Rail travel chaos after cable theft
Tuesday 17 January 2012
Tens of thousands of rail passengers suffered travel chaos today after another cable theft, and a cracked rail, led to huge disruption on some of the country's busiest routes.
Services into London's Waterloo station - used by around 250,000 passengers a day - were heavily delayed by the two early-morning incidents.
A cable theft in the Basingstoke area knocked out signalling control for some hours while engineers rushed to the site to make repairs, which were completed shortly after 7am.
Meanwhile, a hairline crack in a rail near Vauxhall, just outside Waterloo, was spotted by engineers in the early hours in one of the central lines into the central London mainline station.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “Because of the very congested nature of track in this area, engineers are unable to make repairs until overnight tonight, with this line being out for the rest of the day.
“This will mean some cancellations this evening and passengers are advised to check the South West Trains website for more details.”
The railways have been hit by a spate of cable thefts which have led to widespread disruption to services for the past year.
British Transport Police has launched a series of campaigns to tackle the problem, including UK-wide raids of scrap metal merchants.
A South West Trains spokesman said: “We are extremely frustrated that our passengers' journeys are being disrupted again this morning and we are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause.
“Network Rail engineers are working hard to repair the problems as soon as possible and we will keep our customers updated.”
The train operator announced a number of service alterations which are expected to remain in place for the rest of the day, including a shuttle service between Woking and Alton, Shepperton and Kingston, and Surbiton and Hampton Court, West of England services starting and finishing at Basingstoke, and the cancellation of trains to and from Dorking in Surrey.
Passengers on some other routes also faced delays.
A signalling problem at Reading in Berkshire caused hold-ups for customers with the CrossCountry and First Great Western train companies, with some services delayed by up to 45 minutes.
A level crossing problem at Ely in Cambridgeshire caused delays between King's Lynn and Ely to passengers travelling with the First Capital Connect and National Express East Anglia train companies.
On the London Underground, the Waterloo & City line was suspended for a time during the rush-hour due to a fire alert.
A spokesman for the Association of Train Operating Companies said: “Cable thieves' thoughtless actions are regularly bringing disruption to thousands of rail passengers up and down the country.
“The rail industry is working hard to tackle the organised gangs and opportunist thieves who are causing the problems.
“To deal with the problem more effectively, we need tighter regulation on the sale of scrap metal and tougher sentences for offenders.”
- 1 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 2 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 3 The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
- 4 Why you're almost certainly more like your father than your mother
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook CEO's one simple test for who to hire
Bali nine: Welcome to 'Execution Island' – the Indonesian holiday resort where foreigners are sent to die
'A girl is more responsible for rape than a boy': The statement that shocked the world... except India
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Saudi Arabia executions now at 'unprecedented rate' after kingdom kills four more in two days
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Nigel Farage promises Ukip will not 'stigmatise' would-be migrants – and says he wants 'everyone to speak the same language'
Ex-head of MI6: 'We shouldn't kid ourselves that Russia is on a path to democracy'
Most people think legal tax avoidance is just as wrong as illegal tax evasion, poll suggests
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are an award-winning digit...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior VMware Platform En...
£10000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...
£17000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A distributor of specialist ele...