Sussex rail services face major disruption after emergency incident between Three Bridges and Horsham
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Southern said it was working with the emergency services to ‘assess the situation’, adding: “We are expecting services to take up to 30-45 minutes longer than usual.”
In an update at 10pm, Southern said emergency services and Network Rail staff were ‘attending to a person near the railway’ who ‘needs their assistance’.
“Until this work has been completed, trains are being held at station platforms on approach to the affected area,” the train company wrote on Twitter.
"The electrical power to the track has also been switched off, so it is not possible to move any services at all.
"A small number of trains may be diverted between Horsham and London Victoria, running through Dorking and Sutton instead of running via Crawley and Gatwick Airport.
"We also aim to run shuttle trains between Bognor Regis and Horsham, mainly northbound, calling at all stations.
“This route will still continue to be heavily disrupted by the cancellations of other services.”
By this time, the estimated travel time of passengers travelling between Three Bridges and Horsham was increased to ‘60 minutes longer than usual’.
A further Twitter update read: “The route is closed in both directions, so you will need to use an alternative, or wait to complete your journey.
“If possible, please use your rail tickets on Metrobus for local journeys. Tickets will be valid at no extra cost on any reasonable route around the Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Crawley and Horsham areas. You may need to change buses en route to get to your destination.
“We have requested rail replacement buses, but these have not been confirmed, and if they are, they will take some time to arrive.”
Southern did not confirm if these buses arrived but was replying to stranded passengers on Twitter, offering to book taxis.
Lines reopened late on Tuesday night, with disruption continuing into the early hours of the morning.
A Southern spokesperson said: “Lines have reopened following the emergency services dealing with an incident earlier today between Three Bridges and Horsham. As service recovers, trains running through these stations may still be delayed by up to 30 minutes.
“The emergency services have now resolved the issue, and power has now been restored to the track. Trains can begin to run through the area once again, however, these may still be severely delayed or run to a revised calling pattern.
“You may be entitled to compensation if you experience a delay in completing your journey today. Please keep your train ticket and make a note of your journey, as both will be required to support any claim.”