Signal failure disrupts Portsmouth train services

editorial image
Have your say

Portsmouth rail passengers faced fresh travel misery today because of another signal failure which led to huge delays on some of the busiest routes in the country.

The problem at Guildford in Surrey disrupted South West Trains services to and from London Waterloo and delayed trains to Gatwick Airport.

Trains between Portsmouth and Waterloo were either diverted via Basingstoke and did not call at stations between Hilsea and Guildford, or they terminated at Haslemere and did not call at stations between Haslemere and Waterloo.

A train shuttle service was running between Havant and Haslemere with a limited number of taxis between Haslemere and Guildford.

Passengers were warned that journey times between Portsmouth and Guildford could be extended by up to an hour.

It is the second time in three days that SWT services have been hit after another signal problem at Waterloo led to trains being cancelled and delayed on Monday.

Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services between the airport and London were cancelled this morning after a train derailed at the train depot.

A Heathrow Express spokesman said: “All Heathrow Express, Heathrow Connect and airport inter-terminal shuttle services are currently suspended following an incident at our train depot.

“Shortly after 3am today one wheel set on a Heathrow Express train came off the rails at low speed as it entered our depot in Ealing.

“Teams of engineers are now working to put the dislodged wheel set back on the track.

“Until this train is able to be cleared away, it is blocking all our other trains in the depot.

“We are very sorry to everyone affected by this.

“In the meantime passengers at Heathrow transferring between terminals can use London Underground free of charge.”

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said: “The service that commuters are getting on the busiest franchise in the country, SWT, is really not good enough.

“They are paying more in fares this month and getting less. We need a joined up railway run in the public interest, not private franchises.”