Mourners to miss Queen’s funeral as rail lines to Paddington blocked

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Thousands of mourners will miss the Queen’s funeral due to rail disruption.

All lines between Paddington in west London and Reading in Berkshire are blocked because of damage to overhead electric wires, Network Rail said.

Services run by GWR, Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line are disrupted.

All public viewing areas for the Queen’s funeral procession are full, London’s City Hall said.

Passengers on a GWR train due to run to Paddington were told by a member of staff using the public address system: “My sincerest apologies for the delays on such an important day for the country.”

Mourners travelling to the funeral events in Windsor from Paddington are also affected.

One person wrote on Twitter: “I’m stuck on the train for two hours. Got up at 4 am to get to Windsor early for the viewing. Absolutely horrible service.

“Barely even caught this train because nobody at Paddington knew which one it was. Sure didn’t expect this dismal service.”

Disruption is expected to continue for the rest of the day.

Affected mourners intending to travel to London are advised to use South Western Railway services from Reading to Waterloo.

Blocked train
Members of the public on a Elizabeth Line train at standstill outside Royal Oak station in London (Alan Hamilton/PA)

The Queen’s funeral begins at 11am at Westminster Abbey, but central London viewing areas for the procession are closing before then to avoid overcrowding.

A train which departed Paddington at 6.25am has been stuck outside the station for more than two-and-a-half hours with passengers on board.

GWR told concerned customers that the train is “due to be evacuated”.

Rail lines between Reading and Newbury are also closed due to a person being hit by a train.

This is causing GWR trains to be diverted, delaying more journeys to the capital.

Elizabeth Abayomi, 18, had been at Paddington since 5am hoping to catch the 6.37am to Exeter to start university.

The student, who will study law, said: “We were on the train for a long time then we were told that there had been a fatality at Newbury. The driver recommended that we go and get breakfast and when we got back the train was locked.”

Another passenger travelling to Newport, who did not wish to give her name, had been waiting since 6.40am.

She said: “It’s annoying but I’d rather stay calm and sit here and do some knitting.”

The issues come during one of the UK’s biggest transport operations as mourners descend on London and Windsor.

National Rail Enquiries is showing that all services to and from the station are “delayed”.

Heathrow Airport had previously urged airline passengers to use rail or Tube services on Monday due to road closures in the Windsor area.