Kent commuters face rail headaches as sunshine, signalling problems and a sick passenger plays havoc with rush hour services
PUBLISHED: 10:49 25 January 2016 | UPDATED: 10:49 25 January 2016
Revised timetable in place for services to Tunbridge Wells after problems from the weekend
Strong sunlight, signalling problems and an ill passenger caused disruption on a busy commuter rail network today.
Commuters using Southeastern services were told the bright conditions were delaying their journeys.
The company, which operates services across Kent, suffered hold-ups on its network earlier this month because the angle of the sun meant some drivers could not see the full length of their trains in their mirrors before leaving stations.
Passengers expressed their anger over the latest sun-related disruption, which occurred at Herne Hill, south London - and delayed Kent commuters reaching the capital.
Anna Roberts, 31, of Penge, said: “The train stopped for ages in Herne Hill and everyone looked annoyed.
“Then the driver said there was ‘sunlight on the monitor’ so the train couldn’t proceed.
“The train probably stopped for about 15 minutes. I’m used to there being rail delays, but this seems ridiculous.”
Another travellers, Ed Wiseman, 26, of Greenwich, commented: “We were told the train was being held up because of strong sunlight.
“These conditions happen regularly, so I don’t know why they haven’t done something to stop the delays.”
A number of services were cancelled due to signalling problems between Tunbridge Wells and High Brooms, leading to a backlog of trains waiting to enter London Bridge station.
Network Rail (NR), which maintains Britain’s rail infrastructure, said the issue was caused by damage to the track and power supply on Sunday afternoon.
Engineers worked overnight to make repairs, but only one of the two tracks was in use during the morning rush hour.
An NR spokesman said: “We apologise to passengers for the changes to train times and we are doing everything we can to repair the problem.
“Trains will still be able to run to and from Tunbridge Wells all day on Monday, but there will be an amended timetable.
“We expect services to return to normal on Tuesday.”
The cause of the damage is “still under investigation”, the spokesman added.
Meanwhile, a passenger was taken ill at London Bridge - leading to further cancellations.