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Clapham Junction: Power Problems Hit Trains
It's a miserable morning for commuters; power supply problems at Clapham Junctions means no Souther, Thameslink or Gatwick Express services are running with people being evacuated from carriages.
Train travel on busy commuter routes has been plunged into chaos after a major power supply problem led to police and firefighters evacuating passengers stuck for hours in sweltering temperatures.
Water had to be handed out to stricken travellers, some of whom were still waiting to reach London more than five hours after boarding their train.
The problem, which was set to cause disruption throughout the day, was compounded by the fact that it affected Clapham Junction in south London - the UK's busiest interchange station.
One passenger had to be treated by ambulance staff on one of the stationary trains, while firefighters used a short-extension ladder to evacuate travellers from one held-up service.
British Transport Police (BTP) reported evacuating 904 passengers from one train, while travellers on another stricken service were waiting for a tow.
Passengers spoke of "nightmare'' conditions at Clapham Junction.
No Southern train company trains were able to get in or out of London's Victoria station and there was no service on the Gatwick Express.
Passengers heading for London from southern England found they had to get off well short of their destination and travel in on other rail routes.
The unfortunate ones got stuck on trains unable to get through Clapham Junction.
One of the worst-affected trains was the 6.56am from Brighton which should have got into Victoria at 8.15am.
Shortly after noon the train was still stuck near Clapham.
One of its passengers student Hannah Phillips, 20, from Eastbourne, East Sussex, said: "I was lucky that I was carrying a bottle of water with me as it was getting very hot on the train.
"This is probably the worst train journey I've experienced.''
Another passenger on the held-up Brighton train was Ben Goode.
He tweeted: "This is a shambles.''
Also on the train was Anna Roberts, a Press Association journalist.
She said: "Police and paramedics boarded our train because there is no air conditioning.
"They said they were bringing water but not enough for everyone to have one bottle each.
"Eventually we got water in plastic containers which we are passing around the carriage.
"We were told that was all that was available.
"With the power off, it's like an oven in here.
"Police have said it's too dangerous to walk down the track.''
The problem struck between Wandsworth Common and Clapham Junction in the middle of the morning rush hour.
FiniasFinn tweeted: "Clapham Junction is the worst station ever. I realise it's chaos but no staff helping and being arrogant is not a help.''
Thomas Michael Jules wrote: "Avoid Clapham Junction today people! Mayhem!!''
A person called Precious tweeted: "Complete chaos at Clapham Junction this morning as trains are delayed left, right and centre. What a nightmare!''
A Network Rail spokesman said: "A major power supply problem between Clapham and Wandsworth Common has disrupted Southern train services into London Victoria this morning.
"Engineers are on site and we aim to resume services as quickly as possible.
"Tickets are valid on all other routes into London and Southern passengers are advised to avoid travelling through Clapham Junction, which is very busy.
"South West Trains services to and from Waterloo via Clapham Junction are unaffected.''
MTR will run the franchise with First Group for seven years from August, taking over from Stagecoach.
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