Full apology from South West Trains after long rail delays

South West Trains have issued a full apology after long delays because of a track defect in Hampshire.

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Hundreds of passengers stuck on sweltering carriages

South West Trains has issued a full apology after hundreds of passengers were stuck on sweltering carriages - with thousands of others delayed for hours.

A track defect near Micheldever in Hampshire saw hundreds of commuters trapped on a train for almost three hours in what many described as "appalling" conditions. Other Southampton-bound trains were then terminated at Basingstoke and replaced with buses.

Passengers are being warned of disruption on the railways over the coming days because of the hot weather. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse reports.

Full apology from South West Trains after Thursday's disruption

Normal service was resumed early on Friday morning Credit: ITV

I am very sorry for the disruption that some of you faced whilst travelling on part of our network yesterday. Due to a signalling problem and additional urgent repairs to the track between Basingstoke and Micheldever the Southampton bound line was blocked. This meant that services in that area were disrupted throughout the day.

We received reports at 04:10, Thursday 16 June that there was an issue with the signalling equipment at Micheldever. Engineers attended the site in order to investigate the fault and to make repairs. Repairs were made. However, these were unsuccessful and engineers continued to work hard to rectify the fault.

Following investigations into the original fault, it was discovered that a joint of the conductor rail between Basingstoke and Winchester was faulty. An interim repair was undertaken and the line was reopened. Subsequently, the passage of trains caused further deterioration and led to trains being unable to run over the line in the Winchester bound direction to allow engineers to gain access and fix the faults.

Due to the amount of trains which run between Basingstoke and Micheldever during the evening peak and the amount of time the line was blocked, this led to a large amount of congestion, with some services delayed by up to 60 minutes. The fault was rectified at 02:40, Friday 16 June.

In order to prevent delays continuing to build and affecting additional passengers, we altered a number of services, with services from London Waterloo to Southampton Central, Portsmouth Harbour and Weymouth diverting via Guildford and Havant. Services were able to run normally from Southampton to Basingstoke, but were subject to alterations as trains were delayed and disrupted.

To help you complete your journey, we arranged for replacement buses to run until 21:00 and for tickets to be accepted on alternative services run by Southern, Great Western Railway and CrossCountry trains.

I fully appreciate how frustrating it is when your train service doesn’t run as planned and we are extremely grateful for your patience and support during yesterday’s disruption. We are sorry for any difficulties you may have experienced.

South West Trains

– Christian Neill, South West Trains

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Track defect causing major disruption for rail passengers

Credit: PA

There is chaos for rail commuters this evening due to track defect near Micheldever.

Some South West Trains services have had to be diverted, others cancelled with replacement buses laid on for passengers.

The company warning passengers of "major disruption" with delays of up to an hour on some routes.

Southampton bound lines - from Micheldever - remain blocked.

Stranded passengers waiting for replacement buses at Basingstoke Station Credit: Marcus Adams
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