Passengers stranded overnight on train for 15 hours with 'no heating' as freezing weather causes more chaos

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A passenger stuck overnight on the London Waterloo to Bournemouth train tries to sleep in an overhead compartment (Samantha Blackburn)
A passenger stuck overnight on the London Waterloo to Bournemouth train tries to sleep in an overhead compartment (Samantha Blackburn)

Passengers were forced to sleep in carriages without heating after being stuck on a train for more than 15 hours as the Arctic weather continues to wreak havoc across the UK.

Commuters on the 5:30 South Western Railway service from London Waterloo to Bournemouth service were stranded overnight on a train with no heating.

The journey usually takes about two hours but because of the weather, the train was stuck overnight.

But the train only got as far as Brockenhurst in the New Forest before it came to a halt.

Passengers were forced to huddle under any makeshift blankets and sleep in overhead racks as they waited to be rescued.

Desperate travellers took to social media to try and get help as sub-zero conditions continued across the UK and the army has even been deployed to rescue hundreds of stranded drivers.

Passengers have been stuck on the train for some 15 hours (Robert Luther)
Passengers have been stuck on the train for some 15 hours (Robert Luther)

Police have declared two major incidents and flights and trains have been cancelled as well as thousands of schools closed.

One desperate person, Samantha Blackburn, took to Twitter to plead for help after discovering friends were trapped on the train.

‘What is going @SW_Help!!’ she asked.

‘Friends #stranded on the 17:30 from #Waterloo to #Poole stick at #Brockenhurst, on a train with no power, no heating left in the cold with no news.’

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Passenger Robert Luther told the BBC: ‘We’ve been stuck here for 11 hours – it must have been close to zero degrees in here last night.

‘We had 3 foil blankets between 30 of us.’

Another passenger, Dave Taylor, said people had been trying to sleep, but it was ‘so, so cold’.

Passengers trying to keep warm on the south coast-bound train
Passengers trying to keep warm on the south coast-bound train
How cold it will actually feel on Friday (PA)
How cold it will actually feel on Friday (PA)

And one commuter – known only as Phil – told Radio 4 this morning that there ordeal was set to end this morning, thanks to the arrival of a rescue train.

‘Hopefully this will be a train with heating we’ve had no heating for many hours,’ he said.

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‘Refreshments ran out sometime last night well before we had problems. I originally went to get the 5:05 out of London Waterloo to Bournemouth. That’s 15 hours ago.

‘The rescue train’s on the wrong line so its going in the wrong direction. Our line is blocked by several trains. We’re waiting for them to put a bridge across so we can get to our rescue train. That’s the intention. Looks like we’ll be moving any minute now.

Temperatures have dropped below -10 Celsius during the latest Arctic weather (PA)
Temperatures have dropped below -10 Celsius during the latest Arctic weather (PA)

‘There’s a lot of v cold people and walking up and down the trains doesn’t warm you up when there’s no heating.

‘Why can’t they turn on the heating?’

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South Western Railway’s besieged help line on Twitter was advising people not to travel on FridaY because of the weather conditions.

It also advised services would end early on Friday as well, because of the weather conditions.

A statement from South Western Railway apologised to travellers caught up in the chaos.

‘We sincerely apologise to passengers who were stranded on trains overnight,’ it read.

‘They have all been taken to Bournemouth station where South Western Railway staff are providing hot food and drinks. Hotel accommodation will be provided for those unable to travel onwards from Bournemouth.

“Our staff, together with Network Rail have battled tirelessly throughout the night to try to get trains moving in very challenging conditions, and will continue to do so throughout the day.

It did not say if there was no heating on the train though, as passengers claimed.

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