UK weather: Christmas getaway chaos as train lines to Gatwick flood and people urged 'not to travel' – latest news – the telegraph,

UK weather: Christmas getaway chaos as train lines to Gatwick flood and people urged 'not to travel' – latest news – the telegraph,

        Train delays of two hours

      • Motorway flooded by river
      • Landslips block railway lines
      • )
      • Flyers told to make other plans

      Those hoping to flee the vile British weather for some Christmas sun or the slopes could see their getaway plans washed out amid travel chaos affecting one of the country busiest airports.

      Train operators have told people not to travel to Gatwick by rail after the network flooded overnight.

      Thameslink, which serves Gatwick and London Bridge from Brighton, told customers if they wanted to guarantee catching their flight, they should make other plans.

      But some would-be flyers trying to reach the airport have reported taxis are refusing to make the trip, and even if they managed to get a cab to take them, people have still missed their flights.

      Landslips have also dumped tonnes of debris onto lines in the south east, blocking the tracks completely.

      This includes the line between Guildford and Godalming used by South Western Railway to take commuters between from Surrey and Hampshire and London.

Stay up to date with the latest here throughout the day.

14: (PM)

Flood alert covers Gatwick’s runway

Here are the flood alerts and warnings in place on the Environment Agency website.

If we zoom in on Gatwick, you can see that the runway itself is under threat.

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    Queen braves the train in the rain

    Nothing is stopping the Queen from getting to Sandringham for Christmas.

    She boarded a train at Kings Cross this morning.

    But not before the King’s Lynn station in Norfolk was swept by specialist officers.

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    Brighton to Gatwick trains now running – but only hourly

    The tracks gave cleared sufficiently enough for Southern Rail to put on a train an hour.

    Here’s the latest from them:

    A significantly reduced, hourly service will run in both directions calling at all stations in between Brighton and Gatwick Airport. Alternatively, you may wish to consider traveling via Barnham, and changing there for alternative services into London.

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    Engineers struggle to clear floodwater

    The water levels on the tracks at Balcombe are decreasing.

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    The Gatwick Christmas curse

    What is it about the Sussex airport and Christmas chaos.

    A year ago to the day, more than (********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************, passengers were hit by cancellations when police said they spotted a drone over the runway.

    Relive the drama here. And here’s the Telegraph’s front page covering the news:

    The story ran until the new year, and the mystery of the supposed drones has never been solved.


    If you’re traveling to Gatwick by train – expect two hour delays

    This is the latest from Thameslink.


    (# TLUpdates) ********************** – Services remain heavily disrupted this morning due to flooding on the railway between Brighton and Gatwick Airport.

    Our advice remains to not travel this morning until further notice.

    If you do travel, you journey time will be extended by up to 120 minutes.

    – Thameslink (@TLRailUK) December , (***********************

    If you’re about to brave the journey, delays are currently at about 120 minutes.


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      When it rains, it pours

      Southeastern – which operates between London and East Sussex and Kent – has now suffered a power failure.

      Customers in Tonbridge are impacted.


    Do not travel to Gatwick, train operator says

    In a statement, Thameslink said: “Heavy rainfall is causing major disruption across the Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express network.

    “We strongly advise to not travel at this time between Brighton and Gatwick Airport.

    “Alternative routes to reach your destination are limited, so you should make your own way to your destination. Please be mindful that roads will also be suffering from the increased rainfall.

    “You should strongly consider making private travel arrangements in order to get to your flight in time. London to Gatwick Airport services will be affected, but to a far lesser extent.”

    (************************************************************************ 12: 38 AM

    Another landslip blocks the line – this time near Guildford

    Alandslip near Guildford is causing major disruption to South Western Railway and Great Western Railway services.

    The rail operator is already running at about half its capacity due to the longest train strike in British history which has crippled the commute from Surrey into the capital.

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    ‘Thank you Southern Rail for destroying Christmas’

    Flyers struggling to get to Gatwick this morning.

    Some vented their fury on social media, accusing rail operators of ruining Christmas.

    Others posted pictures of cars crawling through lake-like roads.

    And others complained that taxis were refusing to take them to the airport.

    Thank you you @ SouthernRailUK

    for destroying Christmas, canceled and delayed trains to Gatwick meaning we had to take a £ 120 taxi and still missed the flight. Also thanks to @ easyJetfor the incompatant and unhelpful staff refusing to hold the gate for 2 minutes!- Ross Parkinson (@myfake_empire) (December) , **********************************

    () @ British_AirwaysBeen trying to get to Gatwick from Brighton for an hour, Taxi’s not going. Now on a train via Barnham – help!- marisa zanotti (@DrMarisaZ) (December) , 3187******************
    Nightmare getting into Gatwick this morning, all roads heading in flooded, usual 42 minute journey took nearly 2 hours. Gatwick not fit for expansion- Ollie Taiani (@qpr_ollie) (December) , 419

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      Landslip sees tonnes of debris pile up on tracks

      Alandslip in Halley in the Medway Valley has left the line with around tonnes of soil and trees on the line.

      It means trains cannot run between buses between Strood and Maidstone West.

      It looks like it could be a long day for the Network Rail engineers.

    9: AM

    Today’s weather forecast

    (9:) AM

    Flooding the railway network

    Heavy overnight rain battered the rail network.

    The line in Balcombe – part of the Brighton line to London – is completely underwater.

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    Thirty flood warnings, 349 flood alerts and three weather warnings