Frustrating Haywards Heath train delays explained

Haywards Heath Railway Station. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140925-161658001
Haywards Heath Railway Station. Pic Steve Robards SUS-140925-161658001

Signalling problems at Haywards Heath train station caused 376 trains to be delayed or cancelled last Tuesday, a familiar problem for many commuters.

Network Rail apologised for the delays, explaining poor drainage in Haywards Heath tunnel can cause problems as it interferes with equipment.

Work started on Sunday to rectify the problem.

From 7.10am last Tuesday trains were delayed due to signalling problems in the Haywards Heath tunnel.

A spokesman explained: “The rail is so busy it has a knock on effect. It started in the early morning, but it’s a busy railway so we couldn’t get good service back for hours.”

Delays ran through to the evening rush hour.

Train users took to social media to vent their frustrations. Rebecca Golby tweeted: “‘Haywards Heath signalling problems’ the phrase that haunts me daily. How about using some of the extortionate ticket prices to fix them?!”

Ryan Coyle-Woods tweeted: “Signal problems again at Haywards Heath - it is getting beyond a joke. You aren’t providing a service but getting paid #joke.”

If the track circuit fails a red light for danger is signalled to the driver.

The track was intermittently failing, so Network Rail stopped trains to fix the problems.

Whilst this is happening every train then needs to be individually cleared to pass through the tunnel.

The spokesman continued: “If you drive a car up to the traffic lights and have to ask police if you can pass the red light, and they check and clear you, you’ll quickly have a traffic jam. That’s what happened at Haywards Heath tunnel.

“The Brighton mainline is very very busy, it takes one thing to go wrong and the issue becomes massive, we apologise if it was a rough day, but safety is our main priority.”

Jay Hurst tweeted: “Every day I get to Haywards Heath station and there is something wrong. This is getting old.”

Morwenna added: “Yeah so when are they going to get this ‘signalling problem’ at Haywards Heath fixed cause I swear it’s been broken every week so far.”

Christ Holland tweeted: “Isn’t it about time the regular problem at Haywards Heath was sorted out.”