London to Brighton commuters in nine-hour train delay chaos

London to Brighton commuters in nine-hour train delay chaos

London to Brighton commuters in nine-hour train delay chaos

First published in News
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Commuters endured chaos on the tracks on Tuesday evening as a signal fire caused nine hours of disruption.

No trains left London Bridge station between 5pm and 7.30pm, leaving thousands stranded.

Services struggled to catch up for the rest of the night, with normal service finally resumed at 2am. Southern confirmed the problem had been caused by a fire in a relay box at London Bridge.

Sam Whiting, who lives in Hove but works in London, told The Argus it took him four hours to get home.

The 23-year-old insurance worker said: “I left work at 5.15pm and got to the station around 5.30pm. It was chaos. There were no trains going in or out of London Bridge at all.

“I waited around for about an hour and then decided to walk to Blackfriars. I did eventually get on a train but it was playing catch-up with all the others.

“People were obviously frustrated and there were no seats. Everyone was calling friends and family to say they would- n’t be home in time. I eventually got back around 9.30pm.

“With fares set to go up again I think the Government really needs to look at it. I would say for every ten journeys two are delayed.”

Disgrace Others took to Twitter to vent their frustration, with the Southern social media officer overrun with complaints.

Helen Trott, an operations manager from Brighton working in London, said: “I don’t want delay repay. I want a service I pay 5,000 a year for to operate on time. Southern/Network Rail, you are a disgrace.”

Matt Cheney, a sound engineer, said: “Absolute disgrace on top of the station closures that you haven’t got enough staff for the 19:23 to East Grinstead to leave.”

Although the fire was isolated to Lon- don Bridge, the impact was felt across the capital, with delays at Victoria and on the Underground network.

Southern apologised for the incident and confirmed services ran as normal yesterday.

A spokesman urged passengers affected by the problems to seek compensation through its Delay Repay scheme.

Anyone delayed by more than 30 minutes can apply, given that they have proof of travel and make contact within 28 days.

Passengers delayed by 30 to 59 minutes are entitled to a 50% refund of their ticket, with delays of more than an hour in line for a full refund.

Comments (23)

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9:16am Thu 28 Nov 13

her professional says...

Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.
Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute. her professional
  • Score: -3

9:42am Thu 28 Nov 13

The Prophet of Doom says...

Perhaps it was a "Terrorist attack" on the track network?

Did anyone "heroically" abandon their baggage and run for the hills?
Perhaps it was a "Terrorist attack" on the track network? Did anyone "heroically" abandon their baggage and run for the hills? The Prophet of Doom
  • Score: -12

9:42am Thu 28 Nov 13

Mr P Brown says...

No picture of the London to Brighton then?
No picture of the London to Brighton then? Mr P Brown
  • Score: 26

9:47am Thu 28 Nov 13

Telscombe Cliffy says...

Yes photo shows overhead lines down somewhere north of the Thames.
Yes photo shows overhead lines down somewhere north of the Thames. Telscombe Cliffy
  • Score: 21

9:48am Thu 28 Nov 13

Mr Baxter , London says...

Perhaps it was a deer on fire
Perhaps it was a deer on fire Mr Baxter , London
  • Score: 3

10:02am Thu 28 Nov 13

fredaj says...

Where on earth is that a photograph of?

London to Brighton is a third rail, DC system and that picture is of an AC system with overhead lines.
Where on earth is that a photograph of? London to Brighton is a third rail, DC system and that picture is of an AC system with overhead lines. fredaj
  • Score: 17

11:08am Thu 28 Nov 13

Grumpy Old Cyclist says...

More crap reporting. Probably find the reporter has never been on a London to Brighton train otherwise he might have used a relevant picture. And who was delayed for 9 hours? Don't expect a response from the Argus they will just change the article or delete my post.,
More crap reporting. Probably find the reporter has never been on a London to Brighton train otherwise he might have used a relevant picture. And who was delayed for 9 hours? Don't expect a response from the Argus they will just change the article or delete my post., Grumpy Old Cyclist
  • Score: 20

11:19am Thu 28 Nov 13

Grumpy Old Cyclist says...

A quick search shows picture is at Radlett which is between Watford and South Mimms just south of the northern section of the M25.
A quick search shows picture is at Radlett which is between Watford and South Mimms just south of the northern section of the M25. Grumpy Old Cyclist
  • Score: 15

11:23am Thu 28 Nov 13

Take it Personally says...

I heard about this, but just couldn't get any sense of what it must have been like for all those poor commuters, that is until I saw the photo (above) in the Argus. Now I get it, oh, what they must have suffered! Well done and thank you Argus, brilliant reporting and photo coverage as always.
I heard about this, but just couldn't get any sense of what it must have been like for all those poor commuters, that is until I saw the photo (above) in the Argus. Now I get it, oh, what they must have suffered! Well done and thank you Argus, brilliant reporting and photo coverage as always. Take it Personally
  • Score: 5

12:11pm Thu 28 Nov 13

Tailgaters Anonymous says...

