Trespasser halts commuter trains in south London

by Tiffany Millar on September 2, 2011

Thousands of commuters suffered long delays yesterday because of a man climbing under a train then refusing to move, as confirmed by the British Transport Police.

After the man climbed onto the track and then underneath a stationary Southern train, the incident had to be reported from South London’s Thornton Heath at 17:40 BST.

The power had to be turned off so that police could clear the track. As a result, according to Network Rail, services run by Southern and Gatwick Express between Balham and Selhurst experienced severe disruptions.

A spokeswoman representing the transport police said how the man went on o the tracks running at Thornton Heath, before he climbed under the carriage.

Fortunately, the train driver could see the man and was able to stop the train, the spokeswoman commented before confirming that a 22-year-old male had been safely removed before being detained by the authorities under the Mental Health Act.

A Network Rail spokesman pointed out that tens of thousands of potential travellers would have had their plans affected by the disruption. Those in the area or wishing to travel around it were advised to make sure that they contacted National Rail Enquiries.

In order to get things moving, London Buses, the London Underground and Tramlink accepted any passengers that had Southern tickets - as did Southeastern, South West Trains, and London Midland, in addition to First Capital Connect.

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