Rail commuters are facing disruption in the evening rush hour after engineering works overran.
South Western Railway services to and from London Waterloo, the UK’s busiest station, have been disrupted all day. Trains did not run until 10:00 GMT.
Evening commuters face continuing delays and cancellations after Network Rail work overran into Monday morning.
Southern services between East Croydon and London Victoria are also hit by disruption from over-running works.
South Western Railway said it aimed to run a normal service on Tuesday.
No trains were able to use the line between Waterloo and Surbiton until 10:00, leaving trains and crews in the wrong place for the remainder of the day.
A passenger blasted the chaos as “a complete and utter shambles”, with another suggesting “critical jobs” such as teachers, doctors and nurses had been affected.
Network Rail has apologised to passengers, while SWR warned services across its network will be cancelled, delayed or revised until the end of the day.
A Department for Transport spokesman said: “The disruption is unacceptable, and we are seeking an urgent explanation from Network Rail as to why their engineering works have overrun.”
Ashley Trim, who lives in Clapham, was travelling from Clapham Junction to work at John Lewis HQ in Bracknell this morning.
He said: “I have got a stockpile of compensation claims in my house because it’s happening so much.”
Matthew Smith’s train from Portsmouth to London was cancelled, so he was forced to take a National Express coach.
Mr Smith said: “For the last five weeks, I have experienced delays or cancellations by up to 45 minutes every day. There is always some issue on the network.”
On social media, Silvia Mendes described the morning rush hour disruption as a “complete and utter shambles” while Richard Sansom simply posted: “You have got to be kidding me @SW_Railway.”
As the evening rush approached, more frustrated passengers took to social media.
Sacha Kemp said: “The fun continues. Not only did you excel this morning @SW_Help & it took me 3 hrs to get to London but still not sorted for way home.”
Other people have also had their say:
Network Rail said overnight work near Hampton Court was originally due to finish at 04:30 GMT but overran, hitting the morning rush hour.
The work was completed at about 10:00 and services began running – but on a widely disrupted timetable.
Data published by rail information website trains.im showed that at 10:45, 269 SWR trains were cancelled or more than 30 minutes late, equivalent to 75% of all services.
All lines and stations that were closed, including Woking, Surbiton, Raynes Park and Earlsfield, have now reopened, but disruption has continued throughout the day.
Passengers have also been told that trains across the whole Gatwick Express, Southern and Thameslink network may be delayed, cancelled or revised due to over-running engineering work at various locations.
The rail operator said disruption would continue until the end of the day.
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Passengers using SWR services were initially advised not to travel amid widespread cancellations.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “We would like to apologise for the disruption to passengers’ journeys on South Western this morning.
“This was due to over-running engineering works in the Hampton Court area.”
A long-running dispute over the role of guards on trains has previously crippled SWR services because of strikes.
SWR operates from London Waterloo to Berkshire, Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire.
The Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union called for the resignation of Transport Secretary Chris Grayling after what it called the latest railway “meltdown”.
General secretary Mick Cash said: “While the crisis on our railways deepens, the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is markedly absent… He should go, and he should go now.”
Lib Dem MP Ed Davey, who represents Kingston and Surbiton, tweeted: “Commuters will be extremely angry today that, after 18 months of appalling services, stations are shut and trains cancelled due to Network Rail failing to do engineering works on time. When will Grayling act?!”
Tooting’s Labour MP Dr Rosena Allin-Khan said the response to the morning disruption was “not good enough”.
Anthony Smith, chief executive of the independent watchdog Transport Focus, said: “Passengers rely on the railway – this morning tens of thousands of passengers coming into Waterloo could not.
“While engineering and improvement works need to be done, such late notice of the fundamental problems on the approaches to Waterloo this morning is unacceptable.”
Passengers are entitled to “delay repay” compensation if cancellations cause delays to their journey of 15 minutes or more.
The amount varies depending on the length of the delay and whether someone is using a single, return or season ticket.
An annual season ticket between Surbiton and London Waterloo, the route that was closed, costs £1,912.
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