Wednesday 17 October 2018 7:33 am

Paddington travel chaos: Commuters told to avoid station as power line failure leaves train services suspended


Commuters faced a travel nightmare this morning, with Paddington station plunged into chaos after a Hitachi train reportedly caused damage to 500m of electrical power lines during a test last night.

The Heathrow Express service from Paddington and trains to and from Reading are not running due to faults with the overhead power lines near Ealing Broadway, caused at around 7.30pm last night. TfL Rail was also part suspended.

Great Western Railway (GWR) warned today that “virtually no train service” between Paddington and Reading has been able to run, with disruption expected to last until the end of the day.

Four routes between Paddington and Slough are also closed, though two may re-open this afternoon, GWR said.

Network Rail advised commuters to avoid the station while it works to fix the power failures by midday, though that is the earliest that services could be back up and running, it said.

GWR warned that the power line damage has caused “widespread disruption, with trains initially stranded in various locations owing to loss of overhead power and diesel powered services unable to bypass the disabled electric trains”.

It has warned commuters travelling from London to beyond Reading to use London Waterloo, Marylebone or Euston station rather than Paddington.

“A reduced timetable will be in place on Wednesday 17 October that will impact most mainline routes to and from London Paddington all day,” it warned.

The outage left commuters stranded on the tracks on their journeys home last night, with Network Rail and the emergency services forced to evacuate them.

TfL Rail is also part suspended between Paddington and Heathrow Airport owing to the power line failure.

London Underground and bus services are accepting tickets, Transport for London (TfL) said.

A rail replacement bus service is running between Paddington and Heathrow.

Elsewhere the Jubilee Line is running severe delays on the entire line due to an earlier signal failure at Westminster, while the District Line has no service between Wimbledon and Wimbledon Park following a signal failure, with severe delays between Edgware Road and Wimbledon Park.