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Train travellers into Paddington face further disruption after Queen’s funeral | Rail transport

The disruption to train services that caused thousands of mourners to miss the Queen’s funeral will continue until noon on Tuesday, passengers have been advised.

Network Rail said work to fix damaged overhead electric wires affecting services at Paddington, west London, was ongoing.

The problem near Hayes and Harlington station caused all lines to and from Paddington to be blocked from 6.30am on Monday, causing severe disruption for people travelling to London and Windsor in Berkshire.

Services run by GWR, Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth line continue to be affected by the disruption.

In an update issued on Tuesday morning, National Rail Enquiries said: “No trains are able to run between Heathrow airport/West Drayton and London Paddington. We anticipate disruption will continue until 12pm. Passengers are strongly advised only to travel if necessary and to please check before you travel.”

A Network Rail spokesperson apologised for the disruption. He added: “We are working hard to get services running as soon as possible.”

The disruption meant that many people hoping to attend the Queen’s funeral on Monday were unable to do so, and had to resort to watching the events on their phones.

In Berkshire, there were long queues of people at Reading station trying to get on to services into London and others finding their trains cancelled or delayed as they tried to travel farther west.

Station staff were reportedly trying to order taxis for passengers who lived farther afield and risked becoming stuck at the station overnight, amid a limited number of departing trains.

One woman, who was visibly distressed by the disruption and the prospect of getting stuck hours from home on her own overnight, said her journey in and out of London on Monday was set to total about 10 hours rather than the usual three, and had resulted in her missing the Queen’s funeral and procession.

Another passenger, who asked not to be named, said: “The communication has been diabolical. People have been told to get off trains that were actually running and change services to get to different destinations, only to find that those trains were then cancelled.

“There doesn’t seem to have been any forward thinking as to what would happen in the evening, despite the problems going on all day.”

Mourners travelling into the capital on Monday morning resorted to watching funeral proceedings on their mobiles as they were stuck on trains and platforms. The sound of the choir at Westminster Abbey echoed through the carriages of delayed trains as mourners watched the service on their devices.

Network Rail said there were no problems affecting London’s other major stations.

The UK had one of its biggest transport operations on Monday as mourners descended on London and Windsor. About 250 extra train services were planned, including a 3am departure from Penzance, Cornwall, to Paddington, which left with no passengers, according to the news website CornwallLive.

The service ran only as far as Reading due to the damaged wires.

SOURCE: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2022/sep/20/train-travellers-into-paddington-face-further-disruption-after-queens-funeral

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