Passengers threaten violence onboard delayed train near Sheffield

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Train passengers threatened violence after been trapped in carriages near Sheffield for more than four hours because of a signal failure.

Signalling work between Wakefield Westgate and Sheffield caused chaos to train services on Sunday evening, with severe delays experienced on services between Leeds and Sheffield.

Olivia Allen, aged 18, was travelling from Leeds to Sheffield to visit family in Norfolk Park. She was due to arrive in Sheffield just before 6pm, but eventually arrived at 10.40pm.

She said the train, which was heading to Plymouth, was extremely overcrowded - including young children, pensioners and a pregnant woman - and some passengers threatened to break windows to get fresh air and open the sliding doors to get out on the track.

British Transport Police said officers were called to the train to assist with 'crowd control' at affected stations.

Olivia, a theatre and performance students at the University of Leeds, said: "The problems started as soon as we left Wakefield. They said we were going to be delayed 30 minutes, but after an hour they said there was a signal failure and they didn't know when we would move.

"People started to get agitated. There were announcement every 10 minutes apologising but they didn't tell us anything.

"People were threatening to pull the emergency alarm to open the doors and walk.

"Three hours in they said that drinks were running out and they were making mothers and small children a priority.

"I was sat on the floor. It was hot, there were no seats and drinks were running out.

"People were agitated and angry because there was a lack of communication."

After four hours the train went to Rotherham Central, where it had to wait for a replacement driver because the current one had exceeded his working hours.

A CrossCountry spokesman said: “Unfortunately a great many of our customers travelling on Sunday evening were inconvenienced by signalling problems in the Sheffield area.

"Although we were able to quickly provide road transport for many customers at stations, a few trains were trapped between signals and unable to move for several hours.

"Our train crews provided customers on board with as much assistance as possible, including details of how to claim compensation for their delayed journey.”

Network Rail has been contacted for comment.

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