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Rail strike: Disruption on trains as guards walk out

There is disruption for hundreds of thousands of rail commuters in the region this morning, after some rail staff walked out on strike in a row over the role of guards and a dispute over having a second member of staff on trains.

Services operated by South Western Railway, Island Line and Southern have been affected. Our Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse sent this from Basingstoke railway station.

Two days of misery for rail passengers

Buses will replace trains on some parts of the network.

Hundreds of thousands of rail passengers face two days of misery from this morning as guards strike at South Western Railway, Island Line and Southern.

Here is the impact:

South Western Railway usually run 1,700 trains a day with 650,000 passengers, the busiest commuter network in Europe covering Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire.

The company will use managers and other staff trained as guards to run about sixty per cent of trains but that means around 700 services are cancelled.

All routes that have trains will see fewer running with fifty per cent less on some lines including Salisbury to Waterloo.

  • Yeovil Junction – Exeter St. Davids.
  • Salisbury – Eastleigh via Chandler’s Ford (Great Western Railway run services will run from Southampton to Salisbury via Romsey).
  • Virginia Water – Weybridge (via Chertsey).
  • Ascot – Guildford (via Camberley and Aldershot).No trains in service on this specific route.
  • Check nationalrail.co.uk and southwesternrailway.com for other routes to / from London.Poole – Weymouth

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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

EXCLUSIVE: Woman dragged along platform speaks out

A woman who was dragged along a platform when her hand became trapped in a train door has spoken exclusively to ITV Meridian about the ordeal.

Neelam Malik was trying to board a service from Oxford to Paddington when she became stuck.

Earlier this week the train driver was cleared of recklessly endangering the safety of a passenger.

Neelam says she still can't believe something like this could happen - she knows she was only seconds from death.

Sam Holder has been talking to her.

Sam spoke to Neelam Malik and Stephen Joseph from Campaign for Better Transport.

Train driver not guilty of endangering passengers

A train driver accused of recklessly endangering the safety of passengers after a woman was dragged 60 feet along a platform - has been found not guilty.

Stephen Murdoch, 45, from Reading was today cleared by a jury.

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50 years since the end of Southern Steam

It is 50 years since we said goodbye to our regular steam train services.

They were finally ousted when electric trains took over on the route from Waterloo to Weymouth, via Bournemouth, Southampton, Winchester and Basingstoke.

The occasion is being marked at various events this weekend, not least at the Watercress Line in Hampshire from where Mike Pearse sends this report.

Mike spoke to Geoff Burch, former driver, Richard Bentley, driver and Colin Chambers from the Watercress Line.

New high speed trains late and over budget

Credit: ITV Meridian

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh are among the very first to travel on one of the new high speed Hitachi trains being built for the region.

It was a milestone for the massive project to upgrade the Great Western network.

The scheme aimed at easing some of the worst crowding in the country remains late and over budget.

But the new trains will start to enter service later in the year.

They will eventually run from Paddington to Reading, Newbury, Didcot, Bedwyn, Swindon, Bath, Bristol and through to Wales and Devon and Cornwall.

Our Transport Correspondent MIke Pearse has been talking to commuters who say the improvements can't come soon enough.

Mike spoke to Paul Gentleman from Great Western Railway and Chris Irwin from Travelwatch South West.

New train service linking Wareham with Swanage

Credit: ITV Meridian

It's the first regular train service to link Wareham with Swanage, in Dorset, in 45 years.

Civic dignitaries joined rail enthusiasts today for the launch of the new service which marks the the culmination of years of campaigning and hard work.

Much of the branch line was torn up after British Rail closed the route in 1972 but it has gradually been rebuilt and improved and now represents an amazing dream come true.

As Richard Slee reports.

Richard spoke to Peter Sills, Colin Stone and Peter Frost, all railway volunteers. He also spoke to Director of Project Wareham Mark Woolley.

Urgent talks to avoid new overtime ban on railways

The overtime ban is due to start on Sunday Credit: ITV

Southern is understood to have called an urgent meeting with the train drivers' union Aslef this afternoon in a desperate attempt to try to avert next week's industrial action. Up to 600 trains a day would be cancelled.

Around 1,000 drivers are set to start an indefinite overtime ban on Sunday.

The company is refusing to confirm the peace talks, but union sources say there has been contact with them.

Services will be in chaos for hundreds of thousands of passengers if the action goes ahead.

It is understood both sides will meet at lunchtime.

So far months of talks have failed to reach agreement over driver-only trains.

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