Travel disruption as London Victoria train services hit by signalling fault

Disruption at one of the UK's busiest train stations is expected to continue throughout Thursday due to a signalling fault.

The tens of thousands of passengers who use London Victoria each day were advised to avoid using Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) routes to or from the station.

Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Southern trains were affected.

People waiting on the platform of East Croydon train station
People waiting on the platform of East Croydon train station

The problem with signalling equipment in Streatham, south-east London, led to chaos during the morning rush hour as services were decimated.

Many passengers complained that rail industry apps and websites suggested some trains were still running despite lines being blocked.

Rail bosses attempted to arrange for replacement buses to operate at key locations, but struggled with availability as many were already in use to take children to school.

Network Rail, the Government-owned company responsible for maintaining rail infrastructure, advised passengers not to use those GTR services for travel from the south into the capital.

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The problem with signalling equipment was discovered at 10.30pm on Wednesday and Network Rail engineers have been unable to fix it despite working overnight.

The cause of the fault has been traced to the failure of the power supply linked to signalling equipment.

Around 210,000 passengers use London Victoria each day.

Southeastern services to the station were unaffected.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "Owing to a loss of signalling at Streatham Common, services are being disrupted to and from London Victoria.

"The signal loss means we are unable to run services between Balham, Selhurst and Haydons Road.

No trains to Victoria, so all trains heading to London are packed! Avoid!!!

-- Jessica Edwards (@ajsaedwards) July 5, 2018

"We have had engineers working on site overnight doing all they can to fix the problem. However, we anticipate that the signalling will not be up and running this morning.

"We apologise for the inconvenience caused by the fault and passengers are being advised not to travel with Thameslink, Southern or Gatwick Express from the south into London this morning."

Twitter user @VHC88 posted: "@SouthernRailUK your services are a total shambles. Carshalton station has been closed all morning and yet your app says services are running. Bus and Tube it is this morning."

Another passenger, Philip Keeler, wrote: "So Southern advise not to go to work? Southern are ruining the country for people and business.

"Can you imagine if a hospital said we have no power, everyone go home?"

Thameslink passengers have already suffered weeks of disruption following the introduction of new timetables on May 20.

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