TfL Elizabeth line: Severe delays see passengers including Rachel Riley and James Blunt stuck for hours

Repairs to damaged overhead cables were causing severe TfL Elizabeth line, Heathrow Express and Great Western Railway Services delays on Friday.
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The Elizabeth line, the Heathrow Express and Great Western Railway Services were hit by severe delays with passengers stuck on carriages for hours oon Thursday evening (December 7).

Transport for London (TfL) reported that damaged overhead power cables between London Paddington and Acton Main Line were being repaired. Severe delays were being experienced on the Elizabeth line between Abbey Wood and Whitechapel in east London, as well as between Paddington and Heathrow Terminals and Reading.

Celebrities such as Rachel Riley and James Blunt were among the passengers stuck on the line. At around 10.20pm, Countdown star Riley tweeted: "Nearly 4 hours after we got on, we’re getting off the Elizabeth line, woohoo!"

At around the same time, Blunt said on the social media site: "Been stuck somewhere outside Paddington for close to 4 hours now. Out of peanuts and wine. Can someone please contact @Dominos_UK⁩. This is an emergency."

Delays have lasted into Friday, with National Rail saying some lines have reopened but that trains running to and from London Paddington may be cancelled, delayed by up to 90 minutes or revised. Major disruption is expected until midday. TfL's Circle line was experiencing delays "due to train cancellations".

In a statement, TfL said: "We’re sorry that the damage caused to Network Rail’s overhead power lines by another rail operator’s train has caused significant disruption to our Elizabeth line customers as well as all train operators out of London Paddington. We worked to get customers off of stranded trains as quickly as possible and to provide any support needed. Network Rail are continuing to urgently to repair the power lines and we’d encourage all customers to check before they travel while they do this."

According to Network Rail, the issue came after an overhead cable came down in the Ladbroke Grove area, causing electricity blackouts on some services. A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We are so sorry for the difficult journeys passengers endured on our railway last night and we will be investigating how and why it happened. The knock-on effects from last night mean operators will not be able to run a full service from Paddington today and passengers should check before they travel. Repairs are ongoing and we hope to have the railway fully open by the weekend.”

Which TfL lines are still experiencing delays?

Elizabeth line delays

According to TfL, severe delays are continuing between Paddington and Heathrow Airport/Reading. Minor delays are taking place between Abbey Wood and Whitechapel.

A good service was reported on the rest of the line.Tickets will be accepted on London Underground, London Buses, local buses, Thameslink, South Eastern Railway, DLR, South Western Railways and Chiltern Railways by any reasonable route.

Heathrow Express delays

A reduced, half-hourly service is running. Service are departing from London Paddington at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour. Trains from Heathrow Terminal 5 are departing at 12 and 42 minutes past the hours, and from Heathrow Central at 17 minutes and 47 minutes past the hour.

Great Western Railway delays

A reduced service is in operation between London Paddington and Reading. Disruption is expected to last until at least 6pm.

Tickets can be used on Great Western Railway services up to and including Saturday December 9, and tickets can also be used on alternative routes: Chiltern Railways between London Marylebone and Oxford; South Western Railway between London Waterloo and Reading; London Underground between London Paddington and London Marylebone/London Waterloo.

Minor delays between North Acton and Ealing Broadway/West Ruislip, and between Leytonstone and Epping/Woodford (via Newbury Park) due to a "shortage of trains".

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