London, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – November 1, 2021): Delegates and journalists planning to travel by train from England to the United Nations climate summit in Scotland faced chaos on Sunday after a fallen tree closed the main line to London.
A nighttime storm saw the tree damaging overhead power cables on the track between London and Glasgow, the only direct rail link between the two cities.
Some of those scheduled to attend the opening day of the crucial climate conference in Glasgow remained stranded in the UK capital and elsewhere along the west coast after services were suspended.
“Due to the extent of the disruption to services to north London, we are discouraging customers from traveling,” Avanti West Coast, which operates services on the route, said on Twitter.
The company added that it would try to get passengers to their destination “by any reasonable route.”
Network Rail, which operates the UK’s rail tracks, said the tree fell on overhead power cables in Northamptonshire, central England.
“We are working on a plan to remove the tree (and) then fully assess the damage so that we can plan a repair,” he added.
Environmental journalist Cecilia Keating was among those bound for COP26 unable to reach Glasgow, tweeting photographs of a crowded concourse at Euston Station in London.
“Hundreds of delegates to a climate conference are stranded in Euston because the UK’s infrastructure is simply not climate change resilient,” she said.
Another reporter, Pennie Taylor, said she was “cleared of a train in Euston which was chock full of COP26 attendees”.
The travel chaos represents an ominous start for the 12-day gathering of world leaders and environmental delegates, hailed as the “last and best hope” to limit potentially catastrophic global warming.
Many climate activists had advocated traveling to COP26 by train, with Swedish icon Greta Thunberg arriving by train from London on Saturday.
Opponents of air travel argue that reaching Glasgow by train emits 14 percent of the carbon emissions created by flying to the top from London.