Railway boss apologises for train disruption

South West Trains has apologised after last night's rail disruption
South West Trains has apologised after last night's rail disruption
Cllr Rob Humby (left) with Matthew Riches (right) Skanksa's business director for Hampshire Highways

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South West Trains has apologised after hot weather damaged part of the rail network and caused major delays for commuters.

As reported in The News, passengers faced delays last night after signalling problems and a buckle in the line forced South West Trains to alter its service plan.

Today, the deputy customer service director for the South West Trains-Network Rail alliance, has issued a statement apologising for the disruption.

The delays came about after a two-inch kink in the rail was discovered outside Waterloo station, which meant four platforms there had to be closed.

This meant South West Trains had to put in place its alternative service plan, in order to continue running trains throughout the day.

Another incident at Haslemere, where a signalling power supply was lost, also increased the disruption to passengers using the busy Guildford to Portsmouth route.

Train services to and from London were heavily delayed for the rest of the day and many were overcrowded as a result.

Arthur Pretorious, the rail service’s deputy customer service director, said: ‘I am sorry for the disruption to your journey yesterday.

‘The decision to run an alternative service plan was not taken lightly and when such a decision is taken we consider the safest and most efficient way of running our network to get everyone home as quickly as possible.

‘Due to the nature of yesterday’s incident and the critical location where it occurred, this unfortunately meant that many customers were heavily delayed on their journey home.

‘We run one of the most intensive train services in Europe, with trains leaving and arriving into London Waterloo every minute at peak times.

‘The track and signalling infrastructure on our network, particularly in the area around Waterloo, requires significant investment to improve reliability for our customers.

‘We do everything possible to prevent the kind of disruption experienced yesterday.

‘We are working hard to replace ageing parts of the rail system to deliver a better, more reliable service.’