MULTIPLE signal failures caused severe delays to trains between Brighton and London yesterday.

Passengers spoke of standing in hot, crowded carriages and journeys which took hours longer than normal.

Andy Dobson, who commutes from his home in Preston Park to London for work, said: “There were multiple alleged signal failures around Haywards Heath, resulting in a one hour and 45 minute commute from London to Brighton taking just shy of four hours.

“It took around an hour and a half to get from Haywards Heath to Brighton, and we were standing all the way.

“Literally thousands of people were dehydrated, hot and extremely angry.

“Some were in tears.

“I didn’t commute to work today because I couldn’t face getting on the train. My employer understands but patience is wearing thin.

“But a fellow commuter told me that there was a signal fault again this morning between Preston Park and Hassocks early on and some peak time commuter trains cancelled again.

“You would think after last night they would be working all night to make sure the issue was sorted out.

“This is meant to be a transformed service, but it is worse than Third World.”

“Since they screwed the timetable up and decimates the service, the train from London is usually full by the time you get to St. Pancras, but this situation is ridiculous and people are beyond angry now.”

One passenger returning to Brighton from London on the 6pm Gatwick Express said the journey, which normally takes about an hour, took over two-and-a-half hours.

He said the train must have stopped at least 20 times during the journey, when normally it only stops at Gatwick.

At one point an employee who was trying to keep passengers informed over the loudspeaker system allegedly said: “Oh I give up.”

The passenger said: “He sounded as frustrated as anyone else.”

Chris Denham, a spokesman for Network Rail, said: “We are really sorry for the disruption that passengers suffered on Brighton main line last night.

“We had engineers onsite working to fix a wiring fault, which led to five signals failing, within five minutes of it occurring.

“Unfortunately, it proved to be a very difficult issue to fix and in fact we were unable to get everything working again until 5.30 this morning.

“Our teams were working overnight through the whole night to find the problem and fix it.”

Rob Hammond, who lives in Hove, tweeted Network Rail: “So it’s now 00:56 and I’m still stuck on a train travelling to Brighton when I should be home asleep because of your inefficiency in maintaining the points and signals. Will you have to work again after four hours sleep?”

Commuter Chris Simpson said that at one point, only one barrier was open between the concourse and the platforms, causing a crush as people tried to push through to get to their trains.

He said: “It could have been really dangerous. I think they were doing it as they felt that there were too many people already on the platforms, but it just created another problem.

“People couldn’t move and someone could have been really hurt.

“It caused a lot of frustration as well because people were being prevented from getting to their trains.

“One man was shouting and swearing because he could see his train leaving.

Mr Simpson said that they eventually opened all barriers, letting commuters through to their trains.