Are you stuck unable to reach Paddington?
Mourners heading to the capital for the Queen’s State funeral today will face chaos this morning as a damaged overhead wire means all trains into London from Slough have been cancelled or delayed until 10am.
Great Western Railway (GWR) has said all railway lines between Slough and Paddington are blocked due to damage to overhead electric wires.
This is disrupting journeys for mourners attempting to travel to London for the Queen’s funeral from Reading or Heathrow Airport.
Services run by GWR, Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line are affected.
The lines between Reading and Newbury are also closed due to a person being hit by a train.
This is causing GWR trains to be diverted, delaying journeys to the capital.
Staff have said that services are not expected to return to normal for up to four hours this morning.
The problem at Hayes and Harlington station was reported at around 6.45am.
Passengers on a severely delayed Paddington-bound train were told by a member of staff on the public address system: ‘My sincerest apologies for the delays on such an important day for the country.’
The issue means many mourners hoping to secure a position to see the funeral procession could now arrive too late.
Meanwhile, at Waterloo Station, hundreds of security guards are on duty ready for the influx of mourners expected to travel to the capital for the funeral.
Authorities in the capital have already warned mourners that central London is extremely busy.
A statement issued at 7.30am said: ‘The areas in and around Buckingham Palace, Westminster, Whitehall, St James’ Park and Green Park are extremely busy.
‘If you are in the vicinity or arriving to watch Her Majesty The Queen’s State Funeral and procession, please be patient and follow the advice of stewards and police.’
Great Western Railway (GWR) has said all railway lines between Slough and Paddington are blocked due to damage to overhead electric wires. Pictured above: Paddington Station
A GWR customer assistant claimed trains arriving into Paddington station would be disrupted fir the next four hours.
She said: ‘we don’t know how long it will be until the power is fixed.
‘But we’re not expected any trains to arrive for the next four hours.’
At Paddington passengers were being redirected to alternative routes including via Marylebone and Waterloo.
Station staff offered those waiting free tea and coffee with disruption expected until 10am.
Matilda Spiers was travelling from Cholsey to London Paddington in hope of watching the funeral from Hyde Park.
She told MailOnline they were stuck on the train for two hours
It comes as millions of people are set to travel to the capital to witness the Queen’s historic state funeral today, resulting in one of the UK’s biggest transport operations as mourners descend on London and Windsor.
Up to two million mourners are expected to flock to London, Windsor and royal sites around the UK on the national bank holiday, with the service set to draw an estimated 4.1billion TV viewers across the globe.
A GWR train company assistant told MailOnline: ‘There are no trains coming into Paddington and nothing going out.
‘The electrical power lines have cone down at Maidenhead. All the trains are electric and they cannot move without the power lines.
Police closed roads in London this morning as a 12-mile-wide ring of steel descends on London
Police at Chelsea Hospital where VIPs and world leaders will take buses to Westminster
A police officer surveys the crowd this morning amid major road closures across Westminster
Pictured: Passengers get off the tube at Embankment, which is likely to be busy all morning
‘It’s really bad. I have no idea how long it will take to fix it. We are advising customers to try to use alternative routes via Waterloo.’
GWR has directed people to use London Waterloo if they wish to travel to Windsor for the events today while anyone heading in from the west has been advised they can change at Reading and then at Staines if they are hoping to get to Windsor ot London today.
People looking to find other means of travelling into the capital may have difficulty as preparations are also well underway on the road and transport networks.
Police have closed roads in London as a 12-mile-wide ring of steel descends on the capital ahead of the funeral.
The A4 and A30 in West London towards Windsor have begun to shut, with full closures in both directions after 10am, which are not likely to be lifted until the evening.
Multiple closures on local roads along the A4 will also be in place. People looking to drive around central, West and South West London were advised to check before they travel, allow extra time and expect long delays.
LONDON ROAD CLOSURES: The Metropolitan Police has released a map of road closures from 5am today (marked in purple)
The M4 in Greater London is also closed eastbound between J3 and J1 to assist the Metropolitan Police for the state funeral.
Bus routes will also be severely affected with many routes diverted or stopping short of their destinations.
Between one and two million people are expected to visit the capital for the funeral which begins at 11am.
There are fears the transport network will be overwhelmed this afternoon if too many people visiting the capital travel home immediately after the funeral procession leaves Westminster shortly after noon.
TfL boss Andy Byford said: ‘We’re ready for probably one of the busiest days Transport for London has ever faced.
‘It’s hard to say exactly how many additional people (will travel), but we’re preparing for potentially a million people just within the footprint of the royal palaces and Hyde Park.’
People hoping to get to London took to Twitter to express frustration about the delays
Mr Byford said TfL is ‘leaving nothing to chance’, with non-essential meetings postponed and people from across the organisation working to ensure visitors can ‘get around the city’.
Network Rail chairman Sir Peter Hendy warned that trains will be ‘extremely busy’.
He said: ‘This is the biggest public transport operation since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and we’re working closely with all train operators to run extra trains through the day and into the night.
‘To help us provide the best possible experience and avoid lengthy queues at stations we’re asking people not to rush home after the funeral and the processions, but to take their time and experience London on this memorable day.’
At Waterloo station, hundreds of security guards were on standby to deal with an influx of mourners – but ended up sitting around as fewer people than expected had arrived by 8am.
Station staff said the concourse at the major train hub was less busy than a usual Monday morning when commuters pour into the station from the London suburbs and west of England.
A one way system had been put in place for people arriving and departing at the station with staff expecting the station to be near deserted by the time the funeral service begins later this morning.
Among those arriving at the station were four friends from Guildford, Surrey.
James Langden, Alan Wexley, David Johns and Richard Soper said they had been moved by seeing the hundreds of thousands of mourners queueing to see the Queen lying in state at Westminster Hall.
James,38, a painter and decorator, said he had never considered himself a fan of the Monarchy but had been deeply affected by the scenes that have unfolded during the last 10 days.
‘Like a lot of people, the Queen has always been there, and it will feel strange that she is no longer around.
‘I’m not working today so I guess I wanted to be in London to pay my respects. It is also something to look back on and say ‘I was there’.
His friend Alan,41, a computer programmer added:’ As sad as it is, this is one day that everyone will remember where they were.
‘There will be nothing like this again, When you read that four billion people around the world will be watching on TV it’s just mind blowing.
‘It also makes me proud to be British, that we can stage such a big occasion.’
Julie Almay,53, said the only previous royal event she had attended was to lay flowers at Kensington Palace after the death of Princess Diana.
‘I think the whole nation was in shock then, but now with the Queen passing it is more sadness. I think we all knew this was going to happen as she was 96, but that doesn’t make it any easier.
‘I wanted to see the procession in person rather than watch it on television as there will be a great camaraderie among all the crowd.’
This is a breaking news story. We will bring you more information when it is available.
Are you stuck on a train unable to reach Paddington? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org