Severe delays on Southeastern Railway and Thameslink services after freight train derailed

By Helen Coffey

Passengers experienced severe delays on Southeastern Railway and Thameslink services this morning after the derailment of a freight train at Hoo Junction.

According to Network Rail, “One wheel has come off the rails and some wagons are blocking the down line”.

The body responsible for Britain’s rail infrastructure tweeted early this morning: “Our teams have sourced a rescue locomotive and driver who should be on site shortly. Then they will attach to the wagons blocking passenger trains and pull them clear and back into the sidings.”

Network Rail shared pictures of the derailment on social media - which show the train wheels clearly no longer on the track - tweeting that the incident had occurred at “low speed”.

By 9.40am, it was reported that the derailed train and the rescue locomotive responsible for attending the scene were both clear of the railway lines, allowing normal services to resume.

However, passengers were advised to “check before you travel as there may still be some delays while we get back on track. Sorry again for the disruption.”

Following the derailment, Southeastern trains from Dartford towards Strood were unable to run, while services from Strood towards Dartford were delayed or cancelled.

Replacement bus services were deployed between Dartford and Strood and between Gravesend and Rochester.

In the interim, train tickets were also accepted on Arriva buses on all routes between Gravesend and Gillingham, as well as on Thameslink services between Dartford and Gravesend.

Southeastern tweeted at 11am that “all lines between Gravesend and Strood have re-opened”; however, the operator warned that disruption was likely to continue until at least 12pm.

However, travellers whose journey was delayed by 15 minutes or more by the disruption are due compensation.

The operator advised affected passengers to “search Southeastern Delay repay”.

Meanwhile, all Thameslink services between Rainham and Dartford were cancelled for much of the morning.

As of 11am, the operator said: “Services between Rainham and Gravesend are now running normally.”

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