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Passengers stranded on trains after Clapham Junction power failure

A major power failure at Clapham Junction caused “absolute chaos” and stranded thousands of passengers for hours on trains and in the station.

A Network Rail spokesman confirmed to RTM that the issue was caused by a problem with the third rail but could not go into any further details until engineers had fully identified and resolved the issue.

He added: “A major power supply problem between Clapham and Wandsworth Common has disrupted Southern train services into London Victoria this morning. Engineers are on site and we aim to resume services as quickly as possible.”

The incident started shortly before 8am leaving commuters waiting on platforms and other stranded on about 10 trains, some without power, for up to four hours.

Passengers reported “absolute chaos” with people fighting to get on trains, and even falling down the gap between the train and the platform.

At around 10am British Transport Police began evacuating stranded passengers to waiting buses while water was passed to other still stuck on board.

London Fire Brigade reported they had to use a short-extension ladder to help passengers off one stranded train.

The NR spokesman said: “We had to evacuate passengers from one stranded train with the assistance of the emergency services. Passengers have been incredibly co-operative and calm and we thank them for their help and understanding in what has been a very difficult morning for them.”

While many trains have been evacuated others are full of passengers who have taken to Twitter to tell of their continuing ordeal.

The work to resolve the situation is expected to continue throughout the afternoon, with no firm time set for services to be back up and running.

Tell us what you think – have your say below or email


Paul Woods   01/05/2015 at 12:41

I think I was o the train behind the one photographed. I caught the Gatwick Express from Burgess Hill at 07:10 and just before 8:00 we stopped just short of Claphm Junction. Eventually we moved (after 2 jolting false starts) backwards to Wandsworth Comon at about 12:35. Of the 10 cars, only the rear 5 cars could have their doors opened to enable passengers to alight, so one or two tempers were becoming frayed by then. I realise, as a railway engineer, that the options available to expedite an evacuation from the trains were quite limited and the BTP together with other services and railway staff did their level best to keep us as well informed as they were. given that they had no amplification for their announcements, and the need to repeat themselves two or three times in each carriage. I am impressed with their cool temperaments, particular i the face of the occasional bad-tempered outburst. I counted my losses and made my way home, via a visit to my brother-in-law, where I stopped to have lunch

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