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Vauxhall Station fire: Ongoing disruption follows blaze

  • 5-7-2016

Rail passengers have been told to expect delays until services end on Thursday following a fire on the tracks at Vauxhall station.

The blaze broke out in signalling cables under one of the platforms in central London shortly after 02:30 BST.

Travellers were left stranded at stations across the network, but South West Trains said a normal service will be in operation on Friday.

The company and Network Rail apologised "for the inconvenience".

South West Trains confirmed that tickets valid for travel on Thursday would be accepted for use on Friday.

Only four out of eight lines into the station were open for most of the day due to the fire. All lines reopened at about 21:30 on Thursday.

Network Rail said it suspected the fire was caused by a spark from a passing grinder train that was smoothing out worn rail tracks.

Commuter Sam Cooper tweeted that Waterloo was at a standstill at 17:30 BST: "Absolute chaos getting out of London tonight!"

Another passenger Neil Ord said the travel information boards and the train apps were giving out different information, "adding to the chaos".

Passengers on South West services into and out of the city were earlier advised to travel only if "absolutely necessary" and to use alternative routes where possible.

Commuter Mark Matthews said at 16:55 BST: "Currently stuck waiting for any train home at Clapham Junction. Any train at all would be nice."

Earlier Clapham Junction station was temporarily evacuated and shut because of overcrowding due to the knock-on effect of the fire.

Mick Cash, leader of the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union, said he had received reports from members of "dangerous overcrowding" on trains and at stations.

Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, called for the rail regulator to hold an inquiry into the "severe levels of overcrowding" in London and the South East following "chaotic scenes" during the morning rush hour.

"Incidents will happen on the busiest lines in the country, but passenger safety must come first at all times," he said.

London Fire Brigade confirmed the fire was put out by 08:20 and an investigation into its cause was under way.

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Reproduced under licence from BBC News © 2016 BBC

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