Commuters have been stuck on trains for up to four hours after a power supply problem affecting the UK’s biggest interchange station at Clapham Junction led to scenes of chaos.
British Transport Police started evacuating stranded passengers stuck outside the south London station while water was passed through to others still stuck in sweltering temperatures on board.
Passengers spoke of “nightmare” conditions at Clapham Junction. No Southern train company trains were able to get in or out of London’s Victoria station and there was no service on the Gatwick Express.
Passengers heading for London from southern England found they had to get off well short of their destination and travel in on other rail routes.
The unfortunate ones got stuck on trains unable to get through Clapham Junction.
One unlucky passenger was Anna Roberts, who works in the Victoria area of London, who was still stuck on a London-bound train travelling from Brighton well after 11am.
She said: “It’s been nearly four hours now. Police and paramedics boarded our train because there is no air conditioning. They said they were bringing water but not enough for everyone to have one bottle each.
Another train fully evacauted; all 904 passengers off safely. Thanks to everyone on board for their co-operation. #ClaphamJunction— British Transport Police (@BTP) April 30, 2015
“Eventually we got water in plastic containers which are passing around carriage. We were told that was all that was available.
“With the power off, it’s like an oven in here. Police have said it’s too dangerous to walk down the track.”
BTP tweeted: “More trains being evacuated. We’re getting officers to trains still stalled where possible. Thank you for your patience.”
More trains being evacuated; we're getting officers to trains still stalled where possible. Thank you for your patience. #ClaphamJunction— British Transport Police (@BTP) April 30, 2015
The problem struck between Wandsworth Common and Clapham Junction in the middle of the morning rush hour.
FiniasFinn tweeted: “Clapham Junction is the worst station ever. I realise it’s chaos but no staff helping and being arrogant is not a help.”
Thomas Michael Jules wrote: “Avoid Clapham Junction today people! Mayhem!!”
A person called Precious tweeted: “Complete chaos at Clapham Junction this morning as trains are delayed left, right and centre. What a nightmare!”