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Train disruption will continue, London Victoria passengers warned

UK News | Published:

Travellers were being advised to avoid Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services.

Passenger boarding Southern services train

Disruption to trains serving the UK’s second busiest station will continue for a second day, rail bosses have warned.

The tens of thousands of people who use London Victoria each day are being advised to avoid Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services.

Trains between Luton and Sutton via Wimbledon are also affected by the problem with signalling equipment in Streatham, south-east London.

Southern warned: “We anticipate disruption will continue until at least 7am tomorrow morning (Friday).”

People waiting on the platform of East Croydon train station
People wait on the platform of East Croydon train station (Michael Scriven/PA)

Thursday’s morning rush hour descended into chaos as services were decimated.

Many passengers complained that rail apps and websites suggested some trains were running despite lines being blocked.

Rail firms attempted to arrange for replacement buses to transport people between key locations, but struggled with availability as many were already in use taking children to school.

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Network Rail, the Government-owned company responsible for maintaining rail infrastructure, advised passengers not to use the affected operators’ services for travel from the south into the capital.

The problem with signalling equipment was discovered at 10.30pm on Wednesday and Network Rail engineers have been unable to fix it despite working overnight.

The cause of the fault has been traced to the failure of the power supply linked to signalling equipment.

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Around 210,000 passengers use London Victoria each day.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “Owing to a loss of signalling at Streatham Common, services are being disrupted to and from London Victoria.

“The signal loss means we are unable to run services between Balham, Selhurst and Haydons Road.

“We have had engineers working on site overnight doing all they can to fix the problem. However, we anticipate that the signalling will not be up and running this morning.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the fault and passengers are being advised not to travel with Thameslink, Southern or Gatwick Express from the south into London this morning.”

Twitter user @VHC88 posted: “@SouthernRailUK your services are a total shambles. Carshalton station has been closed all morning and yet your app says services are running. Bus and Tube it is this morning.”

Another passenger, Philip Keeler, wrote: “So Southern advise not to go to work? Southern are ruining the country for people and business.

“Can you imagine if a hospital said we have no power, everyone go home?”

Thameslink passengers have already suffered weeks of disruption following the introduction of new timetables on May 20.

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