Chaos on the Great Western Railway


Photo: Pexels

Last week’s delays on the Central and Piccadilly Line must’ve rubbed off on the Great Western as major delays felt like déjà vu for Londoners. The Great Western come to a standstill on Tuesday evening, leaving thousands of passengers stranded from London to South Wales.

Unlike the London Underground planned strike, the Great Western unexpected delays meant passengers were unaware until entering train stations. Due to the sudden nature of the delays, there were no replacement buses available for hours. Passengers had to find alternative routes and even staff themselves were unprepared for delays.

The Heathrow Expresstrain on the fast-westbound line were stranded meaning all services had to use the slow line causing delays and cancellations. Passengers boarding planes even missed their flights due to the lateness of trains. The Piccadilly service was the alternate route given however itself had long gaps in airport services.

Hamda Caalin, 21, an undergraduate at West London University, takes the Great Western to and from university. She was oblivious to the delays until going home from Ealing Broadway station.

“Everything was perfectly fine in the morning and I didn’t hear of any delays from other students. The delays meant I had to take 3 buses home to West Drayton as no other train line stops there,” she said.

The closure was triggered by a Hitachitrain being tested on the railway in order to ensure it was safe for passenger services. The train knocked out the power to the tracks near Hanwell station resulting in no trains departing all day on the Great Western Railway.

The delays on the Great Western continued for another two days with the trains stopping and starting throughout the day. Many stations such as Hayes and Harlingtonhad all of their trains cancelled but failed to have information outside the station for hours.

Fortunately for London passengers, the London Underground enabled them to take a different route to their destinations regardless of the time difference. But for passengers traveling further than Reading, as the Waterloo and Cityline can be taken, would find it harder to find a direct and easy route.

Mohamed Jama, 20, an undergraduate at Brunel University, “I travelled to Hayes and Harlington station for half an hour blissfully unaware of the delays. This meant I had to travel to work via the bus which was already packed with other passengers and don’t get me started on the traffic,” he said.

The Great Western Railway and Paddingtonstation was created by Isambard Kingdom Brunel 164 years ago. This week, commuters stood beside his statue in Paddington station unsure of their route home.

“Following disruption caused by overhead line damage yesterday, we are pleased to be able to offer a virtually full service today,” @GWRHelp

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