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Mourners prevented from attending Queen’s funeral by rail disruption | Rail transport

Rail disruption to the west of London has prevented thousands of mourners from seeing the Queen’s funeral in the capital.

Lines between Paddington in west London and Reading have been blocked since about 6.30am because of damage to overhead electric wires, Network Rail said. Services run by GWR, Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line are affected.

Passengers on a GWR train due to run to Paddington were told by a member of staff using the public address system: “My sincerest apologies for the delays on such an important day for the country.”

Passengers intending to travel to London were advised to use South Western Railway services from Reading to Waterloo.

London’s City Hall, the office of the mayor, Sadiq Khan, said shortly after 9am that designated public viewing areas for the Queen’s funeral procession were full. The funeral is due to take place at Westminster Abbey at 11am.

A train that departed Paddington at 6.25am has been stuck outside the station for more than two and a half hours. GWR told customers onboard that the train was “due to be evacuated”.

Mourners travelling to funeral events in Windsor from Paddington were also affected. One person wrote on Twitter: “I’m stuck on the train for two hours. Got up at 4am to get to Windsor early for the viewing. Absolutely horrible service.”

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are very sorry for the disruption which we expect to continue throughout the day. We are working hard to get services running as soon as possible and passengers are strongly advised to check before they travel. We will continue to update passengers as the situation develops.”

Rail lines between Reading and Newbury were also closed due to a person being hit by a train. This caused GWR trains to be diverted, delaying more journeys to the capital.

About 250 extra train services were planned for Monday. They included a 3am departure from Penzance, Cornwall, for Paddington, although it left with no passengers, according to the news website CornwallLive. In the end, the service ran only as far as Reading.

Heathrow airport had previously urged airline passengers to use rail or tube services on Monday due to road closures in the Windsor area.

SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/sep/19/mourners-prevented-from-attending-queens-funeral-by-rail-disruption

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