Commuters faced a second night of misery on Britain’s rail network on Tuesday as points failed, tracks buckled and trains caught fire amid the ongoing heatwave.
London’s Waterloo station faced “major disruption” with National Rail issuing an alert alongside advice to seek alternative routes.
Pictures posted to social media showed snaking queues between London Underground and National Rail platforms. Hundreds more waited for information on the station’s main concourse.
And as thermometers soared to a record-high for 2018:
- Trains through Liverpool South Parkway were disrupted, delayed and cancelled after a points failure;
- Southeastern services towards Kent faced “major delays”;
- Lines re-opened between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport but delays continued.
Rail unions weighed in on the situation across the South Western Railway network, describing scenes of “chaos” as “simply appalling”.
Mick Cash, boss of the RMT union which represents railway workers, said: “There have been two days of chaos on South Western Railway services out of Waterloo on the hottest days of the year with RMT members left to take the heat at the sharp end.
“The conditions for passengers and staff alike are simply appalling.”
South Western Railway apologised for the delays.
“We would like to apologise to passengers for ongoing delays to services into and out of Waterloo today, and advise them to avoid travelling through Waterloo this evening if at all possible,” a statement said.
“This is due to two lines being blocked after an electrical fire on the underside of a train carriage near Surbiton at 1420 this afternoon, which also caused a loss of power to the neighbouring line.”
One passenger described the disruption as a “shambles”.
It came as temperatures hit a high of 30.2c earlier on Tuesday, a record for the year so far.
On Monday, train services across the country faced disruption as Network Rail, which manages the network, said rails were buckling under the sun’s blaze.
Check National Rail’s live updates on current disruption here.