*UPDATED* 9 August 2019, 20:11
Trains cancelled for “rest of the day”
Govia Thameslink Railway Chief Executive Patrick Verwer has issued a statement.
“The widescale failure of the power grid that has brought our Thameslink and many of our Great Northern trains to a stand north of London continues to cause major disruption,” he said.
“Despite our very best endeavours, we will not be able to run trains between London and Bedford, Cambridge and Peterborough and therefore advise customers they will not be able to travel on these routes for the rest of the day.
“Where possible we are advising people to use alternative routes and our tickets are being accepted by other transport providers.
“The trains have been affected to the point where they require a technician to restart them and we are evacuating some of the trains that are stranded outside platforms. Our advice to customers is to stay on board trains for their own safety.”
Trains currently delayed between Bedford and St. Pancras due to an electrical failure.
Short term power cuts have been reported across Bedford and Kempston too.
Power is being restored but backlog of trains needs to be cleared.
Reports suggest East Midlands Trains services to and from London St Pancras International may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 minutes.
Our editor is on the 17:11 Midland Mainline service from Bedford.
This service has now been terminated at Luton and is heading back to Leicester, stopping at Bedford, Wellingborough and Market Harborough.
He’s been told by staff that anyone planning to get to London should make alternative travel arrangements.
Rail replacement buses have been arranged but they’re all stops to St. Pancras.
All trains out of London St. Pancras are also delayed.
Thameslink say most of their trains are currently stuck between London and Bedford and services could be disrupted until at least 8pm.
A Govia Thameslink Railway spokesperson said: “The widescale failure of the power grid has brought our Thameslink and many of our Great Northern trains using the overhead power lines to a standstill, between Farringdon and Bedford on the Thameslink route and across our Great Northern route between London and Peterborough/Cambridge and Kings Lynn.
“The trains have been affected by the power outage to the point where they require a technician to restart them.
“As this will take time, we are beginning to evacuate some of the trains that are stranded outside platforms.
“Our advice to customers is to stay on board trains for their own safety.”
Meanwhile, heavy rain is also causing problems at nearby Luton Airport.
Holiday makers arriving at Luton Airport are being welcomed with delays at immigration as the immigration hall is flooded with water from recent downpours and storms.
UK Power Networks who own the power lines in the area tweeted “We believe this is due to a failure to National Grid’s network.”
More as it develops…