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Thousands of passengers affected by rail disruption

Tens of thousands of passengers in the Thames Valley have been hit with major disruption after services were cancelled to and from Paddington.

The problems were caused by an empty train derailing at the London station yesterday. The incident meant that two Heathrow Express trains were stuck outside Paddington - blocking the main lines into the station. Thousands of passengers were left stranded or seriously delayed.

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Southern services disrupted by sickness

More conductors are reporting sick Credit: ITV

Rail services at Southern are disrupted for a second successive day – this time due to staff reporting sick.

Southern reported delays and cancellations across all 10 route areas including the Brighton mainline, Gatwick Express and Sussex Coast.

A spokesman reported: “Southern services are continuing to be affected by a high level of conductor sickness.”

In a bid to reduce the recent problems guards must now have a sick note from a GP every day they are off work, and are not allowed to self-certificate.

Staff reporting sick follows a 24-hour strike yesterday by RMT union train conductors in a long running dispute which includes changes to their role, the introduction of more driver-only operated trains and the closure of some ticket offices.

InterCity 125 40th anniversary

Celebrations have been held to mark the 40th anniversary of the High Speed Train. The trains were first introduced on the lines between Paddington, Reading, Newbury and Bristol.

When they were introduced they brought a new generation of faster travel all over the country.

The event was organised by Great Western Railway and attended by locomotives from all over the country.

And enthusiasts certainly didn't want to miss the event with 5,000 attending. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse joined them.

He spoke to Great Western Railway spokesman Dan Panes, Sir Kenneth Grange who designed the train and Andy Mellors, Great Western Railway Engineering Director.

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Should you be claiming rail refunds?

Most passengers don't claim compensation Credit: ITV

The process for claiming rail refunds must be made 'more passenger-friendly', according to the rail regulator. New figures show 80 percent of passengers don't claim compensation they are entitled to. The Office of Rail and Road said operators needed to make the claims process easier for passengers by making people aware of their rights.

South West Trains boss says railways are a success - but admits trouble with overcrowding

The boss of South West Trains says rail privatisation has been a success but admits some trains are too overcrowded.

Tim Shoveller, the company's Managing Director, hit back at critics who say handing over the rails to the private sector - 20 years ago - was a disaster.

Mr Shoveller started his career as a guard at Guildford 25 years ago.

He says passenger numbers have doubled to over 600,000 a day and SWT is now by far the busiest commuter railway in Europe. He says there has been record investment.

But he admits trains are overcrowded at busy times and measures are needed to urgently reduce the problem. He spoke exclusively to our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse

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