Sussex

Fire disrupts Gatwick railway services for travellers

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Media captionVideo of the fire was posted on Twitter by @RICHIPRODUCTION

A fire on a railway line near Gatwick Airport has disrupted services for holidaymakers and commuters with delays throughout the day.

The blaze was out by 07:00 BST when firefighters arrived but services run by four operators have been affected.

Southern, Gatwick Express, Thameslink and Great Western Railway trains were all hit by delays.

Network Rail said the Brighton mainline reopened by 17:30 BST but disruption would continue for the rest of the day.

A spokesman said: "Our engineers worked hard through the day to repair the damage caused by an intense fire just outside the station.

"This damaged the rails, a power cable and four sets of points - which allow trains to cross from one track to another.

"The railway is now fully open, however it will take some time from train services to return to normal and a much reduced service will operate as trains and crew will be out of position.

"We are grateful for passengers' patience today."

The fire is being investigated by British Transport Police.

Airport alert

The section of track was closed after the fire but partly reopened earlier. It fully reopened on Tuesday evening.

Trains running through the airport are being delayed by up to an hour and there is a reduced service on Gatwick Express.

Gatwick has issued an alert to passengers about delays on train services in and out of the airport.

People have been advised to allow extra time for their train journeys and to check with their operator for further information.

Govia Thameslink, which operates Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services, said anyone held up by 30 minutes or more should claim compensation on its website or ask station staff for a form.

Great Western Railway (GWR) said its services were also disrupted between Redhill in Surrey and Gatwick, and passengers could use GWR tickets on Southern and Thameslink trains.

In a statement, British Transport Police said they were on site trying to establish what caused the fire.

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