Fire causes Heathrow Express line closure


Click to follow
The Independent Online

The Heathrow Express rail service was shut down today, causing travel misery for passengers flying into London on the eve of the Olympics.

The closure of the route - which transports passengers from the airport to London Paddington - was caused by a fire on a platform at West Ealing station.

According to the Heathrow Express website, the incident caused severe delays, but services have since resumed.

A BAA spokesman said: "The Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect services experienced minor delays this morning following a fire at a platform of West Ealing station. Services are now back up and running."

The incident occurred on what is tipped to be the busiest day at Heathrow Airport as thousands of extra passengers arrive for the Games.

A record 125,000 passengers were expected to arrive at the airport today. More than 2,000 members of the Games Family were set to arrive, which includes athletes, coaches, officials and media.

Heathrow Express services were already due to be delayed by 10 minutes later today because of speed restrictions resulting from the hot weather.

Meanwhile, cable theft caused disruption for rail passengers north and south of the capital.

The theft led to signalling problems at Bedford which affected travellers on services run by four train companies.

Journey times on First Capital Connect were being extended by up to 90 minutes, while London Midland's trains between Bedford and Bletchley were not calling at Bedford.

The Bedford problem also hit passengers travelling with the Southeastern train company, while East Midlands Trains' services could not stop at Bedford.

On the roads, there were again queues on routes with Olympic traffic-only games lanes.

These included Waterloo Bridge in London and the A40 in west London.

There were also hold-ups for traffic as huge crowds lined the route of the Olympic Torch relay as it passed through London in bright sunshine.