Network Rail speak out after mourners faced travel misery on day of The Queen's funeral

Watch: Toby Elliott from Network Rail explains why services weren't able to resume on Monday

A member of Network Rail's communications team has told ITV News that the company is 'so sorry' after damage to overhead power cables caused significant disruption to mourners trying to make their way to London and Windsor to see The Queen's funeral.

Two miles of electricity cable that powers part of the Reading to London Paddington route was brought down on Monday.

It led to services being suspended for 24 hours with the line only reopening following Tuesday morning's rush-hour.

Some passengers missed the memorial service to Her Late Majesty altogether whilst others were forced to reflect on platforms by watching the procession on their phones, having been stuck miles away from events in the capital.

Passengers couldn't travel any further than Reading on the Paddington line Credit: ITV News Meridian

"It really couldn't have happened at a worse time or in the worst location" says Toby Elliott, Network Rail's communication manager on the Wessex route.

"I am sincerely sorry to every single passenger who was disrupted yesterday and today, and particularly those who were either on their way to the funeral or wanted to watch the procession of Her Majesty back to Windsor.

"We've been planning for this for the last few years. We had additional personnel on in terms of our maintenance. Our train operators had put on additional services. The unions had stopped the strikes that were due to take place. At the same time, we had done everything possible to prepare for this. And unfortunately, it was just something that that we could not plan for."

Station staff tried to order taxis for passengers who lived further afield and risked becoming stuck at the station overnight, with some being taken as far as Birmingham by car.

One woman, who had visited London to see the Queen's funeral and procession, said her journey in and out of the capital was set to total around 10 hours, as opposed to the usual three, and resulted in her missing the funeral.

Another passenger, who asked not to be named, said: “The communication has been diabolical.

"People have been told to get off trains that were actually running and change services to get to different destinations, only to find that those trains were then cancelled.

"There doesn’t seem to have been any forward thinking as to what would happen in the evening, despite the problems going on all day."

Blank screens at Paddington Station on Monday after no trains could enter or leave the station because of damage to overhead electric wires Credit: Margaret Davis/PA Wire/PA Images

Toby Elliott added, "Due to the absolute scale of the devastation that took place on the rail network to the actual structure, we couldn't get train services running again yesterday as soon as the incident happened.

"We had our rapid reaction team on site trying to fix it. And they've been working throughout yesterday and last night and will be again working tonight to fix it."

"We do everything possible to try and get people to where they want to be. And yesterday it was a nationally significant moment and I am so sorry that people either missed it were delayed due to the incident took place near Hayes."

Once the damage has been repaired Network Rail says it will carry out a full in-depth investigation to establish the cause.