Passengers complained about the cancellation, train delays and reduced capacity, which means a lack of social distancing and passengers “stuck inside like cattle.”
An incident on the Great Western Railway (GWR) due to a signaling problem caused hours of delays in South West trains.
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The 10:02 am train between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads has been described by the Trainline website as ‘busy’ with passengers facing a 20 minute delay.
Train passengers were dismayed at the lack of social distancing.
A Twitter user said: ‘A shocking service from London Paddington to Bristol today.
“Lots of cancellations, and the few trains running only have a few cars and people are stuffed inside like cattle.
“The Covid does not need your help to spread! “
Another Twitter user, going in the opposite direction, said: ‘The trains have been canceled so you have merged trains, going from Bristol to Paddington on an extremely crowded train.
“We are in the middle of a pandemic you know!
“People got up and sat next to strangers. Poor service. “
The main roads affected are Exeter St Davids / Taunton / Weston-super-Mare and Bristol Temple Meads / London Paddington.
Services via Gloucestershire and Swindon were also affected.
A mother trying to get back to Cheltenham from Stroud with her young son said: “The Stroud tannoy said 3:58 pm for Gloucester was about 15 minutes late. This is due to a shortage of train crew.
“The live from Cheltenham is canceled so I have to take care of the connection. Coaches from Gloucester have just arrived in Stroud to take travelers to Reading and Swindon. “
In a statement posted on its website, Great Western Railway said the problem was now corrected, but disruptions were expected in the afternoon.
He said: “Following a failure of the signaling system between Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-Super-Mare, all lines have now reopened.
“Train services through these stations are returning to normal but some services may still be canceled.
“The disruption is scheduled until 1:00 pm on 07/24. “
According to the Trainline app, seven trains between Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-mare were canceled tonight.
GWR released a statement explaining how services could be affected over the next few weeks due to staff testing positive for the coronavirus and others having to self-isolate in the so-called ‘pingemia’.
In the statement, GWR said: “With an increasing number of employees unavailable for work due to testing positive for Covid or having been contacted via tracking and traceability, we have taken steps to maintain the level of service that we are able to offer.
“This includes a limited number of scheduled cancellations, mainly on some of our branch services, as well as other low demand services, such as at the very beginning or at the end of the day.
“We write to customers who have pre-booked tickets.
“Customers should continue to check their trip before leaving home for the latest information. “
Engineering work is also causing heavy disruption.
Inrix said: “Reduced service on Great Western Railway between Bristol Temple Meads and Bristol Parkway and additional replacement buses due to engineering works.
“Buses are in place to help supplement rail services. From July 10 to August 6. “
South Western Railway reports staff shortages affecting rail services between Basingstoke and Hampshire.
Inrix said: “Special schedule operating on the South West Railway due to understaffing.
“Check with the train company before traveling.
“Cancellations and reduced frequency of trains on various parts of the network throughout the weekend. “
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