Waterloo station travel - live updates: Train cancellations and delays caused by engineering works

Here are all the latest development on today’s cancellations

Helen Coffey
Friday 22 March 2019 17:03
Waterloo station in chaos as overrunning engineering works cause all trains to stop

Train chaos has hit London today as three key stations are suffering from severe disruption.

Commuters were advised to avoid Waterloo station this morning after overrunning engineering works led to the majority of trains being cancelled. Although London’s busiest transport hub has now reopened, disruption to South Western Railway services is expected to continue until at least 6pm, according to National Rail.

Meanwhile, earlier signalling problems at Milton Keynes Central disrupted Caledonian Sleeper, London Northwestern Railway (LNR), Southern and Virgin Trains services; trains didn't start running normally again until 4pm.

East Midlands services between Bedford and Kettering were suspended earlier after a person was hit by a train. Trains from Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield to London St Pancras have resumed, but delays of up to 60 minutes and cancellations are expected to continue throughout the afternoon and evening.

Follow all the latest travel updates below.


Hundreds of thousands of commuters' journeys into Waterloo station have been disrupted this morning. 

The vast majority of trains serving London Waterloo are electric. One diesel train did manage to arrive from Salisbury just after 7am this morning – with thousands of commuters squeezed on board. It departed for Exeter 10 minutes later.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We apologise to passengers for the disruption to services across the South Western network this morning owing to a possession overrun.

“Disruption, including severe delays and cancellations, will last until the afternoon.”

As trains and train crew are in the wrong locations for their planned operations, services are unlikely to be back to normal until the start of the afternoon rush.

helen.coffey22 March 2019 09:00

Rail chaos has now spread to the West Coast main line from London Euston to the West Midlands, northwest England and Scotland, according to The Independent's travel correspondent, Simon Calder.

Signalling problems at Milton Keynes Central have led to massive disruption. 

In the half-hour from 8.30am to 9am, Virgin Trains to Birmingham, Blackpool, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Manchester were cancelled.

helen.coffey22 March 2019 09:06

It's the second time in four months Waterloo has been brought to a standstill by overrunning engineering works.

One commuter, Silvia Mendes, demanded to know from Network Rail: “What will you be doing to ensure there’s no repeat of this?

“Overrunning engineering works’ seems to be a recurring theme.

“Quite frankly, when paying £400 a month, it really isn’t good enough.”

helen.coffey22 March 2019 09:13

Commuters have shared their frustration on the lack of communication from Network Rail and South Western Railway on social media.

"I get the chaos at Waterloo is not your fault but how about some decent communication?" tweeted Michael Kitchener. "You advertise a train leaving at 8:54 as on time.

"It’s 09:03 still sitting on the platform and not a single announcement from the driver!"

helen.coffey22 March 2019 09:20

South Western Railway has confirmed that tickets will also be accepted on certain Reading bus routes: 500 (Park & Ride) between Winnersh Triangle and Reading; 703 between Martins Heron and Reading; and X4 and 4 between Reading and Bracknell.

There are more engineering works planned this week, finishing on 24 March.

helen.coffey22 March 2019 09:36

Major disruption between Milton Keynes Central and London Euston is expected to last until 1pm today, according to National Rail.

Caledonian Sleeper, London Northwestern Railway (LNR), Southern and Virgin Trains services are affected.

Fewer trains than normal are currently able to run through Milton Keynes Central, resulting in some services being cancelled or revised. Journey times could be 90 minutes longer than scheduled.

LNR trains that start from or terminate at Milton Keynes will instead start/terminate at Bletchley.

Southern services that start from or terminate at Milton Keynes Central will instead start/terminate at Shepherds Bush. Watford Junction services will run as normal, subject to delays.

No Virgin Trains services are currently departing London Euston. Where possible, trains will start/terminate at Birmingham New Street, Milton Keynes Central, Rugby or Milton Keynes Central. Some services will be held until the line reopens.

Tickets for all operators can be used on a variety of other services - click here for more information.

helen.coffey22 March 2019 09:46

All lines have reopened to and from London Waterloo following overrunning engineering work earlier this morning.

Trains are now able to run to and from London Waterloo, but during the closure, trains were unable to leave a number of depots and get to where they needed to be.

This has had a knock-on effect, and journeys could take up to 60 minutes longer than advertised as a result.

Some trains will also be cancelled or revised at short notice.

A normal service is expected to resume from 2pm, according to National Rail.

helen.coffey22 March 2019 09:50

Sensors on the track, which measure a train’s speed and location, have been damaged near Milton Keynes. Without the data the sensors provide, signallers cannot run trains safely on the network.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “We are really sorry to train passengers impacted today by a track fault near Milton Keynes. Our engineers are working to fix the problem as soon as possible. Passengers are advised to check National Rail Enquiries or with their train operators for the very latest travel information.” 

helen.coffey22 March 2019 10:06

More train chaos ensues, this time at London St Pancras.

No trains are running on the East Midlands line between Bedford and Kettering, according to travel correspondent Simon Calder, meaning services from Leicester, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield to London St Pancras are suspended. 

National Rail said: “A person has been hit by a train between Kettering and Bedford, resulting in all lines being blocked. There is no firm estimate as to when lines will reopen, however, we anticipate trains will remain disrupted until at least 2pm.

"Trains are currently unable to run between Kettering and Bedford. Some trains will also be cancelled throughout or start from/terminate at alternative stations. Journey times may be extended by up to 90 minutes."

helen.coffey22 March 2019 10:11

National rail has revised its advice for Waterloo station, saying normal service is not expected to resume until 6pm (updated from 2pm).

In the meantime, travellers are advised that journey times could take an hour longer than usual.

helen.coffey22 March 2019 10:27

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