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Brighton Journal | 29th January 2020

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Commuter Chaos: Many Advised Not to Travel in Latest Rail Meltdown

Commuter Chaos: Many Advised Not to Travel in Latest Rail Meltdown
Hannah Midgley

Hundreds of commuters have been advised to entirely avoid traveling by train today, as major delays at Victoria Station have had a knock on effect, halting services in and out of London, with Brighton commuters heavily affected.

The initial cause of these delays is believed to be a massive signal failure at Streatham, which was discovered late last night, but repairs were unable to begin until this morning.

Currently, all Gatwick Express services are suspended, which is a major commuter line, as well as being the primary line serving Gatwick Airport, which will naturally dramatically effect holiday goers. National Rail have also advised that all Southern and Thameslink services are badly effected, with delays expected to continue throughout the day, and into tomorrow.

Commuters were greeted by this timetable this morning.

Thameslink Railway have issued a statement on their website, which reads:

“If your journey is not essential, it is recommended that you do not travel. There is a very limited service running across the Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express network. 

Network Rail engineers will be working through the night to resolve this incident. Services this afternoon will remain heavily impacted.” 

There will also undoubtedly be concerns for the safety of passengers stuck on delayed and halted trains, as packed carriages at a complete standstill can become unbearably hot in normal weather, let alone during a heatwave such as we are now experiencing, particularly on trains where no water is available.

Travellers have been quick to turn to social media to express their annoyance at having to endure yet another day of unreliable services between London and Brighton. One commuter, Rima Warrell posted in the ‘Preston Park Train Campaign’ Facebook group this morning to warn other about the delays:

“Major disruption between East Croydon and Vic this morning. Trains direct to Vic all canceled. Station staff suggest getting to London Bridge.

However, the man I spoke to said this will have a knock on effect all day and he personally wouldn’t commute today.”

Other commuters took to Twitter to voice their anger:

Unfortunately these delays are no longer out of the ordinary for many commuters, with months of disruption already behind them following the recent unsuccessful timetable changes.

If you are planning to travel within the next few days, you are urged to check train websites or consider avoiding train travel unless completely necessary.

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