London Tube Cement Spill Snarls Victoria Line as Signals Flooded

London’s 151-year-old Tube system suffered partial closing of one of its main arteries when a mishap during construction work led to a signal failure and major disruption during the main evening rush hour.

Contractors working on a upgrade of Victoria Station accidentally caused cement and water to leak into a signal control room, forcing temporary suspension of the line from Warren Street in the center of the city to the Brixton station in the south. The failure affected thousands of commuters during the busy peak evening hour, with only limited alternative mode of transportation available at short notice

“Our engineers are working hard to resolve the situation as soon as possible to get services back up and running, but the line is expected to be affected for the remainder of the day while repairs are carried out,” London Underground operations director Nigel Holness said in a statement.

Limited replacement bus service was made available, and passengers were urged to use alternative modes of transport amid heavy delays on other parts of the line.

London commuters have suffered a series of disruptions in recent weeks as heavy rains led to outages on commuter rail lines in the southeast of England.

The system, which is about 250 miles long in total and serves 270 stations, transports more than 1.2 billion people each year. Waterloo is the single busiest station during the three-hour peak time in the morning, funneling through close to 60,000 commuters, according to Transport for London statistics.

To contact the reporters on this story: Robert Wall in London at rwall6@bloomberg.net; Alex Webb in Munich at awebb25@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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