Transport chaos after overnight snowfall

Image above: Chiswick Station on Monday morning; photograph by Nick Raikes

All modes of travel disrupted

Travel around London has been severely affected by the overnight snowfall which has covered Chiswick and west London.

On Monday morning (12 December), all Tube lines apart from the Waterloo & City experienced problems while engineers dealt with weather issues including ice on the tracks. 

Trains also faced significant disruption with Southern, Thameslink, Southeastern, South West Railway and Greater Anglia worst affected. Some commuters reported their trains at Chiswick Station were cancelled at the last minute, while others said their journeys took significantly longer than usual. 

Network Rail said hundreds of staff armed with specialist kit were defrosting frozen points and signals, and trains with snow ploughs were being used to clear tracks.

Flights were cancelled or delayed at Heathrow, Stanstead and Gatwick.

Cyclists and motorists alike shared tales of the slippery conditions on social media. The AA advised motorists on Monday to adjust their driving to the freezing conditions.

The Met Office has issued a Yellow Warning for ice which runs until 11.00am tomorrow (Wednesday) morning, with lying snow and icy patches expected to cause difficult travel conditions during Monday and Tuesday.

The UK’s transport network is not designed for extremes of weather and significant snowfall. Points freeze up and many trains use the third rail for electricity on the ground for electricity. Staff also struggle to get to stations to work.

 Chiswick in the now on Monday morning

Images above: snow on Turnham Green; photograph by Stephanie Saunders via Twitter, a resident and their dog walk in the snow; photograph Gina Balakrishnan, Snow in a back garden in Chiswick; photograph by Jennie Shapiro via Twitter

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