What a Pickle! Pig causes chaos for commuters in south west London

14 November 2019, 03:58 | Updated: 14 November 2019, 08:28

A pig has been blamed for bringing some of London's busiest rail lines to a halt on Wednesday.

It all started when a water pipe burst in Surbiton, south west London.

When engineers from Thames Water arrived to fix it, they were greeted by the large pig, believed to be a pet named Pickle.

According to The Independent, the animal was standing guard by the damaged valve.

Meanwhile, water from the burst pipe had also damaged railway equipment on one of the country's busiest train routes.

South Western Railway had to cancel and delay trains between Surbiton and Wimbledon, affecting thousands of commuters.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the pig was eventually lured away by someone using crisps as bait, allowing the repair work on the pipe to begin.

A spokesman for the water company told the newspaper that Pickle had been a "big boy" weighing around 130kg.

Contrary to earlier reports, Pickle had not approached anyone aggressively, although he had been rather "startled", the spokesman added.

The railway was reopened shortly after 4pm but it is understood that work on the pipe will continue on Thursday.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "We are sorry to passengers for today's disruption into London Waterloo which was caused by a burst water main in Surbiton."

A spokesman for Thames Water said: "We're sorry to anyone who has had a longer journey than normal because of the road closure.

"This is due to a burst on a 48-inch diameter pipe.

"Our engineers were quickly on site and are working hard to fix the pipe."