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London Tube Cement Spill May Snarl Victoria Line Today

London’s 151-year-old Tube system suffered a partial closing of one of its main arteries after a construction mishap, which threatens to disrupt this morning’s commute after tie-ups yesterday evening.

Contractors upgrading Victoria Station accidentally caused cement and water to leak into a signal control room yesterday afternoon, 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 rush-hour commuters, who had few transportation options available at short notice.

“There is a risk that services on the Victoria line will start later than normal,” crimping today’s service, Peter McNaught, operations director for the Bakerloo, Central and Victoria lines, said in an e-mailed statement. “Our engineers continue to work hard to repair the damaged equipment and get the line up and running as soon as possible.”

The Tube system transports more than 1.2 billion people a year, across about 250 miles (402 kilometers) of track and 270 stations. London commuters have suffered a series of disruptions in recent weeks as heavy rains forced closings on commuter rail lines in the southeast of England.

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

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