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Christmas getaway affected by rail disruptions between Paddington, Heathrow

Written on:December 21, 2023
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Paddington Station rail disruption caused by signal failure to last until 3pm today

Christmas getaway became chaotic today as worse weather coupled with rail signal failures caused travel disruptions which resulted in millions of travellers getting stranded in London. Fire disrupted services between Paddington to Heathrow Airport as torrential rain caused short circuit in a transformer at Airport Junction, which led to the eruption of an electrical fire that destroyed key signalling equipment.

Another fire broke out simultaneously at Acton, which also destroyed signalling apparatus. These signals were repaired by 8.30 am, but comprehensive testing, for safety reasons, of the signal system, delayed trains, with National Rail unable to confirm when a normal transport service would resume.

Southeastern services on the busy Hastings to Charing Cross line were delayed by up to 40 minutes due to another signal failure between Stonegate and Wadhurst. This added up to 40 minutes to journeys. Due to a a major signalling systems failure, there was no early service at all on the Tube Jubilee line, which is used by more than 650,000 passengers a day.

Rail authorities cautioned that the Paddington rail disruption was expected to last until 3pm. There are delays of up to an hour with trains forced to a crawl because of the signalling failure near Hayes and Harlington. This affected all service in and out of Paddington Station including First Great Western (FGW) Heathrow Connect and the Heathrow Express.

Another signal failure also caused delays for services from Brighton into Victoria and London Bridge. This was due to a signal failure at Preston Park, just outside Brighton, affecting both Southern Railway and First Capital Connect (FCC) services. Buses replaced trains between Brighton and Haywards Heath adding over an hour and a half to journeys into London.

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