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London to Brighton commuters in nine-hour train delay chaos
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.
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