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Travellers warned to take taxis as weather brings train disruption

One of the UK’s busiest railway lines is blocked after a train hit an object on the track (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Archive)
One of the UK’s busiest railway lines is blocked after a train hit an object on the track (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Archive)

Travellers on South Western Railway have been told to use taxis instead of trains because of the “level of disruption” on the network.

It’s website said “severe weather” was causing problems with “major disruption” in areas including Hounslow, Surbiton, Cobham and Ascot and Guildford.

In a message on social media, the train firm said: “Due to the level of disruption on our network, our customers are authorised to book their own taxi to travel.”

Travellers were told tickets valid for Thursday would be accepted on Friday and refunds would be paid for taxi fares.

Some trains were cancelled because of trees blown on to rail lines and even when tracks were cleared South Western warned “disruption to our services will be until the end of the day”.

Passengers on one Waterloo to Guildford train were held on the line before the train eventually went back to Cobham where passengers left the service.

One traveller, Jodie Widman, said she had been stuck on a train to Guildford for four hours.

Another passenger, Madison Stanley, said she boarded the 1809 Waterloo to Guildford train and was “coming up to our fourth hour on the train with no toliets, water or power”.

Thameslink trains ran at a reduced speed for part of the day after problems with the overhead power supply.

Yellow weather warnings for rain and strong winds were issued across parts of Northern Ireland and the south of England today with forecasters saying gusts of up to 70mph could hit the south coast of England from East Sussex to Cornwall.The Met Office has warned there is a “small chance” of injuries and risk to life as a result of the strong winds and large waves, as well as the possibility of hail and thunder.

Cross channel ferries faced delays and cancellations due to the strong winds as Storm Nelson hit the Easter getaway.

Ferry company DFDS warned services at Dover were operating with delays “due to strong winds in the Channel” and reported several channel crossings having to be cancelled.

Earlier on Thursday speed restrictions were put in place to protect passengers between Bournemouth and Weymouth as the Met Office forecast high winds affecting some trains at London Waterloo.

The warning comes ahead of a predicted “Carmageddon” - with motorists advised journeys could take twice as long as 14 million Easter getaways are planned.

The Easter getaway is also expected to be hit by some major routes being closed due to engineering work.

The West Coast Main Line between London Euston and Milton Keynes will be shut for four days from Good Friday.

There will also be disruption in the areas around Glasgow and Huddersfield.