Southern Rail trains cancelled between London Bridge and East Croydon after huge sinkhole opens next to track

Two of four tracks in the area are affected 

Alexandra Sims
Monday 18 July 2016 16:04 BST
Sinkhole under rail tracks

Commuters travelling in south London have been hit with severe disruption after a sinkhole appeared next to a section of railway track, suspending several train services.

The four metre-deep hole, which opened at Forest Hill on Monday afternoon, has suspended Southern and London Overground train services between London Bridge and East Croydon.

Network Rail engineers are currently onsite investigating the large hole. Repairs are planned to take place this evening and are due to continue throughout the night.

A Network Rail spokesman said "more than 50 tonnes of ballast" is on its way to the site to fill the hole.

He added: “Our aim is to have the railway fixed for tomorrow morning but holes like this can be unpredictable.

"Until the ballast is packed into the hole we won’t know for certain if the hole is stable or not so passengers are advised to check before they travel.”

Two of four tracks in the area are affected and it is understood trains will be disrupted until the end of service today. After 10pm all four lines will be closed until 4am to allow repairs to the infrastructure to take place.

Frustrated passengers have taken to Twitter after many became subject to delays and cancellations, with many highlighting the disruption that has recently plagued Southern Rail services after the network was hit by staff shortages and strikes, leading to an "emergency timetable" being put in place that saw 15 per cent of trains cancelled.

“Oh dear, more misery for commuters,” said one Twitter user from London.

Thomas Mackintosh said the departure board at East Croydon “is littered with delayed and cancelled trains”.

Southern and Thameslink passengers are being advised to avoid using London Bridge station and use either Victoria or Blackfriars stations on Monday evening instead.

A spokesperson from Southern Rail said: “Southern services into and out of London Bridge are severely disrupted with many services diverted, starting/terminating short of their destinations or cancelled. These alterations will remain in place until the end of service today.”

London Overground confirmed that their services have been suspended between New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace and tickets are being accepted on London Underground Services.

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