Tens of thousands of commuters using Britain’s second-busiest railway station have faced severe disruption after another delay involving a derailment.
A Network Rail engineering train being used overnight at London Victoria left the rails at 3am, blocking five of the most heavily used platforms at the terminus: platforms 9 to 13.
In addition, the normal slow line between Victoria and Clapham Junction – Britain’s busiest interchange – is closed.
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The shutdown caused havoc in the morning rush hour, and disruption is expected until the end of the day.
Close to a quarter-million travellers use the terminus on a typical working day – including thousands of passengers heading to or from Gatwick airport.
The Gatwick Express has stopped running, and many services operated by Southern have been cancelled or heavily delayed.
Almost all services calling at the Sussex airport have been suspended.
Even when the train is re-railed and removed, repairs to track damage will be required.
National Rail said: “There will be a severely reduced and disrupted service to and from London Victoria.
“Train services running to and from this station may be cancelled, delayed or diverted via London Bridge.
“Passengers requiring London are advised to travel to London Bridge or London Blackfriars as an alternative to London Victoria.
“Expect some delays to services travelling towards London Bridge/London Blackfriars as these services will be used to call additionally at certain stations to ease service gaps.”
Passengers using four stations – Epsom Downs, Banstead, Belmont and Battersea Park – have been told to use bus services instead as no trains will call.
Ticket acceptance has been negotiated so that passengers with Southern and Gatwick Express tickets can use Thameslink services via London Bridge and Blackfriars.
Commuters who managed to reach London faced additional problems, with the closure of the Northern Line at the height of the rush hour due to a signal failure. After the morning peak, the Charing Cross branch re-opened.
London Underground said: “No service between Camden Town and Kennington southbound via Bank. Minor delays on the rest of the line while we fix a signal failure at Kennington.”
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