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South Western Railway "very sorry" after commuters left stranded

South Western Railway "very sorry" after commuters left stranded

Published by Carol Musgrave at 1:06pm 26th June 2018. (Updated at 1:35pm 26th June 2018)

Amid warnings of disruption to services during the heatwave, South Western Railway has issued an apology after chaos across the network yesterday.

Commuters were left stranded - some for several hours - during the evening rush hour as services were cancelled or revised.

Now, South Western Railway's MD Andy Mellors says it is "very sorry" - and has blamed the high temperatures, as well as "a number of challenging incidents."

Mr Mellors, along with Becky Lumlock, Network Rail Wessex MD, said rail temperatures reached up to 50 celsius - leading to Network Rail imposing speed restrictions "to keep passengers safe."

They also said there were "a number of infrastructure issues linked to the warm weather, including points failures and level crossing problems."

Other incidents included a person struck by a train between Basingstoke and Eastleigh, which closed the mainline, a trespasser on the line at Wandsworth Town and a vehicle striking a railway bridge at Clapham.

They said commuters were able to use their tickets on services run by other train companies in the South, as well as on the London Underground, and local buses in the London area.

And they said "despite the best efforts of Network Rail and the emergency services these incidents combined to cause severe disruption to services into and out of Waterloo, making the journey home very difficult for many of you. For this we are very sorry."

Meanwhile, Network Rail has warned that the heatwave could disrupt services all week -with trains having to travel more slowly.

It says the rails could buckle in the heat.

It has put speed restrictions in place on some routes from 11am each day until Friday.

South Western Railway says rail temperatures are expected to reach 47 degrees celsius in many locations.

It is particularly affecting lines between Waterloo and New Malden - heading away from London.

The speed restrictions vary between 20mph and 40mph , meaning journies losing up to 10 minutes before reaching New Malden station. Trains may also be held at signals for longer. 

Passengers can claim if their journey was delayed by 15 minutes or more.



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