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28.04.15

South West Trains suffers nightmare Monday

South West Trains (SWT) had a nightmare Monday as two incidents caused major delays, cancellations and chaos at Waterloo station.

The first incident occurred yesterday around 11.30am when a person was struck by a train on the lines between Wimbledon and Surbiton. Lines had to be closed in both directions while emergency services attended the scene, leaving many trains unable to reach destinations.

SWT says this had a knock-on effect to following services as train crews were not able to reach their destination in time to man their next services.

A South West spokesperson said: “We worked quickly to divert and alter trains in order to reduce the cascade effect of these delays, however the lines between Wimbledon and Surbiton are essential for us to deliver a full train service, and so their closure led to significant disruption for both long-distance and suburban services.”

Unfortunately for SWT, just as it was recovering from the first incident, a second occurred at Clapham Junction. A train developed a fault and became unable to move, leaving it stopped across a key junction serving the Windsor lines. The Down Windsor Slow, Down Windsor Fast and Up Windsor Fast lines were all closed for two hours from 4.25pm. This meant that all trains to Reading, Windsor & Eton Riverside, Twickenham, Ascot, Staines and Hounslow were unable to get to and from London Waterloo.

The spokesperson continued: “This incident compounded the earlier delays across the whole of the network. While both incidents were managed as quickly as possible, many train crews were unable to reach their trains to begin or continue working, and the stock for the evening peak departures was unable to reach Waterloo. Many trains were therefore delayed departing Waterloo, and many were then unable to enter a platform at Waterloo.”

The disruption ran throughout the entire evening peak and only cleared in the early hours of the morning. Waterloo station saw massive crowds of passengers stranded as the departure boards showed all South West services were either delayed or cancelled.

Stranded passengers took to social media to show their frustration and post images of the crowding.

It was reported that many were told to find alternative routes home. The doors into Waterloo were locked to prevent further overcrowding.

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