Disappointed not to have had one of the expanded stock pictures, no doubt showing a Highlands & Islands Fire engine!
After all we could fail to recognise what a fire is!!
Disappointed not to have had one of the expanded stock pictures, no doubt showing a Highlands & Islands Fire engine! After all we could fail to recognise what a fire is!! Tailgaters Anonymous
  • Score: 6

12:20pm Thu 28 Nov 13

Tippy Toes says...

her professional wrote:
Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.
My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure!
[quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.[/p][/quote]My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure! Tippy Toes
  • Score: 0

12:39pm Thu 28 Nov 13

Fairfax Aches says...

That'll learn ye'.
Move, or get a normal job and do your families and the environment a favour.
That'll learn ye'. Move, or get a normal job and do your families and the environment a favour. Fairfax Aches
  • Score: -19

1:06pm Thu 28 Nov 13

fredaj says...

Tippy Toes wrote:
her professional wrote:
Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.
My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure!
What do you expect them to do, given the build up of passengers because of an incident?

Have a stand-by back up rail service ready to snap into place? Because that's going to cost a few hundred billion pounds more than the price of a fifty quid rail ticket.
[quote][p][bold]Tippy Toes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.[/p][/quote]My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure![/p][/quote]What do you expect them to do, given the build up of passengers because of an incident? Have a stand-by back up rail service ready to snap into place? Because that's going to cost a few hundred billion pounds more than the price of a fifty quid rail ticket. fredaj
  • Score: 3

1:06pm Thu 28 Nov 13

BrighterStar says...

her professional wrote:
Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.
Ha what jobs are they then? If it were just a matter of the fares then most people would probably do exactly that - travelling for 26 hours a week is not to be undertaken lightly. But Brighton is not a self supporting economy, an unregulated housing sector frankly means that it is almost impossible to afford to live here on the salaries available. I accept your comments about the work at London Bridge and the exaggeration in the article, but I am losing patience with the rail providers. Southern appear to have taken to cancelling trains mid- journey if they are running late. This means that if you claim for a delay they claim that the train ran - no doubt to avoid some KPI abatement themselves.
[quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.[/p][/quote]Ha what jobs are they then? If it were just a matter of the fares then most people would probably do exactly that - travelling for 26 hours a week is not to be undertaken lightly. But Brighton is not a self supporting economy, an unregulated housing sector frankly means that it is almost impossible to afford to live here on the salaries available. I accept your comments about the work at London Bridge and the exaggeration in the article, but I am losing patience with the rail providers. Southern appear to have taken to cancelling trains mid- journey if they are running late. This means that if you claim for a delay they claim that the train ran - no doubt to avoid some KPI abatement themselves. BrighterStar
  • Score: 8

1:27pm Thu 28 Nov 13

hoveguyactually says...

Nothing new here. Nearly every time I have been to London from Brighton in recent years, there are delays or cancellations on either the outgoing or return journey, or both. I hardly bother these days. It is a very expensive, uncomfortable and unreliable service, and an utter disgrace.

A fire in a relay box? This is the 21st century. Are there not regular checks made on all equipment, or do they just not bother much these days?
Nothing new here. Nearly every time I have been to London from Brighton in recent years, there are delays or cancellations on either the outgoing or return journey, or both. I hardly bother these days. It is a very expensive, uncomfortable and unreliable service, and an utter disgrace. A fire in a relay box? This is the 21st century. Are there not regular checks made on all equipment, or do they just not bother much these days? hoveguyactually
  • Score: -3

1:31pm Thu 28 Nov 13

Tippy Toes says...

fredaj wrote:
Tippy Toes wrote:
her professional wrote:
Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.
My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure!
What do you expect them to do, given the build up of passengers because of an incident?

Have a stand-by back up rail service ready to snap into place? Because that's going to cost a few hundred billion pounds more than the price of a fifty quid rail ticket.
I'm guessing that you have something to do with the rail network as you are so quick to defend them. This is just one of many incidents. Trains are often cancelled, over crowed etc, etc - there's always an excuse for you I guess!
[quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tippy Toes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.[/p][/quote]My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure![/p][/quote]What do you expect them to do, given the build up of passengers because of an incident? Have a stand-by back up rail service ready to snap into place? Because that's going to cost a few hundred billion pounds more than the price of a fifty quid rail ticket.[/p][/quote]I'm guessing that you have something to do with the rail network as you are so quick to defend them. This is just one of many incidents. Trains are often cancelled, over crowed etc, etc - there's always an excuse for you I guess! Tippy Toes
  • Score: 2

1:58pm Thu 28 Nov 13

BagelCat says...

Tippy Toes wrote:
fredaj wrote:
Tippy Toes wrote:
her professional wrote:
Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.
My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure!
What do you expect them to do, given the build up of passengers because of an incident?

