Balcombe Tunnel flood causes massive rail disruption

Commuters faced massive disruption on the Brighton Main Line this morning (Friday) due to flooding at Balcombe Tunnel and to compound the problems, parts of the A23 were closed - also due to flooding.

At 7.20am commuters huddling in the dark, packed the forecourt outside Haywards Heath station waiting for a replacement bus service to take them to a connecting train at Gatwick.

An information screen had ‘delay’ after ‘delay’ next to each train service as train operator Southern tried to put in the replacement buses to get hundreds of commuters to work.

A twitter feed set up by Southern contained a stream of despairing comments including “train meltdown in Sussex today” and “delays could add one hour and 40 minutes to your journey - words no-one wants to hear”.

Commuter Stephen Jones: said “I’ve just given up and come home. Trains are stacked right back.”

Anyone hoping to drive up to a connecting train at Gatwick was thwarted by flooding on the A23.

At 7am this morning the A23 southbound was closed between junctions A264 and A272 and the northbound side was closed between A272 and the M23 - also due to flooding.

One commuter said: “You can’t even get anywhere by car, let alone a train!”

For live updates from Southern go to: