London Victoria delays continue into Friday morning

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Media captionCommuters face massive disruption due to signal failure

Commuters travelling to London have been warned to expect rail delays and train cancellations for a second day.

Tens of thousands of passengers faced “nightmare” overcrowding and long delays on Thursday due to a signalling fault in Streatham, south London.

While some lines have reopened, those planning to use Gatwick Express and Southern services have been advised not to travel via London Victoria.

National Rail said disruption would last until at least 10:00 BST.

Thameslink services through Streatham are also set to be affected, it said.

The company recommended against “non-essential” travel and urged passengers to use alternative train and bus providers where possible.

It also advised them to set off “as early as possible”, warning that delays of up to 60 minutes, service alterations and cancellations could be expected.

Both National Rail and Southern have set up dedicated information pages for passengers.

While the signalling system, which went down after a power supply failed on Wednesday night, was “back in correct working order”, National Rail said, there would be a knock-on effect on Friday morning.

Train carriages were expected “to not be in the correct places”, it said, and matters had been “complicated” by the displacement of crew members.

Alternative travel

Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express tickets are valid for travel on the following services via any reasonable route:

  • Across other Southern and Thameslink trains
  • South Western Railway between Portsmouth, Southampton, Dorking and London Waterloo
  • Southeastern between Hastings, Ashford International and London Charing Cross / London Cannon Street
  • Tramlink between Wimbledon, Croydon and Beckenham Junction
  • London Underground on all reasonable routes
  • London Overground between Clapham Junction and Watford Junction, and also to and from West Croydon
  • London Northwestern Railway
  • London Buses via any reasonable route
  • Great Western Railway via any reasonable route.
  • Metrobus between Gatwick Airport, Leatherhead, Dorking, Epsom, Redhill and Reigate on routes 21, 93, 100, 270, 281, 291, 400 & 460
  • Brighton and Hove Buses on all routes, including between Brighton and Shoreham by Sea, between Brighton and Lewes, between Brighton and Seaford / Eastbourne and also between Lewes, Uckfield and Tunbridge Wells – routes 28 & 29
  • Southdown Buses between Oxted and East Grinstead via Edenbridge Town on routes 236 & 410
  • Compass Buses between Lewes, Uckfield, Crowborough and Tunbridge Wells on routes 228 & 229
  • Stagecoach Bus on route 700 between Brighton and Portsmouth

Source: National Rail

On Thursday, commuters complained of being “sardined” into overcrowded trains, while others missed flights from Gatwick.

The airport has told customers due to fly on Friday to leave extra time for their journey to the terminal.

John Halsall, managing director of Network Rail’s South East route, “sincerely apologised” for Thursday’s chaos and said the company had failed in its job to provide “a reliable railway for train operators and the travelling public”.

Victoria is the second busiest station in Great Britain.

About 210,000 passengers use the station a day, according to average figures collected for the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) in 2016-17.

The disruptions come as Govia Thameslink Railway, (GTR), which operates Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink, is set to launch a special compensation scheme for people severely affected by a chaotic timetable change in May.

Image copyright
Jessica Edwards/PA Wire

Image caption

Rail firms warned trains that were running would be overcrowded

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