Heathrow Express and Elizabeth Line severely disrupted as train derailment sparks rush hour chaos

Train services between Reading and London Paddington have been severely disrupted after a frieght train derailed on the line, leading to chaos for commuters at rush hour and causing a major impact on Elizabeth Line and Heathrow Express services.

The stricken freight train was derailed around West Ealing, west London, on the line running westward to Reading, before 6.30am, leading to a string of delays and cancellations.

A statement from Great Western Railway (GWR) read: “Due to a derailed train between Reading and London Paddington some lines are blocked.

“Train services running to and from these stations will be cancelled, delayed or revised. Disruption is expected until 12:00 05/04.”

They said stopping services between Didcot Parkway and London Paddington will only operate between Didcot and Reading and services between Bedwyn/Newbury, and London Paddington will only operate between Bedwyn/Newbury and Reading.

“Customers should utilise GWR high speed services between Reading and London Paddington to complete their journeys,” the statement read.

Passengers affected by the derailment can use their Great Western Railway rail tickets to travel on the London Underground between Paddington and Waterloo until further notice.

The Heathrow Express, which connects the capital to the UK’s largest and busiest airport, is running at least one less service per hour, with a reduced timetable currently in place until the end of the day.

The disruption has also affected the Elizabeth Line.

A statement from TfL read: “Severe delays between Paddington and Reading / Heathrow Airport while we fix a faulty freight train in the West Ealing area. Good service on the rest of the line. London Underground accepting tickets.”

Some passengers today are attempting to make journeys that will be impossible tomorrow because of a strike by train drivers belonging to the Aslef union.

They are walking out at GWR on Saturday, halting all intercity trains. Strikes elsewhere are already under way, with no trains on Friday on Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway or West Midlands Railway.

An overtime ban is also causing cancellations across Britain.

Passengers on the Great Western line, connecting London with the West of England and South Wales, have endured months of disruption due to flooding, signal failures and points problems. Many of these have also hit the Elizabeth Line and the Heathrow Express.

Elsewhere in the UK, the Met Office has warned of travel disruption and issued a yellow weather warning for rain ahead of expected 70mph winds as Storm Kathleen approaches.