The past week has seen sweltering heat, misty fogs and sky-splitting lightening storms. With it has come flash floods and disruption across travel lines, mostly hitting the South East of England.
One train faced particular damage as it was derailed whilst travelling southbound, hitting a landslide near Watford Junction at 7am. Seconds later, a northbound train going the other way gave it a “glancing blow,” according to Network Rail.
The train was carrying 400 people. No one was hurt but the East of England Ambulance treated one man for neck injury and a woman for chest pains. A spokesperson for London Midland predicts disruptions in and out of London Euston. Some lines were even closed altogether and rerouted.
British Transport Police, fire and ambulance services were called to the scene of the landslide at Hunton Bridge Tunnel, near Abbots Langley.
Speaking to Morning Money Radio, Sarah Lowether, a radio reporter working on the derailed line, said:
“The trees were taken down from the side of the rail line last year. Trees have roots, roots hold the mud … The mud had nothing to cling on to. It was the first time I’ve actually flown on a train; when we came off the tracks, I assumed the brace position. Everyone is looking after each other with water and sugar, but we’re worried about our driver.”
Lightning has caused disruptions to signalling equipment in certain areas of the South West and even caused power outages on tram lines in areas of Birmingham. Flooding has struck areas of Didcot, South Stoke and more. A house in Surrey required emergency services after being struck by lightening.
Martin Combe, a meteorologist as the Met Office, said 3.2mm of rain fell in just three hours in Hampshire. That’s almost half the 70mm average for the entire month of September.
“The showers and thunderstorms are going to carry on for quite some time, moving slowly north and eastwards, remaining around London through the morning and all afternoon in East Anglia.”