Paddington delays: Transport woes hit London rail network ahead of major tube strike

Passengers heading to Heathrow Airport warned of severe delays to journeys

Passengers to and from Paddington station in London face delays to their journeys following damage to overhead cables. PA
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London's transport network has been hit by a second day of severe delays, just hours before a major strike on Wednesday which is set to bring underground services to a halt.

Rail commuters travelling to and from London Paddington station bore the brunt of the disruption on Tuesday, which was caused by damage to overhead cables.

As a result, travellers heading to Heathrow on the Elizabeth Line or the Heathrow Express were left facing delays to their journeys.

Cables between London Paddington and Slough in Berkshire were damaged at around noon on Monday, preventing trains from running on some lines.

Cancellations and delays continued into the Tuesday morning peak period while Network Rail worked to fix the damage. Disruption was expected until the end of the day.

Operators of Heathrow Express warned passengers that journeys to the West London airport would be affected.

It comes after the south-east of England was hit by high winds of 50mph, causing the Met Office to issue a yellow warning for much of the country earlier in the week.

London commuters are bracing for a major tube strike on Wednesday, which will see most tube services cancelled and major disruption extending to the rest of the transport network, including rail and buses.

The rail network will be affected again on Thursday, March 16 and Saturday, March 18 for two 24-hour staff walkouts from 14 different train companies, including Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern Rail.

Workers at the Rail, Maritime and Transport Union are protesting over pay, pensions and working conditions and union bosses have warned that a deal is unlikely to be reached in the near future.

The industrial action, which has been going on since mid-2022, poses a major embarrassment for the government which is announcing its budget on Wednesday.

London Paddington is the UK’s sixth busiest railway station.

Office of Rail and Road figures show it was used for an average of more than 65,000 journeys each day in the year to the end of March 2022.

Updated: March 14, 2023, 10:33 AM