Rail delays after Easter engineering works overrun

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The Independent Online

Rail passengers endured delays today after Easter engineering work overran.

The overrun affected the Southampton area, with delays of up to 30 minutes to services run by the First Great Western, South West Trains, Southern and CrossCountry train companies.

The delays were expected to continue until around 10am today.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We were due to complete the work at Southampton at 5am but were not able to finish until 6.37am.

"We had 27 engineering projects over the Easter weekend and this was the only one that overran."

Passengers on the East Coast main line also experienced delays today after the 5.30am East Coast company train travelling from Leeds to London had to make an unscheduled stop at Stevenage in Hertfordshire, where police boarded the train to remove an unruly passenger.

British Transport Police said its officers, and officers from Hertfordshire Police, had gone to Stevenage and that a man had been detained under the Mental Health Act and been taken to hospital, where he remains.

Meanwhile, there were severe delays in the early afternoon on the Underground's Victoria and Piccadilly lines due to a signal failure at Finsbury Park in north London.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport union, said "On the first day back after the Easter break the chaos on the Tube continues with two major lines down due to failing infrastructure.

"The impact of cuts to jobs and maintenance is now being felt almost every day and we are sick and tired of the lies and excuses from the (London) mayor (Boris Johnson) and his officials. It is time for him to halt his cuts programme and to end this spiral of decline."