SWT says sorry after hundreds are marooned on trains

Trains were delayed between Portsmouth and London Waterloo
Trains were delayed between Portsmouth and London Waterloo

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A rail company has apologised after hundreds of passengers attempting to travel from London Waterloo station were stuck on trains for up to four hours last night.

Trains were stopped close to Woking from around 7pm, after leaving the London station to destinations including stations across the Portsmouth area.

South West Trains, which had 50 services affected, blamed a major signal problem, and apologised to passengers for the delay.

But Network Rail staff said they believe the service breakdown could have been caused by a cable theft.

And the rail maintenance firm said the situation was complicated further when some passengers, frustrated at the delays, got off trains and walked on the rails, causing electricity in live rails to be turned off.

Jane Kelly, South West Trains’ customer service director, said: ‘Signalling problems in the Waterloo and Woking areas resulted in a significant amount of delays. Working with Network Rail, we have endeavoured to minimise the impact of these problems, although this is of little consolation if you have been affected by this event. Please accept my apologies.’

Trains continued to run until after 1am, as the firm transported passengers to their destination.