UPDATES: Croydon commuters face transport chaos
3:49pm Monday 1st August 2011
By Hannah Williamson & Peter Truman
3:49pm Monday 1st August 2011
By Hannah Williamson & Peter Truman
6.25pm: TRAINS TO RESTART FROM EAST CROYDON
Southern Railways have just confirmed from 7pm there will be a reduced service from Victoria and London Bridge.
A spokesman said there will be seven trains per hour from Victoria and two trains per hour from London Bridge.
They warned the trains will be extremely busy and commuters will still face delays.
6.18pm: TRAINS TO RESTART FROM EAST CROYDON
First Capital Connect have confirmed two lines have been cleared following the landslide.
A reduced service is expected to resume with the first train at 7.12pm from London Bridge.
There will then be two trains an hour from London Bridge to Brighton, leaving London Bridge at 12 past and 42 past and Brighton at 7 past and 37 past the hour.
They are advising that passengers should ensure they get to where they need to by 10pm as Network Rail are likely to shut down the whole service again to continue work on the line.
It is unclear what time the lines will reopen tomorrow but First Capital Connect advised there is likely to be a reduced service on both their lines and Southern as engineers tackle the remaining three affected lines.
Passengers are advised Southern tickets will be accepted on First Capital Connect services tonight.
6.07pm: More than 400 people are currently queuing around the side of the post office.
Commuters will be waiting at least an hour and a half to reach the front of the queue to get on a rail replacement bus.
Extra trains are running from West Croydon station. There are coaches running to Gatwick with buses and coaches travelling to Victoria.
5.55pm: Southern Rail have said staff from their head office, conveniently based in Croydon, have been drafted in to help with the chaos down at the station.
Members of their HR department have been helping manage the queue and coordinate getting commuters home using alternative transport.
5.47pm: Commuters are facing a long wait to get to replacement buses.
5.13pm: The Highways Agency has confirmed there are delays of up to 20 minutes on the M23 southbound towards Gatwick Airport.
It is thought this is a knock-on from the extra volumes of traffic heading to the airport following the suspension of trains heading south from East Croydon station.
5.11pm: Below is a map detailing the length of the queue around East Croydon station:
4.58pm: East Croydon station is the borough’s busiest station by some way.
Between April 2007 and March 2008 a staggering 23, 325,427 passed through the station’s barriers. This equates to almost 64,000 people a day, which explains the huge queues at the moment as all those heading south are stranded.
4.51pm: @MarianneDunn tweeted us this picture showing the queue snaking from East Croydon station as commuters try to get home.
4.43pm: Our reporter Hannah Williamson is on the scene and said queues around East Croydon station are stretching "as far as the eye can see" down Cherry Orchard Road, waiting to leave.
4.40pm: British Transport Police (BTP) have confirmed officers are at East Croydon station to help manage the chaos.
A BTP spokesman said: "BTP officers are attending East Croydon, South Croydon, Victoria and London Bridge stations following a burst water main in the South Croydon area causing there to be no southbound train services from East Croydon at present.
"Officers are attending the stations to assist rail staff and help maintain public order. No incidents of note involving passengers have been reported at this time."
4.36pm: All trains on the Brighton mainline are being affected by the mudslide near East Croydon, according to rail operator First Group.
The following rail restrictions are currently in place:
* Trains between Bedford / Luton and Brighton are suspended between London Blackfriars and Gatwick Airport
* A half-hourly train service will run between Gatwick Airport and Brighton
* All First Capital Connect services on the Thameslink route are likely to be disrupted for the rest of the day due to trains and staff being out of position
* Buses are operating between East Croydon and Three Bridges, but they will not call at Gatwick Airport due to severe overcrowding there
Customers travelling to/from Gatwick Airport to/from the north are advised to change at West Hampstead Thameslink for Jubilee Line services to Waterloo (all services and calling additionally at West Hampstead).
