Overhead wire failures dragged down train companies' punctuality performances last month, new figures from Network Rail showed today.
There were two major failures in February - at Radlett in Hertfordshire and at St Neots in Cambridgeshire - as well as a problem at Hanslope on the West Coast Main Line.
This meant that the East Coast train company was able to run only 76.6 per cent of trains on time in the period February 3 to March 2, while Virgin Trains managed a figure of only 83 per cent.
Overall train companies achieved a figure of 91 per cent punctuality in February, down on the 91.6 per cent figure for the same period last year.
Rail union TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said: "The latest poor figures for both East and West Coast lines show it's passengers who are suffering because of power line failures.
"All the refund figures we have seen show that rail firms are handsomely rewarded by NR for delays, over £170 million last year, while passengers get just the crumbs, less than £10m, from the companies themselves."