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Spate of rail track faults cause commuter chaos

Rail commuters suffered disruption on Thursday morning as several major routes were disrupted by a series of infrastructure failures.

Great Western Railway and Elizabeth line services between London Paddington and Reading were being forced to run at a reduced speed due to a broken rail, which was expected to cause delays throughout the day.

The operator said the problem was discovered in the area around Hayes & Harlington station, west London, early on Wednesday, with Network Rail unable to carry out a full repair until Thursday night.

The defect was at a set of points used to transfer trains from one track to another.

It was the fourth damaged rail found on the Great Western line within eight days, the BBC reported.

Separate points failures were disrupting South Western Railway trains at London Waterloo – the UK’s busiest railway station – and Thameslink services between Sutton and Luton.

Thameslink was being prevented from running trains between Wimbledon and Sutton due to the fault between Wimbledon and Wimbledon Chase.

Network Rail engineers were at the scene to investigate what happened.

All lines were closed between Birmingham New Street and Longbridge because emergency services were dealing with an incident.

And a fault with the signalling system was disrupting trains between Nottingham and Worksop.

Ten days of industrial action by train drivers’ union Aslef starts on Friday and is expected to have a major impact on services.