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Southeastern High Speed trains delayed and cancelled as passengers cram on to platforms after Ramsgate signal failure

By Matt Leclere

Hundreds of passengers packed platforms after being left stranded across Kent and London with trains delayed and cancelled.

People waited around for hours after signalling issues stopped services complaining they were left in the dark about the situation.

Trains could not run between Ramsgate and Minster leading to severe delays around the entire county last night.

One passenger reported waiting at London St Pancras for three hours, eventually getting home to Sittingbourne at 3am.

Others reported being at the station for 90 minutes to get back to Ashford after the scheduled 10.37pm service was cancelled.

Southeastern said 36 services on both the high speed and mainline were affected including five full cancellations.

Amy Bootes: "I was waiting for over three hours for a train and got in at 3am to Sittingbourne."

Al Irvine, who had been visiting his brother in London, said: "I arrived at St Pancras at 10.25pm to catch the 10.37pm to Ashford International."

Passengers complained about a lack of information being shared on station boards and from railway staff.

Some passengers said even rail staff had not been updated about the delays so could not relay the news to customers already on trains around Kent.

Engineering works added to the problems as trains stopped running later on due to scheduled maintenance on the north Kent line.

Buses replaced trains between Ashford and Ramsgate, Dover and Ramsgate and Ramsgate and Minster.

Mr Irvine, who eventually arrived home at 1am, added: "People were being advised to go to Charing Cross or Victoria instead and that their tickets would be accepted on the Underground.

"But I didn't want to risk getting to Victoria or Charing Cross and finding there were delays or cancellations there too.

"So with hundreds of others I waited and waited and waited.

"There were a few unhelpful station announcements but as the intercom system was faulty we couldn't really hear what the announcer was saying.

"Passengers were just standing around at St Pancras not knowing what to do, with little information about what was happening.

"The worst thing with all of this is that they never tell passengers what is happening.

"They apologise, yes, but people just want to know when a train is going to arrive and then leave and what's causing the problem."

A spokesman for Southeastern said: "Some trains were terminated at Minster but others did run to Canterbury, Ashford and Folkestone.

"We were running normally again this morning.

"There were five full cancellations and 22 part cancellations (where trains are terminated short of destination and then started back from normal starting locations), nine trains delayed."

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