarted passengers who took to Twitter to complain. Some pointed out signage at Euston that trumpeted the rail network’s green credentials – saying ‘Thank you for travelling to COP by train.’  

National Rail’s live departure and arrivals board showed delays to more than 20 trains, including those travelling to Glasgow Central, Liverpool Lime Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Crewe and Northampton. 

Avanti West Coast confirmed it was ‘unable to run any services into and out of London Euston’ and ‘strongly advised’ customers not to travel.

Climate change scientist Simon Lewis, from University College London, who was on the 11am service from London to Edinburgh for COP26, said he had been stuck since 11:45am as a result of the weather disruption.   

He wrote on Twitter: ‘My train to Glasgow #COP26, via Edinburgh to avoid the crowds, now stationary due to gale force winds and severe rainfall causing a tree to fall on the line…’ 

The scientist later added: ‘This train ride is certainly Halloween themed, it’s a true horror show. Four hours late and no buffet since about 2pm.’ 

A spokesman for Network Rail, Chris Halpin, said last night: ‘I’m afraid there are still major delays on the West Coast main line and the advice once again is to not travel this evening.

‘That’s because the diversionary route by Northampton that we had been able to run trains is now not viable.

‘We had problems on the West Coast main line at Long Buckby this afternoon because overhead lined were damaged by trees that had come down in the very wet and windy weather that we had overnight.

‘We had been running a diversionary route that got a limited number of services back up and running again but that now is closed and blocked because of problems with the overhead electric lines there.

‘Our engineers are working as fast as they possibly can to try and get routes back up and running again so we can get people on the move but our advice to people this evening is not to travel.’ 

A statement from the rail company added: ‘We’re advising passengers seeking to get from London to Glasgow to travel [on Monday]. This is due to the impact of heavy rain has had on the railway today.

‘All line north have been affected at times including the West Coast main line, which remains impassable due to damaged overhead electric wires.

‘We are truly sorry for this. We exist to get people and good swiftly from A to B. But today’s extreme weather got the better of us.’     

Elsewhere David Johnson, who is attending Cop26 as chief executive of the Margaret Pyke Trust, said he was left sitting on his train from London Euston to Glasgow for more than half an hour at the station before being told to get off along with fellow passengers. 

Hundreds of passengers hoping to travel to Glasgow for the Cop26 climate summit by train have been left waiting inside London's Euston station (pictured above)

Hundreds of passengers hoping to travel to Glasgow for the Cop26 climate summit by train have been left waiting inside London’s Euston station (pictured above)

A passenger reacts whilst waiting in Euston Station after trains were cancelled ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference

A passenger reacts whilst waiting in Euston Station after trains were cancelled ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference

Pictures on social media have shown a packed London Euston station after a tree falling caused damage to overhead lines, suspending all trains

Pictures on social media have shown a packed London Euston station after a tree falling caused damage to overhead lines, suspending all trains

Hundreds of passengers await news on when trains will be up and running again. All passengers have been advised not to travel today

Hundreds of passengers await news on when trains will be up and running again. All passengers have been advised not to travel today

Delegates, campaigners and journalists travelling by train to the Glasgow climate conference fell victim to a weather chaos today after a fallen tree on a railway line. Pictured: London Euston is exit only due to overcrowding and suspended services

Delegates, campaigners and journalists travelling by train to the Glasgow climate conference fell victim to a weather chaos today after a fallen tree on a railway line. Pictured: London Euston is exit only due to overcrowding and suspended services

A Reuters reporter on a cancelled train service said several passengers at London Euston (pictured) had changed their travel plans and were booking flights to Glasgow where the United Nations COP26 climate conference kicks off on Sunday

A Reuters reporter on a cancelled train service said several passengers at London Euston (pictured) had changed their travel plans and were booking flights to Glasgow where the United Nations COP26 climate conference kicks off on Sunday

Climate change scientist Simon Lewis, from University College London, said he has been stuck since 11:45am while David Johnson, who is attending Cop26 as chief executive of the Margaret Pyke Trust, said he was left sitting on his train from London Euston to Glasgow for more than half an hour before being told to get off

Climate change scientist Simon Lewis, from University College London, said he has been stuck since 11:45am while David Johnson, who is attending Cop26 as chief executive of the Margaret Pyke Trust, said he was left sitting on his train from London Euston to Glasgow for more than half an hour before being told to get off

He said: ‘After an hour on the train to Glasgow, which never actually left London Euston, we were asked to get off. Back on the station concourse we read the COP signage ”Thank you for travelling by train”. The chance would be a fine thing.’ 

