Runners derailed by train delays

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Disaster struck for dozens of half marathon runners on Sunday

TRAIN delays in London caused dozens of entrants to miss their big day out at Hasting half-marathon.

It is estimated up to 200 runners missed the event after emergency maintenance work between London Bridge and Charing Cross caused trains to be delayed on Sunday morning.

The railway was due to reopen at 7.45am but the engineering works overran by two hours.

The 9.56am train from London arrived at West St Leonards Station with just a handful of people on board.

Race director Eric Hardwick said: “Normally that 9.56am train is packed with runners but there was hardly anyone on it.

“It is a great shame because up to 200 may have been unable to run.

“I bet they felt very let down by the train firms because they have been working so hard towards the big day all year.”

Jon Crampton, spokesman for Network Rail said: “Owing to emergency engineering works overrunning on Sunday morning between London Bridge and Charing Cross there were disruptions to services in and out of Hastings. We worked as quickly as possible to clear the work and trains were able to run from 9.45am. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Southeastern Trains has apologised to those affected and offered to pay compensation.

Company spokeswoman Alison Nolan said: “We’re sorry that due to Network Rail emergency engineering work on Sunday morning some runners didn’t make it to the Hastings Half Marathon.

“We realise it must have been very disappointing for them.

“The event is popular and every year we add extra carriages to our trains to accommodate the runners.

“Network Rail worked as quickly as possible to repair the tracks but it wasn’t until 10am that they gave us the ‘all clear’ to operate a train service.

“Anyone whose journey was delayed by more than half an hour can claim ‘delay repay’ compensation.”