Rail commuters face delays and cancellations due to signalling problems

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Signalling problems have caused delays and cancellations for rail commuters this morning (Wednesday January 24) across the region.

Southern say there is a problem between Chichester and Portsmouth Harbour which is causing delays of up to 15 minutes, alterations and cancellations to trains between these stations.

Disruption is expected to continue until 11am.

The problem is a signal failure which means that signals remain red as the signalling system cannot verify that the track beyond the signal is clear.

Network Rail, who own and maintain the signalling and track, are now on site.

Aall trains have to stop at the affected signal and contact the signaller confirming their permission to continue.

When the trains have authority to continue, they must proceed at caution until the next signal.

This process can take up to 15 minutes at the affected signal per train, so the effect of this type of delay can compound quickly for all trains.

This fault is affecting services along the West Coast. To compound matters, earlier today there was an incident at Southwick where a lorry hit a bridge.

For a period of time, whilst Network Rail conducted a safety inspection, all services had a speed restriction placed. This has now been lifted.

Also the 5.30am service from Brighton to Southampton struck a tree in the Swanwick area.

The driver checked the train but confirmed no damage and the train continued on its journey.

Network Rail are currently inspecting the site for further debris.

There is also fault with the signalling system between East Croydon and Gatwick Airport in the Redhill area.

Delays of up to 15 minutes, alterations and cancellations can be expected until 11am.

Network Rail are expected on site at 8.45am.

Due to this fault, no services heading towards Brighton can use Platform 3 at Redhill and this means Platform 2 is the only alternative, which will add to the congestion in the area.