Mourners prevented from attending Queen’s funeral due to rail disruption | Rail transport
Train disruptions in west London prevented thousands of mourners from seeing the Queen’s funeral in the capital.
Lines between Paddington in west London and Reading have been blocked since around 6.30am due to damage to overhead power cables, Network Rail said. Services run by GWR, Heathrow Express and the Elizabeth Line are affected.
Passengers on a GWR train due to travel to Paddington were told by a member of staff using the public address system: ‘My sincerest apologies for the delays on such an important day for the country.’
Passengers intending to travel to London have been advised to use South Western Railway services from Reading to Waterloo.
London City Hall, the office of Mayor Sadiq Khan, said shortly after 9 a.m. public viewing areas designated for the Queen’s funeral procession were full. The funeral is due to take place at Westminster Abbey at 11 a.m.
A train leaving Paddington at 6.25am was stuck outside the station for more than two and a half hours. GWR told customers on board that the train had to “be evacuated”.
Mourners traveling to funeral events in Windsor from Paddington have also been affected. One person wrote on Twitter: “I’m stuck on the train for two hours. I got up at 4am to get to Windsor early for the viewing. Absolutely terrible service.
A Network Rail spokesperson said: ‘We are very sorry for the disruption which is expected to continue throughout the day. We are working hard to get services running as quickly as possible and passengers are strongly advised to check before travelling. We will continue to update passengers as the situation develops.
Rail lines between Reading and Newbury were also closed due to a person being hit by a train. This caused GWR trains to be diverted, delaying further journeys to the capital.
About 250 more trains were scheduled for Monday. They included a 3am departure from Penzance, Cornwall, for Paddington, although it left without passengers, according to the CornwallLive news site. In the end, the service only worked as far as Reading.
Heathrow Airport had previously urged airline passengers to use rail or tube services on Monday due to road closures in the Windsor area.