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Chaos at Paddington as passengers ‘stuck on Elizabeth line for more than an hour’


Chaos at Paddington as passengers ‘stuck on Elizabeth line for more than an hour’

One of the £1bn fleet of trains is thought to have got stuck in the £20bn line’s central section, between Paddington and Abbey Wood – causing a massive knock-on impact on the western section of the route.

Some passengers reported being stuck on a train outside Paddington for 75 minutes. The delay was so long that one passenger apparently had to urinate on board – despite there being no toilets on the trains.

One mother, Hannah Beckerman, said her husband and 10-year-old daughter were stuck onboard a train in a tunnel for 75 minutes with no announcements.

She tweeted: “It’s utterly disgraceful and Londoners need to know what is being done to improve it.”

Huge crowds struggle to access the Tube lines at Paddington

/ Michael Bennett

National Rail inquiries said the problem was affecting all rail lines in and out of Paddington, meaning there were also problems with the Heathrow Express and Greater Western Railway services. It said problems were expected to continue until at least 10am.

It comes ahead of the final stage in the opening of the Elizabeth line in five days. On Sunday May 21, peak hour train frequencies in central London are due to increase from 22 to 24 trains an hour, along with the first direct trains between Shenfield and Heathrow.

Vast crowds built up outside the entrance to the Elizabeth line station at Paddington

/ Michael Bennett

As part of the changes, the software that allows the trains to communicate with the three signalling systems on the line has been upgraded.

But Transport for London has long been concerned at the lack of reliability on the tracks use by the Elizabeth line west of Paddington, which are controlled by Network Rail.

A Transport for London spokesman said at 9.30am that the broken train – which had stopped at the Elizabeth line platform – had been moved and that services would gradually return to normal.

This story is being updated.

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