Southern Rail cancels all direct trains to UK's second busiest train station amid COVID chaos

·2 min read
The scene at London's Victoria Station on the third day this week when drivers working for Southern Railway have gone on strike, with the company expected to cancel all of its 2,242 weekday services.
Southern Rail train services to and from London Victoria have been cancelled for two weeks. (PA)

Southern Rail train services to and from London Victoria have been cancelled for two weeks as a result of staff shortages caused by COVID.

The lines were already suspended for a week on Monday because of engineering work but this has now been extended until 10 January.

The services will also not stop at Battersea Park, Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Common.

Southern Rail announced the suspension in a statement: “Due to the ongoing effect of coronavirus isolation and sickness, there will be no direct services to/from London Victoria until 10 January.”

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Southern Rail trains head to Victoria station in London on May 20, 2021. - Britain today unveiled long-awaited reforms of the country's railways, including a new centralised price and reservations system, but insisted it was not backtracking on privatisation started in the 1990s. (Photo by Daniel LEAL / AFP) (Photo by DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images)
Southern Rail trains head to Victoria station in London. (Getty)

Major routes cancelled include Clapham Junction to Milton Keynes, East Croydon to London Bridge, and Epsom to London Bridge.

There has been an amendment to London services connecting to Tonbridge, Redhill, Reigate, Caterham, Uckfield, Beckenham Junction and Luton.

Other services, including those to Hastings, Hove, Southampton and East Grinstead, have been diverted and will continue to London Bridge after stopping at East Croydon.

Southern Metro services via Streatham Common and Streatham Hill will only operate south of Balham, and there will be no direct service between Mitcham Junction and Balham.

Customers will need to travel via Streatham and Streatham Common.

Travel plans over the festive period have been badly affected by a triple threat of industrial action, planned closures and staff shortages due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Several rail services are currently experiencing disruption due to staff being ill with COVID-19.

TransPennine Express, ScotRail, Avanti West Coast, Northern Rail, LNER and Greater Anglia have all impacted services caused by a lack of available workers.

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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 23: Passengers at Victoria Train Station in London, UK as the country records 119,789 new Covid cases in one day on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021. (Photo by Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Passengers at Victoria train station. (Getty)

Meanwhile, East Midlands Railway services continue to be affected by industrial action by the RMT union, with an amended service expected to run on 2 January.

Several routes are also being affected by planned engineering works.

In the north, Leeds will have a reduced service between 27 December and 3 January, including a “very limited” service on 2 January.

In the west, CrossCountry trains will not call at Bristol Parkway between 27 December and 31 December.

Some Great Western Railway services will also be affected to and from Bristol Temple Meads.

Planned closures have also hit the London Underground.

The Piccadilly line has been closed between Heathrow Airport and Acton Town until 30 December.

According to TfL's website, the Metropolitan and City line has been shut completely since 23 December and will not reopen until “early January”.

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