From there they should travel by South West Trains to Guildford and from there by an hourly First Great Western train to Gatwick Airport (and vice versa). FCC tickets will be accepted on these services.
Services via this route will be very busy. Journey times will be extended by up to three hours. Customers with flight connections are advised that we cannot guarantee to be able to get them to Gatwick and we strongly advise them to make alternative arrangements.
Network Rail engineers are on site working to clear the tracks and severe disruption is expected for the rest of the day and, potentially, on Tuesday.
MORE TRAVEL ADVICE IS BELOW - SCROLL TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS STORY
4.32pm: Gatwick Airport is advising those trying to get flights that a loop service is currently running from Three Bridges to Gatwick and Purley.
Alternatively, those travelling via Dorking can get the link from Waterloo.
The airport is in discussions with coach companies about providing alternative shuttle services for stranded passengers at East Croydon station.
Taxis are running to the airport from East Croydon and it is also advising those who can make their way in their own vehicle to do so.
Those worried they will miss their flights are being advised to contact their flight operator.
4.30pm: Reports suggest the queue for replacement buses outside East Croydon station stretches all the way to the Glamorgan pub in Cherry Orchard Road.
4.16pm: Southern Rail have confirmed they are handing out free water to those in the queue for replacement buses.
Commuters waiting for the bus, in queues reportedly more than a thousand people long, are facing temperatures of 25 degrees and above.
3.50pm: Commuters face travel chaos after a burst water pipe caused a mudslide on tracks near East Croydon station.
All train lines are blocked between East Croydon and South Croydon causing southbound services to be suspended, although northbound services are running as normal.
Hundreds of commuters are already queueing round the block at the station for a replacement bus service, as rush hour looms.
Thousands face being stranded in Croydon overnight or will have to shell out on expensive taxi journeys.
The burst main, which is on Stanhope Road was reported just after midday.
Many messages on social networking site twitter are describing scenes of chaos with free water being handed out in the sweltering temperatures.
Matt: No trains southbound at East #Croydon. 300m queue for Gatwick buses. Traffic gridlocked. Reports of people fainting, water being handed out.
Smokie01uk: East Croydon is manic right now.
NorthBankN5: Burst water main near East Croydon, no train to Gatwick, missed flight. Now in a queue for a bus with about 2000 people in front of me #fml.
AKJRiseley: A burst water pipe in East Croydon just increased my journey time by another hour - joy. As if 6 hours traveling in a day wasn't enough!
@xfirefishx: Apparently a good 2000 people queuing at East Croydon for buses & taxis due to flood closing line southbound (may be an exaggeration).
RT @atticsound: Calling all ice cream vans in the south east - lots of bucks to be made in East Croydon. #burstwaterpipe #longestqueueintheworld.
Elliothroberts: Just joined the end of a mile long que at East Croydon. No trains to Gatwick.
Jon_Ellacott: Just a warning people, if you are travelling south from East Croydon you won't be moving anywhere. The queue goes around the block. #chaos.
THAMES WATER STATEMENT:
“We are sorry for the disruption caused by a burst main in Croydon. We we are working to fix the broken pipe and are providing Network Rail with any assistance we can."
TRAVEL ADVICE: East Croydon station is extremely busy at the moment, with very long queues waiting for replacement buses.
Passengers who need to travel south of East Croydon from London are advised NOT to travel from London Victoria, but to travel on South West Trains from London Waterloo via Havant for West Sussex stations, and on Southeastern trains from Charing Cross via Hastings for East Sussex stations.
Passengers for London from south of East Croydon are advised to make the same connections in reverse.
London Buses, Metrobus, London Underground, South West Trains, Southeastern, London Midland, First Great Western, Croydon Tramlink and First Capital Connect services are all accepting Southern tickets on all reasonable routes.
There is a shuttle train service in operation between Brighton and Gatwick Airport, between Uckfield and Oxted and between Sanderstand and Oxted.
Rail replacement buses have been organised between Oxted and East Croydon, Redhill and Oxted and Purley and East Croydon.
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