Severe disruption to rail services due to major signalling fault across Southern network

southern railway train
There is a reduced service between Three Bridges and Brighton and between Brighton and Chichester. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Rail services across the Southern network have been severely disrupted this morning (26 February) due to a major signalling fault.

The train company says it's affected all lines between London and the South Coast and meant that no service would be able to run.

Signalling has been restored on most lines but some are still affected and Network Rail engineers are still dealing with the following faults:

  • Points failure at Haywards Heath closing two lines.

  • Points failure between Preston Park and Hove closing the line between these stations.

Passengers are being urged to check before they travel and allow up to an hour extra time to complete their journey on some routes.

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The signalling issue also prevented some early morning services from leaving the depots where they are kept overnight and this has caused delays and cancellations between Brighton and Chichester and Eastbourne and Haywards Heath.

Trains between East Croydon and Brighton may be cancelled or diverted with disruption expected until 12:00.

There is a reduced service between Three Bridges and Brighton and between Brighton and Chichester.

Services which are running are expected to be extremely busy and there may be queuing systems in place at some stations.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “At 3.04am there was a loss of power across some of the UK Power Network which significantly impacted our Three Bridges Signalling Centre which controls the signalling, the railway’s traffic light system, across the majority of our Sussex route.

“All signalling was restored at 6.30am and, while some Southern services have resumed operating across the Sussex route, a number of Southern and Thameslink services remain significantly disrupted and there are currently no Gatwick Express services in operation until further notice.

“We’re really sorry to any passengers disrupted this morning and we encourage passengers to check with their train operator before travelling for the latest information and updates.”

A Govia Thameslink Railway spokesperson added: "We are sorry for the significant disruption our customers have been facing today following a power cut at 3am and two additional signalling failures that followed in the morning rush hour.

"We did our best to keep people on the move and updated with the latest travel advice. Anyone who has been delayed by 15 minutes or more can claim compensation at any one of our websites.”


  • Services between Littlehampton and London Victoria will not run.

  • Southern services between Brighton and Chichester are heavily disrupted and reduced to an hourly service. If you are travelling on this route you may wish to travel via Three Bridges and Horsham. Doing so will increase your journey time by around an hour. You can also use your ticket on Brighton & Hove Buses or Stagecoach Buses 700 on this route.

  • Services between Eastbourne and London Victoria will call additionally at Three Bridges.

Gatwick Express:

  • Gatwick Express services will not run please use alternative Southern or Thameslink services to complete your journey.


  • Services between Cambridge and Brighton will not run. If you are travelling on this route please use alternative Great Northern services between Cambridge and London and alternative Thameslink services between London and Brighton.

  • There is a reduced service at Preston Park, Hassocks, Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath towards Gatwick Airport. Services through these stations are expected to be extremely busy so please allow an extra 30 minutes to complete your journey.

Your ticket will be accepted at no extra cost on:

  • Thameslink services between Central London, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges and Brighton (for alternative Southern services across the coast).

  • Southern on any services via Worthing and Littlehampton and between Bognor and London.

  • Great Northern between Cambridge and London.

  • Brighton & Hove Buses on route 2 between Brighton and Shoreham.

  • Stagecoach Buses 700 between Brighton and Littlehampton, and between Littlehampton and Portsmouth.

  • London Underground between London Victoria, London Blackfriars, London Bridge and London St Pancras International.

Meanwhile, Great Western Railway and Elizabeth line services are disrupted by a landslip between Twyford and Reading, affecting routes to and from London Paddington.

Two out of four lines in the area have been taken out of use, and the capacity has been reduced on the remaining lines.

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