Shropshire Star

Rail passengers left cold and without facilities at Telford station with coach waiting

A pregnant train passenger caught up in postponements after a tragic death on a Shropshire rail line has complained she was left to stand in the cold despite a replacement coach waiting alongside.

Telford Central station

Jen Cottle was on the Avanti West Coast service for Shrewsbury, which unexpectedly terminated at Telford Central on Thursday night having been held for more than two hours after a person died on the track near Shifnal.

Jen told the Shropshire Star: "About 45 minutes before we travelled to Telford for the train to terminate, we were told coaches were arranged for us to take us the rest of the journey to Wellington and Shrewsbury.

"By the time we alighted the train at Telford Central, after two and a half hours stuck on the line, it was nearly 11pm, the train station was closed and it was 2C outside. There was a coach waiting for us but the driver would not let us on.

"This was despite the cold outside, no seats and no toilets available as the station was closed. The driver would not even let us use the toilet on his coach, and only begrudgingly let me because I said I was pregnant. But I immediately had to alight again.

"Everyone was exhausted, fed up, cold, traumatised, and just wanted to get home. In the end, I ordered a taxi back to Shrewsbury. I could not wait any longer.

"It was a completely unnecessary and stressful end to an already difficult journey."

A spokesperson for the TNS Travel Company said in response to Ms Cottle: "We are really sorry for the inconvenience that you had to go through. However, after looking into this rest assured that the driver was following strict instructions provided by the rail replacement company.

"As we are just a subcontractor by the rail replacement company, we have to strictly follow the instructions, which the driver was doing while he was in contact with the call centre on the phone."