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Thousands affected by chaos on rail lines out of capital

Thousands of people crammed into stations across London yesterday, after wide-spread delays caused by high temperatures and technical problems.

Speed restrictions were put in place as rail bosses feared tracks could buckle in the heat.

Passengers packed onto the concourses at Waterloo and Paddington stations - some people's journey times more than doubled.

There were also long delays for South West Trains passengers because of signalling problems. James McVey, of the band The Vamps, and film critic Mark Kermode were among many tweeting their frustration.

Delays on Southern services also continued yesterday because of a sink hole under a rail track in Forest Hill. Services resumed this morning after test trains were run overnight to check it was safe.

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Hundreds of thousands of rail passengers in the South suffered a chaotic night of misery

Credit: NETWORK RAIL

Hundreds of thousands of rail passengers in the south suffered a chaotic night of misery last night following a series of signal failures, hot weather related problems and the massive sinkhole on the lines to London Bridge.

These were the main problems:

Great Western Railway Hour long delays out of Paddington because of speed restrictions due to overheating tracks due to the hot weather.

South West Trains 90 minute delays out of Waterloo to Southampton and Salisbury because of a major signal problem at Basingstoke closing two of the four main platforms.

Southern The massive sinkhole on the lines to London Bridge caused major overcrowding once again to services to Surrey, Kent and Sussex. Many services were cancelled.

Brighton Signal problems caused massive delays with the station closed to prevent dangerous crowding.

Gatwick Massive disruption to services following signal problems.

MP's are demanding an urgent meeting with the new Transport Secretary Chris Grayling MP to demand urgent action. Brighton MP Caroline Lucas said the disruption was unacceptable and urgent measures must be taken.

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Thousands enjoy one of region's hottest ever July days

Temperatures soared across the Thames Valley today with the mercury peaking at 33 degrees celcius at Heathrow and at Brize Norton.

While many enjoyed soaking up the sunshine, the Met Office issued a level three 'Heat Health Alert' for the region, warning the heat can also bring danger.

One woman was criticised for sunbathing on the M3 as drivers were stuck in a three-hour traffic jam in the sweltering heat.

Elsewhere, St John Ambulance was giving first-aid advice to members of the public and at The Clockhouse social day centre in Milford, Surrey, manager Kirsty Bruton was taking extra care to ensure elderly members who are more at risk of heat-related illnesses, were kept cool.

Emma Wilkinson reports on one of the hottest July days on record:

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