Fire repairs halt Brighton to London rail services

Delayed passengers at Haywards Heath
Image caption Passengers at Haywards Heath faced long delays on Friday following the fire at Preston Park

Rail services between Brighton and London have been suspended while engineers carry out repairs following an electrical fire.

Southern Railway also said there was a "much reduced service" between Brighton and Gatwick Airport.

Up to 1.5m people are expected to travel through Gatwick between 17 December and 2 January.

The disruption caused by the fire at Preston Park could last until Monday, First Capital Connect said.

The operator's services between Brighton and Haywards Heath have also been suspended while Network Rail engineers work to reconnect 200 wires damaged in the blaze.

Southern Railway posted an update on Twitter on Saturday which said: "No services running between Brighton and London Victoria due to effects of yesterday's signalling fire."

'Apologise for inconvenience'

In an earlier statement, the firm said: " We are running a much reduced service today between Brighton and Gatwick Airport of two trains per hour.

"Disruption to train services will continue over the weekend, and we apologise for the inconvenience this will cause.

"Delays of up to 90 minutes can be expected, and buses will supplement the reduced train service between Brighton and Haywards Heath as needed."

Passengers have been urged to check the Southern Railway website before travelling.

A spokesman for First Capital Connect said: "A major signalling problem following a fire means we have a reduced service on the Midland and Brighton mainline with no First Capital Connect trains at all between Brighton and Haywards Heath.

"This is likely to last through the weekend and may even affect Monday morning's service."

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