A sudden cold snap across the country has caused disruption on certain train routes this morning, with Network Rail reporting that Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services have been affected.
Ice is “preventing trains getting electricity from the third rail”, according to National Rail alerts, which has resulted in trains having to run at reduced speed on some lines or stop altogether.
Certain services were cancelled, or delayed by up to 20 minutes. Disruption is expected until 1pm.
The worst affected areas are:
- Between Haywards Heath and Balcombe
- Between Horsham and Havant
- Between Brighton and Eastbourne
- Between Ashford International and Hastings
Services between Lewes and Ashford International were suspended due to severe icy rails, but are now beginning to run again.
Bus services were running in some areas and accepting train tickets, while Gatwick Express tickets were also being accepted for travel via other routes on Southern and Thameslink trains.
Public Health England yesterday issued warnings around the cold weather, urging people to look out for older neighbours and children, as Met Office forecasts signalled a cold snap.
In Northolt, the Met Office's closest observation site to London, temperatures plummeted as low as -3ºC in the early hours of this morning.
“A temporary incursion of warmer air is expected on Monday, with the colder air forecast to return by Tuesday,” said Paul Gundersen, chief operational meteorologist at the Met Office.