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More misery for rail passengers after long weekend

Overrunning engineering works at London Waterloo meant fresh misery for passengers from the South returning to work after the long weekend.

On the day the station was due to re-open, around half of train services at our key commuter routes were cancelled due to a problem with the signalling system.

It meant more frustration for commuters who have had a month of severely reduced and slower services. Our Transport Correspondent, Mike Pearse reports.

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Major disruption at Waterloo as upgrade works overrun

According to South Western Railway there is expected to be major disruption at London Waterloo station until at least 12 midday after engineering works on a large-scale upgrade of the station overran.

Passengers are advised to check before travelling. In a statement issued by Network Rail earlier this morning, it was said that only early passenger trains would experience delays.

"The upgrades taking place at Waterloo station are some of the biggest and most complex engineering projects ever undertaken on the railway.

"We are entering the final stages of that programme and are preparing the railway and station for trains and passengers.

"During the process of testing the complex signalling, we identified an issue in this safety critical system, which we are working to resolve. This will take some time to fix and a small number of early passenger trains may be delayed as a result.

"We are working hard to minimise delays to passengers, but safety is our number one priority."

– Network Rail spokesperson, update at 4am

Emergency changes to rail timetable for Kent & Sussex

Passengers travelling on rail services from Kent and East Sussex to London have faced more disruption this morning after emergency changes to the timetable were made late last night.

All Southeastern trains that were due to run into Waterloo will now be diverted to Blackfriars because of fears engineering works might overrun at the station.

Services were to use the Waterloo International terminal while London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross are closed this week to allow for works on the Thameslink project.

"We're now unable to run services to Waterloo as planned on Tuesday due to the major upgrade works. We have been instructed by Network Rail to run these trains to and from Blackfriars instead. Our passengers' tickets will be accepted on specific Tube and London buses to ensure a smooth onward journey. We will also have more Southeastern employees at stations to help our passengers.

"We would like to remind everyone to check before they travel and follow us on twitter @SE_railway and check our website for the latest information."

– Ellie Burrows, Southeastern train services director

The affected stations are:

  • Dover Priory
  • Folkestone Central
  • Folkestone West
  • Sandling
  • Westenhanger
  • Ashford International
  • Pluckley
  • Headcorn
  • Staplehurst
  • Marden
  • Paddock Wood
  • Tonbridge
  • Sevenoaks
  • Ramsgate
  • Minster
  • Sturry
  • Canterbury West
  • Chartham
  • Chilham
  • Wye
  • Sandwich
  • Deal
  • Walmer
  • Martin Mill

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'Driverless' lorry trials on UK roads

Trials have been carried out in Europe and the USA Credit: RoadSafetyGB

The Department for Transport (DfT) and Highways England has commissioned TRL, the global centre of innovation in transport and mobility, to lead the first real-world operational trial of 'platooning' vehicles on UK roads.

The £8.1m trial will see TRL lead a consortium of partners including DAF Trucks, the UK market leader of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) sales; Ricardo, who worked with TRL to deliver the HGV platooning feasibility study for the DfT in 2014; and DHL.

TRL says that by applying experience gained in platooning projects in Europe and the USA, the project will collect information and independently evaluate heavy vehicle real-world operational conditions.

Trials will be tailored to the unique requirements of UK roads and will collate the evidence required to understand issues such as fuel efficiency and reduced emissions, safety, plus acceptance by drivers.

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