Some passengers resorted to scaling high, spiked gates to get out
Rundt 30 passengers were stranded in a locked Lake District station late on Tuesday night, after their train arrived more than an hour and a half late.
The train travellers disembarked the Avanti West Coast train at Oxenholme, near Kendal in Cumbria, at about midnight on 16 august, nearly two hours after their London Euston til Glasgow service was due to arrive at 10.20pm.
Passenger Jonathan Gilmore told BBC Radio Cumbria that the only options the stranded passengers had were to climb the spiked gate, which was at least 7ft high, walk across the live tracks, or “pick somewhere to try and sleep on a pavement until the morning”.
Oxenholme station is managed by Avanti West Coast.
Mr Gilmore said there was no communication from Avanti and that Westmorland MP Tim Farron had to be contacted for help.
Mr Farron said some of the passengers had taken to “climbing the seven-foot spiked gates and fences”.
A photo shared on social media shows at least one of the passengers climbing one of the two locked sets of gates.
Another passenger, Rhiannon Neale, reportedly said that the group included people who “were quite elderly” and “a couple of children”.
La hun til, ifølge Mirror: “The police were called and, in the meantime, the train driver got off the train and said the only solution was for us to get back on the train and she would let us off again at Penrith and we could all get taxis back.
“We all refused. There was quite a lot of swearing and angry shouting as we were all exhausted and it was after midnight by then. It wasn’t her fault, she was just trying to solve the problem.
“Luckily, the police found a maintenance worker up the track who had a key and let us all out.”
Network Rail confirmed that some of their maintenance staff working nearby were able to unlock the gate and free the group.
Mr Farron demanded an investigation and said the incident – that “could have very quickly become dangerous” – was “just a further example of the failures by Avanti”.
“There are clearly systematic failures going on at Avanti and we cannot let it go unchecked.
“I have already written to Avanti to demand an explanation for their oversight.
“We must now ask the question whether Avanti are a fit and proper outfit to run a franchise.
“The Department for Transport should seriously consider removing the franchise from them.”
A spokesperson for Avanti West Coast said: “We’re sorry to hear about the experience of the customers who were at Oxenholme station on Tuesday night.
“We’re currently looking into the circumstances of what happened.
“We’d like to thank the Network Rail team onsite for their swift action in getting our customers out the station safely.”