Trains in and out of Portsmouth cancelled or changed because of signal fault

A South Western Railway train. Picture: PA Wire / Victoria Jones
A South Western Railway train. Picture: PA Wire / Victoria Jones
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TRAINS in and out of Portsmouth are being delayed, cancelled or amended at short notice this morning because of a signalling problem. 

A Network Rail fault between Hilsea and Fratton is forcing services to reduce their speed and run a further distance apart than usual. 

South Western Railway has said disruption is expected until at least 11am and has announced a number of changes for trains scheduled to run throughout the morning. 

Trains out of Portsmouth affected

- 8.33am service from Portsmouth Harbour to Southampton Central. This will now begin at Fareham at 9.03am. 

- 9.23am GWR service from Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central. This will begin at Southampton Central at 10.10am. 

- 10.23am GWR service from Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff Central. This will begin at Southampton Central at 11.10am. 

Trains into Portsmouth affected 

- CANCELLED: 9.06am GWR service from Southampton Central to Portsmouth Harbour

- CANCELLED: 10.02am GWR service from Southampton Central to Portsmouth Harbour 

- CANCELLED: 11.04am GWR service from Southampton Central to Portsmouth Harbour

What is the problem? 

South Western Railway has said the fault is with ‘axle counters’ which help the signaller identify when sections of track are clear. 

These counters have failed – so it is not known whether the track is clear or not ‘until trains reach Fratton station’. 

No services toward Portsmouth are stopping at Hilsea and operators have advised anybody wishing to alight at that station to change at Fratton and get a service to Hilsea from there. 

Likewise, passengers at Hilsea who want to travel to Portsmouth are advised to catch a service toward Havant or Fareham and change at the first station stop, of Cosham or Bedhampton/Havant. 

Tickets will work on other transport 

Affected passengers’ tickets will be accepted on Southern Rail and London Underground services from London Victoria ‘via any reasonable route’. 

They will also be accepted on Stagecoach bus routes 20, 21, 23 and 700 – as well as First bus routes 1, 2, 3, F3 and X4. 

South Western Railway said: ‘In addition replacement buses have been requested to run between Havant and Portsmouth Harbour and Fareham and Portsmouth Harbour, calling at all intermediate stations.’

The firm said it was ‘very sorry’ for delays caused.