Needing to reach the conference, Mr Johnson decided to book a flight from Gatwick to Glasgow which, he said, ‘does, of course, seem ridiculous’. 

‘The irony of the climate impacting the trains, meaning a flight to the climate change conference is the only way to get there today, is not lost on me,’ he added.  

Elsewhere another commuter described how their train had been heading to Glasgow only to return to Euston after issues on the line.

Just before 2pm yesterday, an announcement in the station revealed all train services had been suspended and the concourse was ‘exit only’ due to overcrowding. 

Pictures on social media showed the concourse packed with stricken travellers, many of whom were hoping to travel north for the climate conference which began on Sunday. 

Others reported being stuck on slow moving or stationary trains – some for more than three hours – while others were forced to book domestic flights to reach the summit.

It came as parts of the UK may saw tornadoes, the Met Office said, after strong winds and rain battered the country. 

Gusts of over 80mph have been recorded with reports of wind damage which caused major delays to travel out of London.

The disruption at Euston came as a result of damage to overhead electrical wires between Rugby and Milton Keynes on the West Coast Main Line. Network Rail said its teams are on site near Long Buckby in Northamptonshire, where the damage occurred.

The company said it is working to remove the fallen tree before assessing the damage and beginning repairs. Travellers are advised not to go to Euston and instead check for regular updates.  

In a statement National Rail said: ‘Severe weather is causing disruption on various South Western Railway routes. Disruption is expected to continue until the end of the day.

‘There have been multiple incidents affecting the South Western Railway network today. 

‘These include the following: Overrunning engineering works at Berrylands, overrunning engineering works at Guildford, multiple trees fallen across the network, an electricity supply issue at Fratton depot, a train fault at Guildford, a trespasser between Epsom and Leatherhead, flooding at Gillingham, a train fault at Richmond, a signalling problem at Motspur Park, a trespass incident at Isleworth, an ill passenger at Motspur Park, a  precarious tree at Petersfield and an electricity supply problem at Totton.’

‘This has caused severe disruption to trains and train crew.’

Wind damage was reported in multiple areas of the UK on Sunday with the Met Office unable to rule out whether any tornadoes have taken place. 

Yellow warnings for wind and rain are in place over large parts of the west and elsewhere, and more are likely.

Meteorologist Tom Morgan said: ‘We’ve got a deep Atlantic area of low pressure that’s bringing a very heavy band of rain and squalling winds across the whole of the country, but particularly in the south of England,’ he said. 

‘We’ve seen some very strong gusts of wind on the south coast… and a few reports of damage from the winds.

‘It’s not out of the question that there will have been some localised, brief funnel clouds or tornadoes.

‘In the last couple of days we have seen some reports and seen some photos of funnel clouds and water spouts, which are similar to tornadoes.’  

He added that wind speeds of 87mph were recorded at an exposed location on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, and there were gusts of 60mph across Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. 

Train passengers trying to reach Glasgow for the Cop26 summit have said it is ‘ironic’ their journeys were disrupted by stormy weather felling a tree onto the railway.    

Passengers sit and wait for news after their trains are cancelled and they are left stranded at London's Euston Station

Passengers sit and wait for news after their trains are cancelled and they are left stranded at London’s Euston Station

Hundreds of passengers are left stranded at London's Euston Station tonight as torrential rain and gale force winds batter the country

Hundreds of passengers are left stranded at London’s Euston Station tonight as torrential rain and gale force winds batter the country

Stranded passengers looked at the arrivals and departures boards after they were told their trains had been delayed or cancelled

Stranded passengers looked at the arrivals and departures boards after they were told their trains had been delayed or cancelled

Tonight National Rail's live departure and arrivals board showed delays to more than 20 trains, including those travelling to Glasgow Central, Liverpool Lyme Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Crewe and Northampton

Tonight National Rail’s live departure and arrivals board showed delays to more than 20 trains, including those travelling to Glasgow Central, Liverpool Lyme Street, Manchester Piccadilly, Crewe and Northampton

Hundreds of passengers continue to wait in Euston Station after trains were cancelled ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference

Hundreds of passengers continue to wait in Euston Station after trains were cancelled ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference

A police officer gives information to passengers waiting in Euston Station after trains were cancelled ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference

A police officer gives information to passengers waiting in Euston Station after trains were cancelled ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference

Hundreds of passengers are left waiting outside London's Euston station after extreme weather caused train cancellations

Hundreds of passengers are left waiting outside London’s Euston station after extreme weather caused train cancellations

