Rail blaze: the scene at Gatwick (@Richiproduction)
A fire on the tracks near Gatwick Airport is causing havoc for holidaymakers and commuters, with disruption expected all day.
The blaze, caused by a power supply problem near the airport's train station, has triggered delays on Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services to and from the airport of around 35 minutes.
Flames melted the electrical cables and a conductor rail which powers the trains. Although two of the four lines were reopened shortly afterwards, the remaining pair will be closed for the rest of the day, causing major problems for travellers through the station.
Video taken at the station and posted on Twitter showed clouds of smoke billowing into the sky as flames shot up from the tracks.
Fire crews were called out to the trackside blaze at 7.07am this morning.
A Network Rail spokesman said: "We’re really sorry for the delays that passengers are experiencing today, our engineers are onsite working to repair the damage caused by the fire.
“The damage is quite extensive, so it’s difficult to give a firm estimate as to when the railway will return to normal.
“In the meantime we are advising passengers to check before they travel."
A spokesman for Govia Thameslink Railway said: "This has caused significant disruption this morning and we will have to introduce a reduced service on Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink, details of which
will be posted on our websites."
Original Source: Evening Standard