Thousands of ‘frustrated’ passengers were left stranded during rush hour as a lack of drivers forced a train company to cancel trains.
Severe flooding at Patcham Tunnel near Brighton led First Capital Connect to cancel services on the line between Hassocks and Brighton as signalling equipment became inundated.
Rising waters have meant drivers based at the depot at Brighton, who drive trains to and from Bedford, Luton and St Albans, have been unable to get to work, forcing the train company to cancel services.
First Capital connect will continue to run two trains an hour northbound and two southbound from Elstree and Borehamwood and Radlett stations for the rest of the day.
These trains have been severely overcrowded, especially during rush hour, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded at Elstree and Borehamwood and Radlett stations.
Those who were able to secure a place on a train complained of severe delays, with Emma Thomas tweeting it took her one hour and 40 minutes to get from Bedford to Hendon.
She said she appreciated the reasons for the delays but accused First Capital connect of a bad service, tweeting: “I appreciate the difficulties but complete lack of information and misinformation from station staff is inexcusable."
Other commuters took to Twitter to complain about the disruption and lack of information from the train operator.
Richard Bloom tweeted: “@FirstCC terrible communication at elstree and borehamwood. No one telling us what's going on or when the next train is.”
Lydia Shalet tweeted: “@FirstCC would be helpful to have staff at radlett - long queues for tickets, then no trains, no info. Info board promised a train...But no!”
Craig Melson accused staff at Borehamwood Station of being unhelpful, tweeting: “Yo @FirstCC tell gate staff at #elstree #borehamwood to have decorum. Checking tix & being rude to ppl who touched in but have to leave.”
A First Capital Connect spokesman apologised for the disruption.
He said: “We understand our passengers’ frustration this morning with the disruption on the Thameslink route.
“Flooding and consequent damage to signalling equipment between Hassocks and Brighton means there will be a reduced service on the route for the rest of the day at least.
“We are working closely Network Rail, whose engineers are on site and are doing everything possible to resolve the current infrastructure problems as swiftly as possible.”