NR’s poor contingency plan at fault for Christmas chaos

Planning possessions that overran by 24 hours at London King’s Cross over the Christmas period did not include a proper account of the impact of failing to hand back the railway on time.

That is one of the key findings of an Office of Rail Regulation report, published on February 12.

The ORR criticised the communication of a contingency plan developed for the possession on the evening of December 26, calling it “ineffective”. It meant that the plan for Finsbury Park the following day to segregate passengers wasn’t properly implemented, which led to overcrowding and a temporary closure of the station.

The reporting of the progress of engineering works at London Paddington, which also overran, was described as “inaccurate so that the operational contingency plan, which included diverting passengers to Waterloo to connect to services out of Reading, was not enacted until many passengers had already been severely delayed. Had these issues been handled appropriately, much of the disruption which passengers experienced could have been avoided.”

  • For more on this story, read RAIL 768, published on February 18.

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