Fire near Paddington Station causes rush hour chaos for commuters

7 February 2022, 08:10 | Updated: 7 February 2022, 11:04

A fire near a track into Paddington is causing major travel disruption
A fire near a track into Paddington is causing major travel disruption. Picture: Alamy/Twitter @thekimdrummond

By Daisy Stephens

Hundreds of commuters are stuck on trains into London during Monday's morning rush hour following a trackside fire, with services still severely delayed.

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Trains to Paddington and Heathrow were stopped for around 90 minutes as London Fire Brigade (LFB) crews attended a blaze near Canal Way in North Kensington at around 6.40am.

LFB said in a statement: "We were called at 6.41am to reports of a trackside fire at railway line near Canal Way, North Kensington.

"Some trackside switch equipment and trackside cabling were damaged by fire. There were no reports of any injuries.

"We sent one fire engine from North Kensington Station. The fire was under control by 0740."

At least 12 Great Western Railway (GWR) trains were cancelled and many more are delayed, the company said.

Disruption is ongoing, with routes run by GWR and Transport for London (TfL) affected.

Hundreds of commuters faced delays
Hundreds of commuters faced delays. Picture: Twitter @KRattu20

TfL said trains started moving again around 8.30am but journeys between Paddington and Heathrow and Paddington and Reading are "severely delayed".

"The fire next to the track between Acton Main Line and London Paddington has now been extinguished, allowing [the] line to reopen," said National Rail in a statement.

"However, while service returns to normal, trains to / from London Paddington may still be cancelled, delayed by up to 60 minutes or revised."

Just before 9.30am, the operator said disruption was expected to last until 10.30am.

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The rail operator said the disruption was affecting all Great Western Railway services, Heathrow Express between London Paddington and Heathrow Terminal 5, and TfL rail between London Paddington and Reading, Hayes & Harlington, Maidenhead, and Heathrow Terminal 5.

Commuters have taken to social media to share their frustration.

One individual reported being stuck on a train for 40 minutes due to a power outage, with TfL responding explaining it was down to the fire.

Another wrote: "You know it’s a good start to the week when all the trains from Paddington are cancelled…"

Great Western Railway said in a tweet: "Due to a fire next to the track between Reading and London Paddington all lines are closed.

"Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed or revised."

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National Rail said other operators including Avanti West Coast, South Western Railway, Chiltern Railways, and the London Underground are accepting tickets from affected passengers.

It comes less than a week after another fire near Acton Town station last Tuesday, which saw major disruption on the District Line after around 70 firefighters tackled the blaze.