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Rail chaos expected over Christmas

Hundreds of thousands of rail passengers using South West Trains face massive disruption over the Christmas and New Year holidays.

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Train delays and diversions caused by Botley landslip

Damage to the track at Botley
A landslip has damaged the line at Botley in Hampshire Credit: ITV News

Trains have been diverted - and there's longer journeys this morning - after a landslip in Hampshire.

South West Trains have said the London Waterloo to Portsmouth line - via Eastleigh - has been affected. Trains will not call at Botley or Hedge End in either direction.

Journey times will increase by 30 minutes. The line could be blocked for several weeks.

London bound services will also not call at Farnborough Main, Woking or Clapham Junction to minimise the impact of the diversions and delays on the rest of the service.

Portsmouth bound trains will call additionally at Southampton Airport Parkway.

Southampton to Portsmouth trains will run on their normal route.

Rail replacement buses will operate hourly in both directions between Fareham and Southampton Airport Parkway calling at Botley and Hedge End.

Additional buses will operate at peak hours (06:00 to 09:00 & 16:00 to 20:00) between Hedge End and Southampton Airport Parkway only. This will provide buses at a 15 minute frequency.

A spokesman for South West Trains said: "The line will remain blocked for some time. We will be assessing how the train and bus services perform up to Wednesday and may make further revisions to the services going forward. A plan for Thursday and beyond will be published as soon as possible."

First Great Western and Southern services may also be affected. Visit the following websites for more information:

www.journeycheck.com/firstgreatwestern

www.southernrailway.com/live-running-information

Rail services disrupted after landslip

R13eb0cy_normal

1/2 #Fareham #Eastleigh - Due to a landslide caused by flooding between Eastleigh & Fareham all lines between these stations are blocked

R13eb0cy_normal

2/2 ..Portsmouth services (via Eastleigh) will be diverted, local disruption is expected until 04.02.14. Details: http://t.co/i4hNGNEsvQ

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South West trains to get 'smart card tickets'

The government have today announced it is giving South West Trains millions of pounds to expand smart card technology at ticket gates.

Passengers at all stations will be able to use plastic, credit card sized tickets instead of paper ones.

The tickets are stored on the card where passengers touch in and touch out of the station.

It is part of a £45 million scheme in the south to improve the buying and use of tickets.

The Department of Transport say passengers will benefit immediately with the smart card tickets because:

  • they trigger automatic ticket gates more quickly and reliably
  • it will be easier to buy tickets online and collect them at stations
  • they will help to shorten queues at ticket offices
  • they are much more durable than paper tickets and do not wear out as quickly

South West Trains ask passengers not to travel today

South West Trains say speed restrictions and cancelled services will affect passengers all day Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA Archive/Press Association Images

South West Trains have asked passengers not to travel today - in an update on their website issued this morning. They say they will be operating a significantly reduced timetable all day.

The statement continues: "It is highly unlikely that trains will run before 0900 at the earliest and in some cases this could be considerably later. We have been running test trains this morning across our network and many have encountered fallen trees and debris on the line."

High winds mean they can only run trains at a maximum speed of 50mph, this is a safety measure in case of obstructions on the tracks. This will result in significant delays and in some cases these may take up to twice the normal time.

Maintenance teams are checking high-risk sites to carry out work to reduce the impact from flooding and fallen trees. South West Trains say extra staff are also being deployed at key locations across the network . Test trains will run during the morning to check routes are safe to operate.

The rail operator says the alterations to services are designed to maintain safety across the network, give passengers greater certainty on what trains will be running, and help avoid knock-on disruption.

South West Trains delay

There's disruption on South West Trains between London Waterloo and Southampton Central, and between London Waterloo and Salisbury after a person was hit by a train at Basingstoke.

The line is currently blocked and there's no estimate for when the line may reopen.

The incident is also affecting CrossCountry and First Great Western trains.

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