Waterloo delays: 100,000 commuters face travel chaos as signal failure cancels all services into busy station

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More than 100,000 mainline South West Trains commuters suffered travel chaos today as a major signal breakdown halted services to and from Waterloo mainline station during the morning peak.

Commuters were advised not to travel to Waterloo and to try and use other routes.

Passengers were also warned that services on some routes to and from Waterloo tomorrow could also be disrupted because of an on-going track fault.

Disruption today comes just a week before half of Waterloo – the UK’s busiest station – shuts down for August to enable multi-million pound improvement work to take place.

Hundreds of SWT services were cancelled during the morning peak or diverted after Network Rail confirmed it had lost all signalling in the Earlsfield area – serving the capital’s busiest routes.

When trains started running again there were delays of two hours of more to many services with stations so crowded that when trains did arrive commuters could not get on.

Many stations brought in a queuing system.

Problems were exacerbated for thousands more who tried to change onto London Underground at Wimbledon only to find the District was suspended to Earl’s Court due to an unrelated signal failure.

There was also disruption on the Circle and Hammersmith & City lines.

Just after 6am SWT told commuters: “Our control room has confirmed that we have lost all signalling in the Earlsfield area and we are not able to run trains into Waterloo.”

With trains and stock out of place disruption is lasting all day and for journeys home this evening. 

In a separate incident NR engineers working yesterday on the Waterloo bound tracks in the Byfleet & New Haw area found a fault affecting a set of points.

An emergency reduced service is operating in the area all today with trains cancelled and delayed.

Engineers will continue working on the track points tonight but warned that if work cannot be completed in time services tomorrow will also be disrupted.

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