East Midlands Railway says sorry after late-night Corby and Wellingborough passengers hit by cancellations

Mechanical problems and cracked windscreen forced trains into sidings

By Kevin Nicholls
Thursday, 15th July 2021, 11:43 am
Updated Thursday, 15th July 2021, 11:44 am

Train bosses apologised after mechanical problems caused a number of late-night cancellations for passengers to Wellingborough and Corby on Wednesday night (July 14).

Two of East Midlands Railway's fleet of 21 four-carriage electric trains were forced out of action by mechanical issues, while a third had to return to the depot for repairs to a cracked windscreen.

Road transport was hurriedly laid on while the company ordered some Intercity services to make an extra stop at Wellingborough to help passengers waiting up to 90 minutes for a train.

The Class 360 trains were due to be refurbished before entering service in May but the progamme was delayed

A statement from the company today said: “We would like to apologise to any customers who were inconvenienced by issues with our Connect service last night.

"One of our units sustained a cracked windscreen, while two had mechanical issues which are currently being resolved.

"Other units have been rolled out to maintain our timetable today.

"If your journey was delayed by 15 minutes or more, you can claim compensation under our Delay Repay scheme — please see the East Midlands Railway website for full details."

EMR launched its Connect service in May as part of Network Rail's £1.5billion upgrade of the Midland Main Line which saw the biggest shake up in the timetable since 2014.

It promised a 'new, improved railway' with quieter, greener trains, more seats and services leaving London later.

But planned refurbishment of the 19-year-old Class 360 trains had to be pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many passengers have been less than impressed at the swap in rolling stock from more comfortable Meridian trains now used on Intercity services, which only stop at Kettering.

Frequent complaints on social media highlights trains with only four coaches on peak-hour services.

One commuter said recently: "Wellingborough lost a third of its peak time morning trains southbound and some trains take up to ten minutes longer to arrive in London.

"To compound the misery the current Meridian trains were swapped for older electric trains which have not been refurbished and offer significant reductions in space per passenger, comfort, facilities on board - and even basic things like a table to work whilst travelling."