London to Brighton mainline blocked - Commuter chaos from Balcombe tunnel flooding

Rail timetable disruption
Rail timetable disruption

Southern Rail is running bus services between Haywards Heath and Three Bridges to try an bypass today’s (Friday) flooding at Balcombe Tunnel.

However, the train operator is warning passengers to try and find alternative transport to help ease the problems.

On Twitter this morning the company said it was unable to comment on how long the disruption would last.

One person asked about getting the 1.06 train from Victoria to Brighton this afternoon but was told “it’s looking unlikely at the moment due to the flooding”.

Another person asked if it was forseen that the problem would last all day as she had to get an elderly grandmother down to Brighton this evening.

She was told: “We are unable to comment I’m afraid, I would advise checking your journey on National Rail before you leave.”

Commuters trying to bypass the rail network gridlock were taking to their cars this morning but facing long delays and jams due to volume of traffic and diversions around flooded roads such as the A23 and other main commuter routes.

A pinch point was Balcombe itself where it was taking drivers nearly 30 minutes to negotiate the Haywards Heath road going north towards Three Bridges.

Many roads in the area are under several inches of water at their edges and drivers and other travellers are having to take great care and reduce their speeds.