A runaway commuter train overshot a station by two-and-a-half miles because it did not have any sand on board to help with braking in poor weather conditions.
The 6.45am Southeastern service from Charing Cross to Hastings overran Stonegate station in East Sussex by 2.43 miles (3.91km) on November 8, 2010, just after 8am, despite the driver applying emergency braking, Maidstone Crown Court was told today.
Prosecutor Richard Evans said: "Effectively, the train was out of control for 3.2 miles from when braking started to when the train stopped."
Train services between Hertford East and Ware have been disrupted because of a signalling problem.
Bus services are running between the stations and Greater Anglia ticket holders can use their tickets on London Underground and First Capital Connect services from Hertford North.
The Transport Secretary Justine Greening has admitted that train fares could rise by inflation plus 3% next January. Regulated fares are allowed to rise by 3% above the Retail Price Index inflation figure and Ms Greening indicated the extra money would be needed to stabiliise the rail industry.
This year, the rise was reduced to just 1% above RPI inflation but Ms Greening said there was no guarantee that the money could be found to allow a similar limit in 2013.