Hundreds of passengers waited for more than five hours at Newcastle Central Station after a collapsed line caused chaos on the rail network.
Travellers who had arrived in city as early at 12.30pm on Monday afternoon were still waiting to leave the station by 5.30pm that evening.
Overhead electric wires had been damaged just north of York station, resulting in all lines being blocked between York and Northallerton .
Those who could avoid it were advised not to travel.
But queueing in the rain for replacement buses to York, hundreds of people simply had to make the journey.
Fashion student Emma Grieshaber left Aberdeen at 9.50 on Monday morning for what should have been the opportunity of a lifetime.
The 21-year-old had been offered a free ticket to the British Fashion Awards, in London and couldn’t wait to attend. But queuing for a replacement bus just after 5pm in Newcastle, Emma was forced to accept she would not be able to make the 7.30pm event.
She said: “It’s been a nightmare. I was actually asleep when the train stopped so when I woke up to the tannoy I was really confused. There were only a few announcements and no one really knows what’s going on
“I was so excited, I’ve been looking forward to this for months and months so I’m really disappointed.”
Piers Knowles had been stuck in Newcastle in the middle of his journey from Edinburgh to Sheffield. He arrived at 1pm to change trains, and found a sign on the train he’d been expecting to catch saying it was being “prepared” – but a search online showed the train had been cancelled. He was allowed to board another train, but this sat still at the station for the next two hours.
Like many of the passengers, he said it had been hard to find out what was happening.
He said: “All the advice we were given was ‘if you want to come back tomorrow your ticket will be valid’ – but I need to get there today. We were told to come outside and wait for replacement buses but it’s been about an hour and a half and I’m still waiting for one.”
Gaj Raveenderan had been hoping to return to his home in London after a visit to the North East, but had no idea when he would be getting home.
He said: “We got here at 2pm, waited for an hour and then were told to go outside and get a replacement bus. We’ve been waiting for that for an hour and a half. We’ve had no information, we’ve not been told anything.”
By 5pm, Joy Wixley should already have arrived in London, for a work event the following day, but she was still waiting in Newcastle – having left Edinburgh on the 12.30 train.
She said: “I’m a bit frustrated because I don’t know if there is a replacement bus coming, we haven’t really been told anything. We’ve got to get on trains after York as well, and I think those will be a bit of a nightmare with this many people, but we will see.”
Pauline Leedom added: “It’s the lack of information that everybody is upset about. I do feel sorry for the staff, it’s a nightmare when something like this happens, but we haven’t been told much at all.”
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A spokesperson for LNER told passengers: “We are experiencing significant disruption to our services today as a result of damage to the overhead wires between Northallerton and York. We’re advising customers not to travel today.
“Your tickets dated for travel today, Monday 2 December, will be valid for travel tomorrow, Tuesday 3 December. If you’re not able to travel tomorrow, you’ll be entitled to a refund. Find out how to claim here .
“We’re doing everything we can to get our services up and running again and we’re sorry for any disruption to your journey today.”