UK private utility company Thames Water is currently facing charges of several million pounds after a water main burst and flooded a main train tunnel in London. The money will be used to repair the damage and more so to compensate passengers and rail service providers for the inconvenience and cost this incident caused them.
The flooded tunnel caused severe disruption to rail services across London, to the extent that Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and Network Rail were forced to close the route between St Pancras and Farringdon yet again. Passengers of services running between these stations were told to expect extreme delays in the evening of the 30th January, after more than 1,000 trains were cancelled and running trains were delayed by a total of 133 hours.
After the first water main burst, Thames Water went on to discover a further four leaks, all of which contributed to the flooding. Phil Verster, route managing director, Network Rail, commented on the situation: “Passengers have suffered a lot this week as a result of Thames Water’s burst and leaking pipes. We continue to work with Thames Water but the overwhelming extent of the continued flooding made it unsafe to run normal through services between London St Pancras and London Blackfriars since Sunday.
“We have several high output pumps operating but the service is still hugely delayed. We expect Thames water to reimburse passengers, train operators and Network Rail for the significant consequences of these water leaks.”
Thames Water has apologised for the disruption to these services and has promised to work consistently to return the water levels to normal and carry out checks to ensure there are no further leaks. Chris Featherstone, head of operational control at Thames Water said: “We’re very sorry for the delays commuters have experienced since Friday.
“We know this is a critical job and we’ve got our best teams working as fast as possible to discover where this water is coming from. We’re investigating every possibility, including checking all our sewers and water pipes in the area, and we will leave no stone unturned to find out what is happening in that tunnel.”
He added: “We’d also like to extend our apologies to any customers affected by road works of fluctuations in water supply while we test the pipes. We’re doing everything we can to sort out this problem.”
This is certainly an unfortunate incident for all parties involved and it appears that Thames Water and Network Rail are both dedicated in rectifying the current damage and offering compensation for the difficulties incurred during this time.
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