Row erupts over multi-million-pound bill for Farringdon floods as Network Rail and Thames Water fight over who is to blame

Catherine Neilan
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Thames Water released this image today, blaming Network Rail for the flood

A row has erupted over who is to blame for the floods that have disrupted train services across London on the Thameslink line for the past six days – and which look likely to last into next week.

Yesterday Network Rail issued a statement saying Thames Water faced “a multi-million pound bill” for the burst water main and other leaks that have caused commuter chaos since last Friday.
The train group said more than 1,000 trains had been cancelled since the first main burst, while even those services that have made it between Farringdon, St Pancras, West Hampstead and St Albans were delayed by 133 hours in total.
Phil Verster, route managing director, Network Rail, said: “Passengers have suffered a lot this week as a result of Thames Water’s burst and leaking pipes. We continue to work with Thames Water but the overwhelming extent of the continued flooding made it unsafe to run normal through services between London St Pancras and London Blackfriars since Sunday.
“We have several high output pumps operating but the service is still hugely delayed. We expect Thames water to reimburse passengers, train operators and Network Rail for the significant consequences of these water leaks.”
But Thames Water is fighting er...water with water.
The utilities firm this morning issued a statement pushing the blame back onto Network Rail.
Thames Water director Bob Collington said: “The water in the tunnel cleared as soon as we cleaned out Network Rail’s surface drainage system last night. The pipe was full of silt and debris, and a grill which would have allowed the water to drain away was blocked solid. Basically, the water had nowhere to go.
“We believe this problem was first identified as far back as 2007, and the problems with water on the track have been caused by a lack of maintenance on their part.
“Our teams have done a fantastic job resolving this issue, and we will be presenting our findings to Network Rail as part of a full investigation into what has caused this terrible disruption to passengers.”

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