"London rail passengers <were> played......"
Its typical journo headline misuse of the past participle, as in .....
'audience played noise at music festival', when they mean
'audience were played noise at music festival'
or more correctly 'audience suffered noise at music festival' and more accurately
'Band played challenging music at festival that some in the audience considered to be noise'
Journo's have free license in Headlines, grammar is never applied, in part, to make us read the article.