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Travellers urged to change plans during rail chaos

Commuters stranded at Reading Station Photo: @beatsofdrums

Commuters using rail services across Berkshire are facing major disruption in and out of London.

Travellers from Reading train station are affected.

Currently, trains are unable to run between London Paddington and Slough / Heathrow Airport.

Yesterday evening the overhead electric wires near Ealing Broadway were severely damaged. As a result of this, trains are unable to run to and from London Paddington.

Network Rail are working to recover all the stranded trains and to rectify the damage to the overhead electric wires. It's expect to reopen two of the four lines from midday. However trains will remain disrupted until the end of the day.

The main routes affected include:

  • Great Western Railway services to and from London Paddington
  • Heathrow Express between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport Terminal 5
  • TfL Rail between London Paddington and Hayes & Harlington / Heathrow Airport Terminals
Map of affected area Credit: Network Rail

Commuters have spoken to ITV Meridian about their experiences of the morning chaos.

Transport for London (TfL) has released an alternative route for those trying to get from Paddington to Heathrow Airport...

Alternative route from Paddington to Heathrow Airport Credit: TfL

There will be no trains between London Paddington and Reading until at least midday today following overhead wire damage caused by test train being operated by Hitachi in the Ealing area last night. The train was not in passenger service.

There will be no London commuter services and a reduced long-distance service timetable with trains starting from and terminating at Reading.

We strongly advise customers to only travel if necessary in the Thames Valley area, and to check carefully before traveling elsewhere as long distance journeys are likely to be affected. Tickets for GWR services today will also be valid for tomorrow, should customers choose to postpone their journey.

Customers should travel from London Waterloo or London Marylebone instead, with tickets are being accepted on South Western Railway, Chiltern Railways, Virgin Trains, West Midlands Railway and Transport for Wales.

– Spokesperson from GWR

The following advisories have been issued:

Great Western Railway

Most trains will start / terminate at Reading, with a reduced train service operating between Reading and Slough.

Customers are advised not to travel between London Paddington and Slough until the lines reopen.

If you are travelling to London from beyond Reading please do not go to London Paddington but instead travel straight to either London Waterloo, London Marylebone or London Euston.

Services will be amended as follows:

London Paddington - Didcot Parkway A local stopping train service will operate between Slough / Reading and Didcot Parkway.

You may use South Western Railway between London Waterloo and Windsor/ Reading and Chiltern Railways between London Marylebone, Oxford and Banbury.

West Ealing - Greenford The train service is suspended between West Ealing and Greenford, please travel on London Underground services and London Buses.

London Paddington - Bedwyn The train service will operate between Reading and Bedwyn only.

You may use South Western Railway between London Waterloo and Windsor/ Reading.

London Paddington - Bristol Temple Meads An hourly train service will operate between Reading and Bristol Temple Meads in each direction.

London Paddington - SwanseaAn hourly train service will operate between Reading and Swansea. You may use Transport for Wales between Cheltenham Spa and Cardiff Central and between Newport (South Wales) and Swansea.

London Paddington - Exeter / Plymouth / Penzance (West of England) An hourly train service will operate between Reading and the West of England in each direction.

You may use CrossCountry between Cheltenham Spa, Bristol Temple Meads, Exeter, Plymouth and Penzance and South Western Railway between Exeter St Davids, Basingstoke and London Waterloo.

London Paddington - Cheltenham SpaThe through train service is suspended between London Paddington and Cheltenham Spa, please travel on alternative services to Swindon and change there for connections. A local stopping train service is operating between Swindon and Cheltenham Spa, but this will be busier than normal.

You may use CrossCountry between Bristol Temple Meads and Cheltenham Spa, if you are travelling to or from Cheltenham Spa you can change at Bristol Parkway for connecting train services.

London Paddington - Worcester / Great Malvern / HerefordA reduced train service will operate from Hereford, Great Malvern and Worcester to Oxford and Reading in the morning.

A limited train service will operate from Oxford to Worcester in the afternoon.

You may use your ticket on:

Virgin Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street.West Midlands Railway between Birmingham New Street, Worcester, Great Malvern and Hereford.CrossCountry between Basingstoke and Birmingham New Street.

Great Western Railway customers may use the following services:

  • London Underground between London Paddington and London Marylebone, London Euston and London Waterloo
  • London Buses between London and SloughSouth Western Railway between London Waterloo and Reading
  • Chiltern Railways between London Marylebone and Oxford/Banbury
  • West Midlands Railway between Birmingham New Street and Great Malvern via Worcester.
  • Virgin Trains between London Euston and Birmingham New Street
  • CrossCountry between Cheltenham Spa and Penzance and also between Basingstoke and Birmingham New Street
  • Transport for Wales between Cheltenham Spa and Cardiff Central and between Newport (South Wales) and Cheltenham Spa

TfL Rail TfL Rail services are suspended until at least 14:00. Rail replacement buses are operating between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport.

Customers may use London Underground and London Buses. Alternative travel advice for your specific station can be found here.

Heathrow Express customers may use London Underground between London Paddington and Heathrow Airport.