South West facing ‘at least a week’ of rail chaos after huge landslip destroys key line to London

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Commuters in the South West of England are likely facing days without a direct rail connection to London after a “huge” landslip destroyed part of the line between the capital and Basingstoke.

No trains will run to London from Exeter, Salisbury, Weymouth, Bournemouth, Southampton, or Winchester on Tuesday, as South Western Railway warned tracks mangled in a landslip near Hook in Hampshire On Sunday will take “at least a week” to repair.

Trains from the South West will again terminate at Basingstoke on Tuesday, with only a “severely restricted service” across surviving tracks between Basingstoke and Woking, where trains are running into the capital.

Customers are urged to only travel “if their journey is absolutely necessary” as South Western Railway warned that the “scale and complexity of the infrastructure works” could take days to resolve.

A further severe landslip occurred in Addlestone, on the line between Virginia Water and Weybridge.

A 44-metre landslip which happened on the embankment to the northeast of Hook station in Hampshire on the line from London to Basingstoke (Photo: Network Rail/PA Wire)

Claire Mann, managing director of South Western Railway, said: “We are deeply sorry for the significant disruption felt by customers across our network on Monday.

“What began as a major landslip at Hook was then compounded by 10 separate weather-related infrastructure failures, which have made planning and delivering a reliable train service across our network very difficult.

“We are working hard to provide a service that our customers can rely upon and unfortunately, we will be unable to run through services from Exeter, Weymouth, or Portsmouth (via Eastleigh) to London Waterloo from Tuesday. An extremely limited number of services will be able to run between Basingstoke and Woking, but we are asking customers to avoid traveling through the affected area if they can.

“With the repairs at Hook set to take at least a week to complete it is likely that further service alternations will need to be made.

“We are sorry for the ongoing disruption caused by the landslip and will communicate any changes to our customers as soon as possible.”

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