Recent overhead power supply problems which led to travel chaos on the railways were caused by “component failures”, Network Rail (NR) said yesterday.
Apologising to passengers, NR said it had identified exactly which components failed at Radlett in Hertfordshire last week and at St Neots in Cambridgeshire this week.
“We are carrying out further work to establish the reasons so that we can minimise the chance of repeat failures in the future,” the company said.
Many thousands of commuters had seriously disrupted journeys due to both incidents. This week Arsenal fans trying to get home from their team’s European Champions League match with Bayern Munich on Tuesday were among the many travellers caught up in the disruption at St Neots.
NR said yesterday: “Our initial investigations into the recent overhead power supply incidents at Radlett and St Neots indicate that both incidents were caused by component failures.
“We are sorry for this and for the disruption many passengers will have experienced as a result.
“In both instances, we have identified exactly which components failed and we are carrying out further work to establish the reasons so that we can minimise the chance of repeat failures in the future.”
The company went on: “Our priority is to run a safe, reliable railway and we continuously monitor the track, signalling, overhead power supply and other infrastructure for signs of ageing and degradation so we can fix them before they cause disruption to passengers.
“While of little comfort to those whose journeys were delayed or disrupted by these recent incidents, it’s important to note that since April 2011, the number of overhead lines faults causing delays to passengers has fallen by 14 per cent, with the number of serious incidents down by 23 per cent.
“At both Radlett and St Neots, our programme of maintenance checks had been carried out as planned and all inspections were up to date.”