Pictured: Vehicles travel through standing water during heavy rain in Bromsgrove, in the West Midlands, this morning

Pictured: Vehicles travel through standing water during heavy rain in Bromsgrove, in the West Midlands, this morning

 

Waves crashing by the Porthcawl lighthouse in south Wales on Sunday as strong winds and heavy rain batters the UK

Waves crashing by the Porthcawl lighthouse in south Wales on Sunday as strong winds and heavy rain batters the UK

A car submerged under water at Furnace Grange Road, Wolverhampton, after heavy rains hit the area on Sunday

A car submerged under water at Furnace Grange Road, Wolverhampton, after heavy rains hit the area on Sunday

Vehicles travel through standing water during heavy rain in Bromsgrove, West Midlands, amid weather warnings for rainfall

Vehicles travel through standing water during heavy rain in Bromsgrove, West Midlands, amid weather warnings for rainfall

Climate change scientist Simon Lewis said he was on the 11am service from London to Edinburgh but has been stuck since 11:45am as a result of trees felled by the wind.

Boris reads the riot act to world leaders ahead of COP26 summit

Boris Johnson warned world leaders their promises on tackling climate change are starting to ‘sound hollow’ as he read them the riot act ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

The Prime Minister said there are ‘no compelling excuses for our procrastination’ on reducing harmful emissions and that the action already taken amounts to ‘drops in a rapidly warming ocean’.

Speaking at the G20 summit in Rome, he said that only 12 of the club’s members have committed to reaching a target of net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

Dramatically raising the stakes, he said that if the forthcoming gathering in Glasgow fails to secure a major breakthrough ‘then the whole thing fails’.

Mr Johnson said world leaders must now flesh out the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, warning that failing to do so will leave ‘the world’s only viable mechanism for dealing with climate change… holed beneath the water line’.

The premier escalated his rhetoric amid fears the summit in Glasgow could become a flop as he agreed the G20 pledge to achieve carbon neutrality ‘by or around mid-century’ is too vague.

When asked about the goal during a press conference Mr Johnson said: ‘I agree, and that is a function really of the gap between some colleagues and others.

‘Some countries, as you know, have made commitments to 2060 rather than to 2050. What they’ve said is 2060 or earlier, and what we want to do is bring those commitments earlier.’  

 

‘We are moving a tiny bit every now and again, but have not made it to Peterborough yet, the first stop,’ he said.

‘This is inconvenient and a reminder that climate change drives extreme weather events and every country needs to adapt.

‘But a stopped train is nothing compared to the two million people displaced by flooding in Shanxi province in China, last month, and those facing famine today in Madagascar.’

The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for large parts of the country the south and north west of England and eastern Scotland.

The warnings mean that some flooding is likely and drivers have been warned to expect standing water on roads, meaning journey times could be impacted. 

One resident in Amesbury, Wiltshire, thought they had witnessed a ‘hurricane’ hit the area after spotting bins flying and trees breaking due to the powerful winds.

Infectious disease ecologist Dr Emma Gillingham tweeted: ‘Did a hurricane just hit Amesbury, Wiltshire? Incredible wind suddenly from nowhere, trees breaking, wheelie bins flying and all calm again now.’

However, the Met Office said it believed the ‘hurricane’ was in fact a ‘squall’, the name for a ‘sudden, sharp increase in wind speed lasting minutes’.

Northamptonshire Police said they had received a high number of calls relating to the weather conditions and that trees had fallen on scores of roads in the county.

Reverend Richard Coles, vicar of Finedon, took to social media after a blustery close call.

He tweeted: ‘We were just praying for the COP26 conference in church when we were hit by what I can only describe as a tornado, which took out a number of trees including this pre Conquest yew.’

South Western Railway has also apologised to customers after trees blocked part of the network, saying there may be cancellations, delays and alterations to services.  

It comes as three people are feared to have drowned and another is fighting for their life after they were swept off their paddleboards when a sudden storm turned a flooded river into a torrent on Saturday night.

The three, part of an organised outing, had been in the water only minutes when they were hit by a deluge of rushing water as they paddled near a weir on the swollen river in Pembrokeshire.

They were swept from their boards and seen ‘in distress’ in the River Cleddau, near the town centre of Haverfordwest.

Steven Keats, meteorologist, said conditions would begin ‘going downhill’ on Sunday.  

Strong gusts coming from the west will brought a ‘wild start’ to the day, with potential for further disruption and wet weather going into the first week of November, according to the Met Office.

