Hundreds evacuated from trains as big freeze hits power lines

HUNDREDS of passengers were evacuated from Yorkshire-bound trains as the icy weather crippled one of the UK's main railway arteries yesterday.

Passengers were forced to abandon six trains on the East Coast Main Line between Yorkshire and London following damage to overhead power lines near Peterborough.

East Coast suspended all services out of King's Cross for the day, although a limited service between Peterborough and London King's Cross ran last night.

An East Coast spokesman said four trains were brought to a halt, with 400 passengers having to leave them. The company advised passengers not to travel, telling all passengers at King's Cross to "go home and restart their journeys tomorrow."

At King's Cross station, passengers told of their frustration.

Seventy-year-old great-grandmother Anne Barrow had been waiting for an East Coast train to Leeds as she made her way to Wakefield to spend Christmas with her son's family.

Having travelled from Kent, she arrived at the station to be met with a wall of cancellations.

The grandmother-of-10 and great-grandmother-of-two said: "Going up to Wakefield to see my son is my whole Christmas plan.

"That's Christmas totally ruined. I can't come up again tomorrow; it's too much."

She said she did not know how she would spend Christmas now.

There were disruptions across the rail network and more than 100 people were stuck for six hours overnight on a train in Kent when lines froze.

Southeastern said the train, from London Victoria to Ashford in Kent, ground to a halt following heavy snowfall. The travellers were eventually rescued at 3am after another train was sent alongside as a "last resort".

Eurostar customers were facing lengthy queues, with the company asking customers not to travel unless it was essential.

Row over road salt: Page 9.