Thousands of passengers are forced to walk down freezing rail tracks in pitch darkness as London’s Elizabeth Line grinds to a halt: People are trapped for hours with families missing flights home for Christmas amid the ongoing chaos
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Thousands of Elizabeth Line passengers were stuck on packed trains for hours without power before being forced to walk down freezing railway tracks in the dark after damage to overhead cables sparked widespread chaos.

No trains were running between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport during the evening rush hour, leaving passengers stranded on rail strike day.

Those on trains were made to wait for more than three hours until police started evacuating carriages, with some passengers resorting to forcing the doors open and ‘self evacuating’ before emergency services had arrived.

Footage obtained by MailOnline shows passengers carrying heavy suitcases along the tracks in the pitch dark after they disembarked the train and headed back towards Paddington.

Elderly people, children and even the chief executive of Network Rail were among those stuck on carriages where temperatures plummeted when the heating stopped working due to the power failure.

A mother carrying a newborn said a woman fainted on her train while another passenger claimed people were forced to use the tracks, and even their seats, as toilets. 

The chaos meant some passengers missed their flights they had booked to see loved ones for Christmas while workers were unable to get to their shifts as people took to social media to vent their fury at Transport for London for providing no updates. 

Are YOU stuck on an Elizabeth Line train? email matt.strudwick@mailonline.co.uk  

The power failure meant the lights went off inside trains while the heating was also unable to work leaving passengers freezing cold

The power failure meant the lights went off inside trains while the heating was also unable to work leaving passengers freezing cold

Passengers on board one train on the Elizabeth Line have been stuck for more than two hours waiting to be rescued

Passengers on board one train on the Elizabeth Line have been stuck for more than two hours waiting to be rescued

People stuck on a blacked out train on the Elizabeth Line after a power failure

The only light inside the carriage was coming from their mobile phones

A video showed passengers sitting in a blacked out carriage of the 1837 Paddington service with their faces being lit up by the glow from their mobile phones

National rail, Elizabeth line and Heathrow Express services were all disrupted by the issue, Transport for London said. Transport Secretary Mark Harper said on X: ‘Aware of a serious incident involving overhead wires outside Paddington, with a number of trains stationary on the tracks.’ 

Pictures posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, showed passengers standing on packed trains which had been stuck on the tracks for more than an hour. 

 A distressed mother said her daughter suffers with debilitating anxiety and had been on board her train for three hours.

She vented her frustration at Transport for London (TfL) for failing to update her. 

‘She [my daughter] suffers with debilitating anxiety and has poor comprehension, not to mention bladder issues meaning she needs the loo and is freezing cold,’ she told MailOnline. 

‘She won’t ask for help. No information is being given. TfL keep cutting me off at the point of answering and all I want is information that I can simplify for her.’

One passenger boarded a train at Acton at 6.41pm which stopped within five minutes and was still waiting to be rescued more than two hours later.

Countdown’s Rachel Riley said she was one of those stuck, and posted a selfie of her and other passengers smiling, captioned: ‘Nearly 4 hours after we got on, we’re getting off the Elizabeth line, woohoo!’.

Seemingly also among those trapped on trains, musician James Blunt posted on X: ‘Been stuck somewhere outside Paddington for close to 4 hours now. Out of peanuts and wine.’ 

Another passenger dramatically described it as ‘like the Fall of Saigon’ and the Elizabeth Line ‘has failed again just when passengers needed it most’. 

Dr Bamo Nouri was one of those stuck and said the line had ‘almost completely blacked out’.

Dr Nouri wrote on X: ‘#Elizabeth line has almost completely blacked out with a fully loaded set of carriages and many standing. No real or substantial updates, no sense of urgency – been sat for almost an hour!’

Transport for London expects delays to last for the rest of the day. 

One frustrated commuter said: ‘The Elizabeth Line has failed again just when passengers needed it most. At Paddington there were old folk, people with babies with absolutely no way of getting home. 

‘It was like the Fall of Saigon, except in that case some lucky people actually managed to get on the helicopter.’

One eyewitness claimed on X a train ahead had hit some overhead lines, although this is yet to be confirmed by TfL.

While another said a train driver had to shout at passengers trying to get off the train.

A video showed passengers sitting in a blacked out carriage of the 1837 Paddington service with their faces being lit up by the glow from their mobile phones. 

Passengers left in the dark on board a train as one passenger huddles over their suitcase while others are forced to stand

Passengers left in the dark on board a train as one passenger huddles over their suitcase while others are forced to stand

An overhead power failure to to damage wires has left people stranded on packed carriages on the Elizabeth Line tonight

An overhead power failure to to damage wires has left people stranded on packed carriages on the Elizabeth Line tonight

Voiceover artist Danny Cowan, who has appeared on Channel 4 and Netflix, said some passengers were trying to get off the train

Voiceover artist Danny Cowan, who has appeared on Channel 4 and Netflix, said some passengers were trying to get off the train

The darkened carriage on a tube train on the Elizabeth Line where people had been standing for 90 minutes

The darkened carriage on a tube train on the Elizabeth Line where people had been standing for 90 minutes

Office of Rail and Road data on the cancellations score by operator from July to September 2023 and the percentage point (pp) change compared with the same period last year

Office of Rail and Road data on the cancellations score by operator from July to September 2023 and the percentage point (pp) change compared with the same period last year

Mikey Worrall, who posted the video, said people were opening up the doors to get onto the line.  

Danny Cowan, a voiceover artist who has appeared on Channel 4 and Netflix, was making his way to his agent’s Christmas party when the train came to sudden halt more than an hour ago.

He wrote on X the heating had gone off and he was so cold he could barely think.

He said: ‘Hey any fear you might get this FREEZING COLD (no heating) Elizabeth Line train moving that’s been stuck outside Acton Town for over an hour now? 

‘The driver has already had to shout at passengers who are trying to get off. Some information would be nice.’

Emma Bentley has been stuck between Paddington and Acton for 90 minutes.

She said: ‘The carriages have now lost power, and it seems we may be walking home…’ 

Another stranded passenger was having his patience tested and wrote: ‘We have no power, so can’t move! I need a pee – mind over matter!’

The disruption is expected to last until the end of the day with current delays of 60 minutes. 

No trains are calling at stations between Paddington and London Heathrow and Reading while the final Heathrow Express has also been cancelled. 

MailOnline has contacted Transport for London for comment. 

Are YOU stuck on an Elizabeth Line train? email matt.strudwick@mailonline.co.uk 



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