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Delays of up to an hour on the trains after flooding at Haywards Heath

Southern Rail say if you’re trip is essential, you are strongly recommended to check the updates before you travel.



After heavy rain flooded the railway in the early hours of this morning (25th June) Southern Rail has delays for its passengers traveling through Haywards Heath.

Due to the heavy rainfall in the early hours of this morning, water levels were above the railheads which meant that train services could not run past Haywards Heath until the water levels reduced.

Network Rail Engineers arrived to site at 06:09 and examined the lines, at this point a decision was made to allow train services to run through but at reduced speed of 5MPH as the water levels had reduced enough to allow movement through.

Network Rail says their quick response team will remain on site and carry out further inspections and use water pumps where necessary.

When the water level rises above the rails, trains have to reduce their speed to prevent damage to the train. If the track has a live conductor rail, flooding can cause a short circuit and cut power to the trains and track side equipment.

They say the flooding has now subsided allowing all lines through Haywards Heath to reopen but it has caused disruption with some trains cancelled or delayed.

Southern Rail say that overall journey times to and from Three Bridges, Brighton and Lewes may be extended by up to 60 minutes.

Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services will be exceptionally busier than usual during this time.

Tickets will be honoured across all Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express routes during this time. In addition to this, you can also use your ticket with the following existing bus routes:

 Metrobus on the following routes

  •  271, 272, and 273 between Crawley, Three Bridges, Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Burgess Hill and Brighton
  • 430 for Reigate, Redhill and Merstham
  • 2 for Crawley and Ifield
  • 3 for Crawley, Three Bridges, and Gatwick Airport
  • 23 for Crawley, Faygate, and Horsham
  • 200 for Horsham, Faygate, Ifield, and Gatwick Airport
  • 84 / 272 / 281 / 291 for Crawley and Three Bridges (84 continues to East Grinstead)
  • 400 for Crawley, Three Bridges, Gatwick Airport, Redhill
  • 420 / 460 for Crawley, Gatwick Airport, Horley, Redhill
  • 100 Three Bridges, Gatwick,Horley,Salfords,Earlswood,Redhill
  • 460 Reigate,Redhill,Salfords,Horley,Gatwick,Crawley

Brighton & Hove on the following routes

  • 12 for Brighton, Newhaven, Seaford, Eastbourne
  • 24, 28, 29, 29B50 (Brighton, Lewes)
  • 23 (Brighton, Lewes, Falmer)
  • 14, 14A, 14B for Brighton, Newhaven)

You can also use your tickets on 

  • London Overground on all routes
  • London Trams between East Croydon and Wimbledon
  • London Underground between Balham / Morden / Wimbledon and West Hampstead
  • South Western Railway between Clapham Junction and London Waterloo
  • London Buses between Redhill and Elsetree & Borenhamwood
  • Great Western Railway services between Gatwick / Redhill and Dorking Deepdene, change at Dorking for Southern services to London Victoria.
  • Southeastern services between London and Tonbridge / Hastings


Southern Rail ticket refunds and service protection as emergency measures begin



The Government is taking emergency measures to support and sustain necessary rail services as operators face significant drops in their income.

The Department for Transport will temporarily suspend normal franchise agreements and transfer all revenue and cost risk to the government for a limited period, initially six months. Operators will continue to run services day-to-day for a small predetermined management fee.

This will allow us to ensure that trains necessary for key workers and essential travel continue to operate. No other passengers should travel. As we have already announced, services will be reduced from today.

Anyone holding an Advance ticket will be able to refund it free of charge. All season ticket holders can claim a refund for time unused on their tickets free of administrative charges. Ticket holders should contact their operator for details.

The railways have already seen up to a 70% drop in passenger numbers. Rail fares revenue has also reduced as people increasingly work from home and adopt social distancing, with total ticket sales down by two-thirds from the equivalent date in 2019.  

The Government has provided today’s offer to minimise disruption to the rail sector, vital to the wider UK economy, through these difficult times. Allowing operators to enter insolvency would cause significantly more disruption to passengers and higher costs to the taxpayer. The management fee will allow operators to act in the national interest in tackling Covid-19.

Fees will be set at a maximum of 2 per cent of the cost base of the franchise before the Covid-19 pandemic began, intended to incentivise operators to meet reliability, punctuality and other targets. The maximum fee attainable will be far less than recent profits earned by train operators. In the event that an operator does not wish to accept an Emergency Measures Agreement, the Government’s Operator of Last Resort stands ready to step in.

Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps said:

“We are taking this action to protect the key workers who depend on our railways to carry on their vital roles, the hardworking commuters who have radically altered their lives to combat the spread of coronavirus, and the frontline rail staff who are keeping the country moving.

“People deserve certainty that the services they need will run or that their job is not at risk in these unprecedented times. We are also helping passengers get refunds on Advance tickets to ensure no-one is unfairly out of pocket for doing the right thing.

“These offers will give operators the confidence and certainty so they can play their part in the national interest.”  

Paul Plummer, chief executive of the Rail Delivery Group, which represents train operators and Network Rail, said:

“The rail industry is working together so that people and goods can keep making essential journeys during this unprecedented national challenge, getting key workers to hospitals, food to shops and fuel to power stations.

“The industry strongly welcomes the Department for Transport’s offer of temporary support and while we need to finalise the details, this will ensure that train companies can focus all their efforts on delivering a vital service at a time of national need. “We would like to thank our people, who continue to do an incredible job in difficult circumstances.”

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