Have a stand-by back up rail service ready to snap into place? Because that's going to cost a few hundred billion pounds more than the price of a fifty quid rail ticket.
I'm guessing that you have something to do with the rail network as you are so quick to defend them. This is just one of many incidents. Trains are often cancelled, over crowed etc, etc - there's always an excuse for you I guess!
Nah, It's probably some sweaty fat neckbearded internet warrior.
[quote][p][bold]Tippy Toes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]fredaj[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tippy Toes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.[/p][/quote]My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure![/p][/quote]What do you expect them to do, given the build up of passengers because of an incident? Have a stand-by back up rail service ready to snap into place? Because that's going to cost a few hundred billion pounds more than the price of a fifty quid rail ticket.[/p][/quote]I'm guessing that you have something to do with the rail network as you are so quick to defend them. This is just one of many incidents. Trains are often cancelled, over crowed etc, etc - there's always an excuse for you I guess![/p][/quote]Nah, It's probably some sweaty fat neckbearded internet warrior. BagelCat
  • Score: 3

4:34pm Thu 28 Nov 13

her professional says...

Tippy Toes wrote:
her professional wrote:
Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.
My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure!
Of course that was crap service, hope you had a g & t ready and waiting, but my point was that the lines are already running to capacity therefore these incidents cause a disproportionate amount of disruption, and the money currently being invested will help to alleviate this in the future.
[quote][p][bold]Tippy Toes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.[/p][/quote]My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure![/p][/quote]Of course that was crap service, hope you had a g & t ready and waiting, but my point was that the lines are already running to capacity therefore these incidents cause a disproportionate amount of disruption, and the money currently being invested will help to alleviate this in the future. her professional
  • Score: 1

4:34pm Thu 28 Nov 13

her professional says...

Tippy Toes wrote:
her professional wrote:
Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.
My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure!
Of course that was crap service, hope you had a g & t ready and waiting, but my point was that the lines are already running to capacity therefore these incidents cause a disproportionate amount of disruption, and the money currently being invested will help to alleviate this in the future.
[quote][p][bold]Tippy Toes[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]her professional[/bold] wrote: Who was delayed for nine hours then? And what exactly should Southern have done - ignored Network Rail and run the trains regardless? Vast sums are currently being spent on London Bridge and Crossrail to produce extra capacity and avoid the crippling effects of incidents such as this. meanwhile, how about taking a £5000 pay cut and getting a job on the Coast, financially you would be evens, and no lengthy commute.[/p][/quote]My partner was only there for the day visiting a client and he didn't get home until 9pm. He said it was total chaos. When he finally managed to get to Victoria (instead of London Bridge) they were told they weren't letting anyone else in because of over crowding! It took him over 2 hours just to find a train to get him back to Hove. That's a pretty crap service, and he paid £50 for the pleasure![/p][/quote]Of course that was crap service, hope you had a g & t ready and waiting, but my point was that the lines are already running to capacity therefore these incidents cause a disproportionate amount of disruption, and the money currently being invested will help to alleviate this in the future. her professional
  • Score: 1

7:15pm Thu 28 Nov 13

Tel Scoomer says...

This was reported on Brighton and Hove News on Tuesday evening while London Bridge was still closed. Why has it taken two days to arrive on the Argus website?
This was reported on Brighton and Hove News on Tuesday evening while London Bridge was still closed. Why has it taken two days to arrive on the Argus website? Tel Scoomer
  • Score: 2

7:26pm Thu 28 Nov 13

PETE OF QUEENS PARK says...

Fairfax Aches wrote:
That'll learn ye'.
Move, or get a normal job and do your families and the environment a favour.
PRATT !!!!!!!!!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Fairfax Aches[/bold] wrote: That'll learn ye'. Move, or get a normal job and do your families and the environment a favour.[/p][/quote]PRATT !!!!!!!!!!!! PETE OF QUEENS PARK
  • Score: 0

12:54pm Sat 30 Nov 13

Get the Greens out of Brighton says...

Far have gone up by 50% over the last ten years and the service has got progressively worse and the trains are overcrowded and running to capacity. All this investment is all very well but we won't see any improvement until 2020.
Far have gone up by 50% over the last ten years and the service has got progressively worse and the trains are overcrowded and running to capacity. All this investment is all very well but we won't see any improvement until 2020. Get the Greens out of Brighton
  • Score: -1

12:55pm Sat 30 Nov 13

Get the Greens out of Brighton says...

Fares have gone up by 50% over the last ten years and the service has got progressively worse and the trains are overcrowded and running to capacity. All this investment is all very well but we won't see any improvement until 2020 at the earliest. It is another rip off just like the energy companies.
Fares have gone up by 50% over the last ten years and the service has got progressively worse and the trains are overcrowded and running to capacity. All this investment is all very well but we won't see any improvement until 2020 at the earliest. It is another rip off just like the energy companies. Get the Greens out of Brighton
  • Score: 1

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