Southern Rail Delays And The Six Most Ridiculous Excuses Passengers Have Been Told For Poor Service

A naked rapper, pikachu.. and sunshine.

Southern Rail passengers are never short of reasons to moan about the service they receive, with the rail provider besieged with strikes this year.

At one point they were so bad they halted almost half of all its services for five days.

But beyond the bitter row over the role of conductors which also threatens Christmas and New Year travel misery, Southern Rail has also had to provide its passengers with some far less believable excuses for delays.

Things are so bad there’s even a BadSouthernRail Twitter account where comedy is used to ease the frustrations caused by travel chaos.

But other rail providers, and even the Tube, have not been immune to unforeseen circumstances hampering their service.

Here’s a selection of six of the most recent and unbelievable excuses passengers have been told.

1) Leaf clearing train breaks down on tracks TODAY!

<strong>Leaves have been blamed for the latest Southern Rail delay</strong>
Leaves have been blamed for the latest Southern Rail delay
Elenathewise via Getty Images

Trains were delayed on Tuesday after a train used to clear leaves broke down at Leatherhead. The fault blocked the London-bound line causing major disruptions on Southern Rail and West Trains services between Horsham, Epsom and Dorking.

A signalling problem at Steatham compounded problems for Southern Rail and Thamslink trains, the Evening Standard reported.

2) Rapper on the tracks

<strong>A rapper on the tracks caused delays last week</strong>
A rapper on the tracks caused delays last week
3dalia via Getty Images

Last Tuesday an even more ridiculous reason halted services - a man with no shirt was using the tracks for some sort of audition.

The trespassing incident at Norwood Junction station saw the man repeatedly refuse to get back on to the platform during the evening rush hour before police arrived with Tasers.

All attempts to persuade the man, who said he wanted to be on YouTube, to leave the track reportedly failed. He was later seen running off towards East Croydon.

Lines were eventually reopened at around 7.30pm, the Mirror reported, but with police unable to locate the trespasser the trains ran slower as a “precaution”.

3) The performance was preceded by a swan dance

<strong>A swan caused delays to the rail network last week</strong>
A swan caused delays to the rail network last week
claudio.arnese via Getty Images

Earlier in the day travellers faced delays after a swan ventured onto the tracks at Staines station.

According to the Evening Standard, South West Trains passengers were told the disruption on the Waterloo to Reading route occurred because the bird was “refusing to move”.

Services were then halted to allow the bird time to leave the area and according to reports it eventually did so without human interference.

4) Wallaby on the tracks... say WHAT!

<strong>An escaped wallaby caused delays in July (stock image)</strong>
An escaped wallaby caused delays in July (stock image)
Marcelo Santos via Getty Images

In July an escaped wallaby caused “mayhem” on the rail network, according to a train operator.

The creature made its way on to the tracks between Marsden and Slaithwaite in West Yorkshire around 11am.

Trains were forced to run slower than normal as they passed through the area until the marsupial was reported to be clear of danger.

A spokesman for TransPennine Express said: “It did cause a little bit of mayhem for about half an hour with the 10.33 Manchester Airport to Middlesbrough service delayed by 14 minutes, but the line was quickly cleared.

5) It is TOO HOT!

<strong>The Underground suffered delays because of the heat</strong>
The Underground suffered delays because of the heat
Chialin Lien via Getty Images

In May London Underground blamed the good weather saying “excess sunlight” was causing delays on the Tube network.

Bright sunshine beaming onto CCTV monitors, which are used to give a clear view of the platform before pulling away, were blocking drivers’ line of sight, the Independent reported at the time.

6) We need to talk about Pikachu!

<strong>Pokemon character Pikachu was blamed for power failures in at an east London tube station </strong>
Pokemon character Pikachu was blamed for power failures in at an east London tube station
Tomohiro Ohsumi via Getty Images

Then of course there were problems with Pikachu.

The Pokemon character was blamed for power failures at east London’s Dalston Kingsland station in July.

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