Southeastern rail disruption follows snow and ice

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Winter weather has led to delays and cancellations across the Southeastern rail network.

The company apologised to customers on Sunday and said problems were caused by snow and ice on the conductor rail used to power trains on the track.

Spokesman Mike Gibson said it was Network Rail's responsibility to keep the conductor rail clear.

Network Rail said it de-iced tracks on Saturday but rain followed by freezing temperatures led to more ice forming.

A spokeswoman said this caused significant electric traction problems with trains unable to run.

She said all routes had since reopened.

Train 'slid'

One customer, Tim Hislop from London, said he tried to take his son to Brands Hatch for a birthday present and set off from London Victoria but abandoned his journey at Bromley South after their trip to that point took "nearly four hours".

"As the train was trying to power up a hill, it juddered forward badly, then slid backwards on the rails before coming to a halt," he said.

Mr Hislop said the driver told passengers he was "trying his best".

"No doubt he was but how can this be acceptable or even happen in this day and age?" Mr Hislop said.

Southeastern, which runs services across Kent and East Sussex into London, said it hoped Network Rail would de-ice the network in time for Monday morning's rush hour.

Network Rail said staff would be working through the night to mitigate against the effects of freezing temperatures.

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