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Rail commuters get upgraded to vintage train

Rail commuters were met with a surprise at Ashford International this morning Credit: ITV Meridian

Dozens of early morning rail commuters have been given a surprise journey into work.

A special vintage train called the Belmond British Pullman arrived at Ashford International to take passengers to Victoria. Some had booked the special trip but others were given the chance of a free ride with around fifty accepting the offer.

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Rail union campaigns to retain ticket offices

The public will be asked about the closure of ticket offices Credit: ITV

The rail union RMT says it will fight any plans to close ticket offices across routes served by Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express. There will be a formal public consultation, but the union believes there will be efforts to 'bulldoze' the proposals through.

RMT is launching a campaign of opposition to these plans and we will be working with the travelling public to stop them in their tracks. These plans, driven by the desire to de-staff our railways in the quest for profit, would unleash a wave of ticket office carnage across rail franchises.

– RMT

Trains crowded, but running on time after yesterday's disruption

The trains are busy, but running on time today Credit: Mike Pearse

As usual trains at Basingstoke are crowded, but at least they're on time. A typical example was the 0759 to Waterloo.

South West Trains issued an apology after a day of massive disruption yesterday hit many of the 500,000 people who use its services every day.

Passengers faced five-hour delays after a person was hit by a train, stopping all services into Waterloo.

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South West Trains apologises after rail disruption

The incident caused long delays to services Credit: Andy Bossom

South West Trains has issued an apology after a day of massive disruption yesterday hit many of the 500,000 people who use its services every day.

Passengers faced five-hour delays after a person was hit by a train, stopping all services into Waterloo.

A series of trespass incidents and train failures led to problems for most of the day.

The company says it worked hard to open the line as soon as possible but the incident was at 0730 - the busiest time of the day. The line was blocked for 90 minutes.

Services are currently running well.

Improved facilities for rail passengers from Reading

Major changes at Paddington Credit: Network Rail

Over the next 18 months Network Rail will be making significant changes to Paddington station to provide passengers with new and improved facilities and ultimately a better travelling experience. Large numbers of commuters travel there from Reading.

The Grade 1 listed structure is currently benefitting from a renovation of its roof and an upgrade to its lighting system above the platforms.

Now Network Rail is starting a major programme of work to significantly improve the appearance of the station as a whole and provide growing numbers of passengers – 61 million forecast for this year - with a wider range of places to eat, drink and shop.

MP calls for major changes on the railways

Caroline Lucas MP is supporting commuters Credit: Meridian

Passengers at Brighton railway station will be joined by a local MP on Monday. Caroline Lucas, Green Party MP for Brighton Pavilion, says Britain’s railways should be returned to public hands.

She is taking part in a rally to oppose rises in fares - and drawing attention to the second reading of her Railways Bill on 9 January.

Caroline’s Bill calls for Britain’s rail franchises to be brought back into public ownership as they either fail or their contracts expire.

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