Passengers who stole booze from a buffet car delayed their train for more than an hour, on a service that ended up reaching London three hours late.
The Virgin Trains service to London left Manchester Piccadilly at 8.21pm on Easter Sunday, and was busy with football fans returning from Old Trafford after Manchester United defeated Chelsea.
However, the train was brought to a halt by railway staff following disruption at Macclesfield.
According to rail passengers, thieves stole beer from the onboard shop. But travellers have blasted Virgin Trains due to the service being held for more than an hour following the incident
When the service continued to London the train was held up again due to an accident at Watford Junction.
The service was due to arrive at London Euston at 11.03pm, but did not reach the capital until 1.10am.
Delayed passengers were offered taxi transport home, organised by the rail operator, as the London Underground had stopped running.
It is not known if there have been any arrests following the incident at Macclesfield.