The yellow weather warning is also in place for Glasgow, where the global Cop26 climate conference begins today. 

Broken trees and a bin blown across a residential street in Amesbury, Wiltshire, as strong winds and heavy rain batter the UK

Broken trees and a bin blown across a residential street in Amesbury, Wiltshire, as strong winds and heavy rain batter the UK

He added: ‘Further West heavy rain will be picking up and there’ll be some heavy rain coming in from the Atlantic.

‘That will dominate the weather into tomorrow.

‘Heavy rain will push across into…western parts of England and Wales and be accompanied by some pretty strong and gusty winds.’  

He continued: ‘Given the fact that trees are in full leaf and the ground is pretty saturated in many areas, you could get one or trees coming down.

‘It’s going to be very unsettled.’ 

Mr Keats said declining temperatures throughout next week would bring a ‘seasonal’ feel and that weather would remain ‘unsettled’, though risks of ‘hefty downpours’ remained.

‘The most disruptive potential from the weather will be in the next 24 to 36 hours’,  he said. 

The extreme weather comes as Boris Johnson warned world leaders their promises on tackling climate change are starting to ‘sound hollow’ as he read them the riot act ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow.

The Prime Minister said there are ‘no compelling excuses for our procrastination’ on reducing harmful emissions and that the action already taken amounts to ‘drops in a rapidly warming ocean’.

Speaking at the G20 summit in Rome, he said that only 12 of the club’s members have committed to reaching a target of net zero emissions by 2050 or earlier.

Dramatically raising the stakes, he said that if the forthcoming gathering in Glasgow fails to secure a major breakthrough ‘then the whole thing fails’.

Mr Johnson said world leaders must now flesh out the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, warning that failing to do so will leave ‘the world’s only viable mechanism for dealing with climate change… holed beneath the water line’.

The premier escalated his rhetoric amid fears the summit in Glasgow could become a flop as he agreed the G20 pledge to achieve carbon neutrality ‘by or around mid-century’ is too vague.

When asked about the goal during a press conference Mr Johnson said: ‘I agree, and that is a function really of the gap between some colleagues and others.

‘Some countries, as you know, have made commitments to 2060 rather than to 2050. What they’ve said is 2060 or earlier, and what we want to do is bring those commitments earlier.’

The PM has been trying to use the Rome summit of powerful nations including China and Russia to build momentum ahead of COP26, which formally got underway this afternoon and will see world leaders meet for talks tomorrow.

But although the communique from the G20 backed urgent action, it gave more wriggle-room for emissions to continue, with an original goal of ‘2050’ replaced by looser language. 

‘This is the last chance saloon’: Prince Charles demands action on climate change as he warns world leaders they have an ‘overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn’ at the G20 in Rome ahead of Cop26 conference

The Prince of Wales has demanded action on climate change as he warned world leaders they have an ‘overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn at the G20 summit in Rome on the eve of the Cop26 conference.

Prince Charles said the UN climate change conference which opens in Glasgow on Sunday is ‘quite literally’ the ‘last chance saloon’ to save the planet.

Charles, who was invited to speak by Italy’s prime minister, Mario Draghi, will also deliver the opening address at Cop26.

Whilst recognising that urgent action on climate change is crucial, the prince told G20 leaders in Rome: ‘I am, at last, sensing a change in attitudes and the build-up of positive momentum.’

The heir to the throne emphasised that the world leaders have an ‘overwhelming responsibility to generations yet unborn’.

He told the G20 politicians: ‘It is impossible not to hear the despairing voices of young people who see you as the stewards of the planet, holding the viability of their future in your hands’.

Charles added: ‘Cop 26 begins in Glasgow on Sunday and quite literally it is the last chance saloon.

‘We must now translate fine words into still finer actions and as the enormity of the climate challenge dominates people’s conversations from newsrooms to living rooms.

‘And as the future of humanity and nature herself are at stake it is surely time to set aside our differences and grasp this unique opportunity to launch a substantial green recovery by putting the global economy on a confident sustainable trajectory and thus save our planet.’

Charles told the politicians that the private sector is ‘eager’ to work with them and ‘ready to play a hugely significant and game-changing role’, saying solutions to major issues ‘seem possible only if there is a much closer partnership between Government, the main multilateral banks, the private sector and its investors’.

Charles’ invitation is in recognition of decades spent highlighting the growing environmental crisis that the planet faces as a result of climate change.

On Monday, Charles is due to welcome leaders to COP26 in Glasgow. The Queen was due to attend but has been advised to rest by her doctors. 

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