Rail disruption: trains being reintroduced but ‘passengers should avoid travelling’

Commuters have been advised not to travel
Commuters have been advised not to travel

Trains to and from London Victoria are now gradually being reintroduced – but severe disruption on the railways will continue for the rest of the day.

The issue was caused by a major power failure affecting signalling the Streatham area overnight and has affected commuters from Sussex since this morning.

Network Rail says engineers have worked through the night and today to put a temporary fix in place to enable services to resume. This has now been completed and trains to and from London Victoria are now being gradually reintroduced – though significant disruption is likely for the remainder of the day on Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services owing to the displacement of trains and train crew.

Rail firm Southern said earlier that the disruption could last until at least 7am tomorrow.

Network Rail is urging passengers to avoid travelling on routes to and from London Victoria if possible, with tickets being accepted on alternative routes. Southeastern services to and from London Victoria have not been affected by this incident.

The earlier loss of signalling – the railway’s equivalent of traffic lights – meant no Southern or Gatwick Express services were able to serve London Victoria station and Thameslink services were unable to run on the Wimbledon loop.

John Halsall, Network Rail’s managing director for the South East route, said: “I would like to offer a sincere apology to everyone who has had their journey disrupted today.

“Our job is to provide a reliable railway for train operators and the travelling public and today it’s clear we’ve failed in that task.

“We’ve now been able to restore signalling and trains are beginning to run again to and from London Victoria, though passengers are advised to check before travelling throughout the day as knock-on impacts are likely to be significant.”

Nick Brown, chief operating officer at Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services, said: “We are working hard with our colleagues at Network Rail following a major power failure at Streatham this morning.

“We apologise to our passengers caught up in the disruption to services. Tickets are being accepted on alternative routes.

“We encourage any passengers delayed by 15 minutes or more to claim Delay Repay compensation via our websites.”

The latest journey information can be found at www.nationalrail.co.uk

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