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Major disruptions for South West Trains after Vauxhall Station fire

Passengers at London Waterloo are facing major delays for the rest of the day because of a fire at Vauxhall Station.

The fire was reported at 2.39am, close to platforms 3 and 4. It was under control at 8.28am, but now four out of eight main lines at the station are now closed and expected to remain so until the end of the day while repairs are carried out.

Services to Hounslow, Twickenham, Windsor, Eton Riverside, Sheperton and Hampton Court and additional peak services to Reading have been cancelled and other trains are expected to be delayed by up to 90 minutes, cancelled or revised.

In a joint statement, South West Trains and Network Rail said: “We are sorry for the inconvenience and disruption faced by passengers this morning.

“This was the result of a fire underneath a platform at Vauxhall station in the early hours of this morning which severely reduced the number of trains we were able to run in and out of London.

“It has now been brought under control and we are assisting the London fire brigade to investigate the cause of the fire as well as working hard to reintroduce services. It is not yet possible to say when that will happen but we will update passengers as soon as we can.”

The other effects of the disruption are:

  • Fast services from Woking and the South West to London Waterloo are now operating at a reduced speed.
  • London Waterloo to Reading/Weybridge services will start and terminate at Clapham Junction.
  • Train shuttle is running between Staines and Windsor & Eton Riverside.
  • London Waterloo circular services via Kingston / Richmond will start and terminate at Clapham Junction.
  • Train shuttle is running between Hampton Court and Surbiton.
  • London Waterloo to Poole / Weymouth services will call at Clapham Junction, Woking and Basingstoke.

Passengers have been told that they may use Southern, London Overground, Thameslink, CrossCountry and Great Western trains, as well as buses, London Underground, stagecoach and trams.

Tickets dated for today can be used tomorrow and off-peak ticket restrictions have been lifted.

Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, said: "This morning's fire is another reminder of just how crucial a vigilant and ‎pro-active safety culture is on Britain's over-stretched railways.”

RTM conductors on the Southern route are due to strike on 20 May over plans to introduce driver-operated only trains, which they have warned are unsafe.

Cash added that RMT members were assisting in evacuating stations, carrying out repairs and the investigation into the causes of the fire.

(Image c. London Fire Brigade)

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Sam Jones   05/05/2016 at 17:59

I am not going to lie, today's disruption was really bad. For my journey, I was stuck for 4 hours at a station (Egham on the way there, Chertsey on the way back) and both stations had been devoid of any train for those two hours that I had spent at each station. At Egham, a South West Trains operated Class 458/5 unit eventually turned up, with about 3 trains (the train before mine had been cancelled as well as mine) worth of passengers in 5 carriages, so as you can imagine, it was stuffed. Dangerously so. At Chertsey, the station boards kept on announcing services which didn't turn up, and since Chertsey station is unstaffed for most of the day, no-one had any idea what was going on. Luckily, I was able to get a lift from a friend, but I think I would have been there for at least another half an hour before a train turned up. I saw the work that the engineers at Vauxhall have to do though. There is so much damage! No wonder South West Trains operated a very limited service. Good luck to them, I say!

Andrew Gwilt   06/05/2016 at 11:27

Was it to do with a faulty live DC 750v 3rd Rail. Because DC 3rd rails do cause more fires than AC 25,000v (25kv) overhead wires.

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