Shelagh Fogarty 1pm - 4pm
Train chaos for commuters after train derails on London-bound line
13 January 2022, 11:09 | Updated: 13 January 2022, 11:24
Commuters travelling to and from London St Pancras International faced travel disruption on Thursday morning after a freight train derailed in Kent.
Listen to this article
One of the train's wheels came off the rails at the Hoo Junction depot between Gravesend and Strood in the early hours of Thursday, blocking southbound lanes and causing delays and cancellations to high-speed passenger services operated by Southwestern.
It does not appear any injuries have been reported.
Whilst the route has since reopened, Southeastern warned that disruption was expected to continue until midday.
⚠️ UPDATE: We have been advised by Network Rail that the freight train has been re-railed and lines in both directions between Gravesend and Strood have been re-opened. Please continue to check your journey before travel. Further updates - https://t.co/XzFkJNbeL2 #Higham— Southeastern (@Se_Railway) January 13, 2022
High-speed services from London St Pancras International towards Strood are being diverted after Ebbsfleet International.
Southeastern warned that trains heading towards the capital "may be delayed or amended at short notice".
The derailment also means that all trains from Gravesend towards Rochester are cancelled.
A "rescue locomotive" was used to remove the wagons blocking passenger trains.
⚠️ We’re really sorry to @Se_Railway & @TLRailUK passengers delayed this morning due to a low speed derailment of a freight train at Hoo Junction. One wheel has come off the rails & some wagons are blocking the down line pic.twitter.com/TnxkUtBtpv— Network Rail Kent & Sussex (@NetworkRailSE) January 13, 2022
Southeastern travellers were already facing a reduced service as an emergency timetable was introduced on Monday in response to coronavirus pandemic-related staff shortages.
Operators across Britain have taken the same measure in an attempt to reduce the number of short-notice cancellations.