So, it appears that the electric trains couldn't draw power from the third rail because of snowy/icy conditions? And then a diesel locomotive had to rescue them, eh?Train passengers describe night of hell as they are trapped on board with no heat, light, food or water
Temperatures plunged to below -4C, there was no heating, no lighting and little information.
For the hundreds of passengers trapped on five trains overnight, it was, understandably, a “night of hell”.
Some hoisted themselves up onto luggage racks in a desperate bid to get some sleep, others huddled under foil blankets while fellow travellers unpacked suitcases and donned as many layers as possible.
There were children and there were pensioners, all of them stranded and all of them frozen to the core. One likened it to being on “some kind of sitcom” while others used social media to send desperate pleas to friends, family and the rail operators begging for help.
The 15-hour ordeal began when passengers happily boarded the 17.05 South Western Railway service in a snow-covered London Waterloo.
They were bound for Weymouth, Dorset but as the train approached Christchurch at around 8pm, it broke down, grinding to a halt.
Not far behind, three other services left London one by one, all headed for the south coast and all eventually stranded in a lengthy tailback along the line.
The 16.30 service from Cardiff to Bournemouth was also stuck overnight.
The conductor rail on the track, from which trains draw power, had frozen, Network Rail said.
The fluctuating electricity soon packed up in the frosty carriages and many were plunged into darkness with no heating.
Eventually, at around 8am on Friday, a diesel train pulled up on the track next the stricken services to rescue the passengers, who were taken to Bournemouth station and given tea, coffee, food and blankets.