Train passengers trying to get home or travel to Gatwick Airport have experienced severe delays to their journey after a man decided to climb beneath a train just outside south London’s Thornton Heath. The incident occurred in the early evening and resulted in the power being turned off so that the police could deal with the situation.
According to Network Rail, services on the Gatwick Express and Southern trains were affected between Selhurst and Balham. Although the power eventually came back on at around 20:00 ,there was a knock on effect and delays continued late into the evening.
According to a spokeswoman for the transport police, the driver of the Southern train saw the man climb beneath the carriage and was able to stop the train. She added that officials had been able to get the man out safely, and that a 22-year-old was now being held in custody according to the stipulations of the Mental Health Act.
A spokesman for Network Rail said the incident would have affected thousands of passengers and has advised that anyone intending to travel to double check with National Rail Enquires. Passengers holding Southern tickets have been able to use them on First Capital Connect, London Midland, South West Trains, Southeastern, Tramlink, London Underground and on London buses.
One passenger, who claimed it took her around 90 minutes to travel to East Croydon, said the train had been extremely crowded and that there was only one announcement to say that it would be delayed because of an incident involving a trespasser.