Swan halts Elizabeth Line trains as passenger criticises 'shambles'

Elizabeth Line Swan
The line opened over budget in May 2022 Credit: PA

Services on a major section of London’s £19 billion Elizabeth line were suspended because of a swan. Passengers on board trains reported being told the bird was blocking part of the route. Transport for London’s website stated there are no services between Heathrow Airport in west London and Abbey Wood in south-east London – via the centre of the capital – due to “an obstruction on the track”. It added that there are “severe delays” on the rest of the line. National Rail Enquiries said there are “animals on the railway”.

A TfL spokesperson said: “We apologise to customers whose journeys have been delayed or cancelled due to a swan which caused an obstruction on the Elizabeth line.

“We are working with Network Rail to recover the service as quickly as possible.”

The incident was first reported at 12.56pm on Thursday. The line remained closed more than two hours later.

Passengers reported being held on trains – which do not have toilets – for up to hour due to a swan on the tracks at Paddington.

One Twitter user wrote: “I have been trapped on the Elizabeth line for an hour because of a swan on the line.” Another posted: “You are an absolute shambles @TfL. I cannot believe you closed the entire Elizabeth line for a swan on the tracks. “Has nobody been on the shooing course. How hard is it to move a swan?” The Elizabeth line stretches from Reading in Berkshire and Heathrow Airport to Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood. It opened in May 2022 at an estimated cost of £18.9 billion.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…