‘Absolutely gutted’ Mourners watch Queen’s funeral on phones due to railway disruption

On Monday morning at 6:30am, no trains were able to leave Padding station in London due to damaged electric lines near Hayes and Harlington station.

Around 250 extra trains were planned for Monday, but some well-wishers who wanted to attend Queen Elizabeth’s funeral were unable to travel to London central on time and were delayed travel for several hours.

Network Rail has said travel disruption will continue until noon on Tuesday, which means the rush hour in the morning after the bank holiday will also have delays.

In a statement on Monday evening, they said: “We will be working overnight to restore the overhead electric lines (power cables) to enable train services to operate.”

“Passengers wishing to travel between London and Reading on Tuesday September 20 are advised to plan to travel via Reading to London Waterloo, and passengers can also travel via Oxford into London Marylebone.

“We sincerely apologise for the significant disruption caused by this substantial de-wirement.”

Network Rail has also said that people should avoid travel between London and Reading on Tuesday unless it is essential.

Some passengers who wished to attend the Queen’s funeral were unable to get to London on Monday.

Passengers at Paddington station were left stranded as no trains could travel, and those at the station were told at 10am there would be no services from the station on Monday.

Staff at Reading train station had to order taxis for passengers and some people were forced to travel as far as Birmingham to get home.

Those wishing to pay their respects to Queen Elizabeth watched the funeral on their phones at train stations rather than in person.

Bev Palfreman, age 61, who travelled from Devon said she was “absolutely gutted” to have missed the beginning of the funeral.

She said: “The Queen has just been there throughout the whole of my life. This was the only thing I wanted to do.”

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Train services run by Heathrow Express, the Elizabeth line and GWR also experienced disruptions due to train cancellations and timetable changes.

Those travelling on one GWR train were told by staff on the public address system: “My sincerest apologies for the delays on such an important day for the country.”

Gaby Thomas, age 29, had travelled from Somerset with her father and had their travel delayed.

She said: “My dad is a former naval officer and he wanted to see the procession and the military involved.

“It’s just about being there. We were meant to arrive in Paddington at about 8.30am. We are still hoping to catch the end of the procession.”

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Andy Byford, the commissioner for Transport for London, said Britain’s capital city had experienced “huge numbers of additional passengers” since Queen Elizabeth’s death.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan posted on social media a thank you to the “hundreds of thousands” who travelled to London to pay their respects to Her Majesty.

He said: “Countless police officers, emergency service staff, transport workers, volunteers, stewards, military, civil servants, local government, businesses, charities and other agencies have worked tirelessly to make this possible in our city.

“My sincerest thanks to everyone involved.”