Canary Wharf Tube station closure sparks chaos during sweltering rush-hour commute

Commuters at Canary Wharf station which was closed after a fire alert (Phil Rogers/Alpha Picks)
Commuters at Canary Wharf station which was closed after a fire alert (Phil Rogers/Alpha Picks)

Thousands of passengers had their journeys home delayed on Wednesday after Canary Wharf station closed because of a fire alert and Euston was hit by signalling problems.

Network Rail said trains to and from the north London mainline station were “disrupted this evening due to a fault with our signalling system in Watford”.

Passengers complained of “chaos” at the station and in a statement on social media, a spokesman said: “We’re truly sorry to everyone who’s been delayed - we know it’s been a difficult evening for many people. We’re working to get as many people safely on the move as we can.”

Commuter Phil Rogers posted a picture online showing hundreds of commuters being held in Canary Wharf tube station at 5.30pm in what he said were temperatures of 24C.

Transport for London confirmed the station had closed for a “fire alert”.

Canary Wharf station (AFP via Getty Images)
Canary Wharf station (AFP via Getty Images)

The closure happened as TfL also reported “severe delays” between Leytonstone and White City and minor delays on the rest of the line because of train cancellations.

The line, which carries 200 million passengers a year through central London from the east and west of the city, has suffered chronic train shortages since November largely due to motors failing.

TfL does not deny ongoing funding problems mean it is having to patch-up the 30-year-old Central line trains in a bid to keep them running for another 10 to 15 years as it cannot afford to replace the fleet.

A signal failure at Richmond has also effected the District Line and London Overground.

The overground has no service between South Acton and Richmond and the District Line has no service between Turnham Green and Richmond.