Rail firm East Coast apologised today to scores of passengers who faced major delays just hours before regulators released a scathing report documenting failing services in England and Wales.
The Office of Rail Regulation's report said punctuality on long-distance and London commuter services was "well adrift of funded targets" and criticised "deteriorating performance" on key parts of the network.
The report said there were "areas of poor management. Passengers suffered from some substantial over-runs of engineering works during the festive period."
Passengers had been delayed by a problem at St Neots in Cambridgeshire where around one kilometre of overhead wires was damaged. Many were stranded at King's Cross station in London.