Waterloo station: Trains back to normal for rush hour after commuters faced major disruption

Sean Morrison

Trains to and from London Waterloo have returned to normal after a trackside fire caused major delays.

South Western Railway (SWR) said train times would be “back to normal” at the busy transport hub by 4pm and before commuters make their way home from work on Tuesday.

It comes after major disruption lasted almost 24 hours when the fire sparked hours of delays and cancellations from Monday afternoon.

The rail operator has apologised to customers for the disruption and any inconvenience caused.

A SWR spokesman said trains from the station would be back on schedule ahead of the Tuesday evening rush. But he added that some train stock could be displaced after the huge repair operation following the fire and lead to minor disruption.

Platforms one to three were shut. (Nigel Howard)

The fire temporarily left platforms one to nine of London’s busiest railway station out of action.

Commuters this morning faced further delays. Many complained of being left to stand in the cold due to overcrowding at the travel hub which is used by around 250,000 people each day.

A statement posted on the South Western Railway site on Tuesday said: "We are very sorry for the disruption to your journey on Monday 11 December and the inconvenience this caused.

"An electrical lineside fire just outside Waterloo Station caused considerable damage to track and signalling equipment.

"As a result, platforms 1-9 were unavailable for use which caused severe delays, cancellations and short notice alterations throughout the afternoon. In the evening, for your safety, we were forced to close Waterloo station for a short period of time to avoid the station becoming dangerously overcrowded.

"Network Rail engineers worked to restore power and access to all platforms, however, the lack of platforms at the start of the evening peak resulted in severe disruption to services across the network as trains queued to get in and out of Waterloo.

"This made last night’s journey home incredibly difficult for many of you and has also impacted some services this morning for which we apologise."