Recent issues have included a mixture of broken down trains, signal failures, problems caused by bad weather and over-running engineering works. On Sunday 4th an incident led to debris on the line near Queenstown Road Battersea stopping all trains between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. On Monday the 5th there were signalling problems at Clapham.
On 6th December signal-related problems at Wimbledon and Vauxhall delayed many trains. Last week also sadly saw massive disruption caused by a death at New Malden station – halting all trains running into London this direction whilst power was shut off to investigate the scene (treated as non-suspicious).
SWT staff try to advise on alternative transport
Today’s particular severe disruption was caused by caused by the theft of over 50m of copper cable overnight near Twickenham station. Network Rail engineers were soon on site to replace the stolen cables to restore signalling equipment and slowly but surely the train service returned to normal throughout the day.
A £1,000 reward is being offered to anyone with information on this cable theft. British Transport Police are investigating the matter and are appealing for witnesses who may have seen any suspicious activity. They also wish to remind any would-be thieves that live cables carry up to 25,000 volts.
Anyone with information can call British Transport Police on 0800 405040 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
The ever-increasing crime of metal-theft costs the UK economy an estimated £770m each year. A consortium of transport companies as well as stepping up patrols via the police, are working together to push the government into new laws to battle metal-theft by tackling the black market for this trade.
Potential changes will include introducing stricter licensing laws for scrap metal dealers, increased powers for the police to close down unscrupulous dealers and tougher sentences for cable thieves in the courts.
[Update 13/12/2011] Several issues affected train journeys today – starting early with severe delays and cancellations caused by signal failure at Waterloo (closing half the platforms). After trains finally returned to normal a broken down train at Wimbledon delayed trains during the evening rush hour and finally in a separate incident delays of half an hour due to signal problems at New Malden.
It was also mentioned via SWT’s Twitter account that monthly and yearly season tickets will have refunds automatically applied when they are next renewed. Details about this new feature will be on their website in the next few days.