UK weather: Stormy weather brings down tree at Forest Hill damaging train lines and causing travel chaos

High winds caused a nightmare for southern commuters travelling in and out of London, and for passengers in Brighton and Hove

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High winds and stormy weather have caused travel chaos for commuters this morning after a fallen tree at Forest Hill caused damage and disruption to rail lines running in and out of London Bridge.

The tree on the line in south east London meant trains were unable to run between Norwood Junction and New Cross Gate in the morning rush hour, while services between East Croydon and London Bridge were completely stopped.



Southern Rail said the large tree that fell had blocked all four lines, affecting all mainline services to and from London Bridge. The company told commuters a second tree needed to be felled in the Forest Hill area, posting pictures to Twitter to explain the situation to travellers.

People took to Twitter to share pictures of the chaos created by the fallen tree, showing nightmare scenes of crowds at Victoria and East Croydon and train boards emblazoned with the words “cancelled” and “delayed” at London Bridge.

The train operator attempted to ease commuters’ journeys by diverting all mainline services from London Bridge to Victoria and starting rail replacement services.

The tree had caused damage to a rail that provides power to the train and also damaged a train.

East Croydon station was temporarily closed and made exit-only due to overcrowding, but was later re-opened as Southern Rail managed to clear the tree and place the four closed lines back into operation. Delays and service disruption remained, heightened by a defective train at London Victoria.

South West Trains services that were able to run were jammed with people trying to get to work.

A second tree on the line between Hove and Brighton caused services between the two destinations to be halted also, Southern Rail said. 

The disruption on the southern lines comes just days after services between London and Brighton were suspended due to a lorry hitting a rail bridge in the Tulse Hill area.

Additional reporting by PA