15 June 2024

UPDATE: Salisbury trains remain cancelled with rail replacement busses in place

All trains in and out of Salisbury remain cancelled with disruption expected to last until at least the end of the day tomorrow (2nd November 2021).

Speaking to Love Salisbury, Mark Hopwood, Managing Director of Great Western Railway, gave us the latest update on travel advice for passengers.

“There is a very limited service from Salisbury with trains that are running west to Wesbury, Bath, Bristol and on to Cardiff – that train is running once an hour. All the other services are currently replaced by busses.

“Our advice to people, if you don’t need to travel today don’t travel or if you can make other arrangements for your journey that would be advisable. We do have a fleet of busses running a replacement service. Those busses are running routes to Romsey and Southampton also towards Andover and Basingstoke where people can connect on to trains to take them to places like London Waterloo.

“If people have access to their own road vehicle they might want to think about driving to other stations like Westbury or Southampton where there are train services available.

“We are not expecting the train services to be reopened very quickly, we’re working closely with the rail accident investigation branch and at some point, the railway will be released and repaired but that is not likely to happen very quickly. We will be posting more information and updates on our websites”.

The cancellations on GWR services between Westbury and Southampton are expected to last all day. GWR say, “Road transport has been confirmed between Westbury to Salisbury and Salisbury to Southampton Central”.

South Western Railway say train services running between Salisbury and Andover may be cancelled, delayed or revised.  They advise disruption is expected until the end of the day tomorrow (2nd November 2021).

Today, rail investigators and work teams tend to yesterday evening’s train collision at the Fisherton Tunnel just outside Salisbury.

The collision occurred before 7:00pm yesterday when the 17:09 Great Western Railway service from Portsmouth Harbour to Bristol Temple Meads derailed after striking ‘an object’.

The 17.20 South Western Railway service then collided with the train.

GWR, SWR and Network Rail released the following statement:

At 11.30pm last night, Dorset & Wiltshire and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed they did not believe there to be any further casualties and thanked the local community for their support.

A few minutes earlier, British Transport Police released the following statement. Watch the statement here:

“We were called to Fisherton Tunnel in Salisbury at 6.46pm tonight following reports of a train derailment which involved two passenger trains colliding.

“Officers are continuing to respond to the incident alongside our emergency service colleagues and the line is expected to be shut for some time.

“Thankfully there have been no fatalities however a number of people have been injured and a casualty centre has been opened at a nearby church. Most of these people are walking wounded however a small number, including the driver, have been taken to hospital where their injuries are being assessed.

“A major incident has been declared and this has been a large scale, multi-agency response working closely alongside our colleagues in Wiltshire. We will remain on scene throughout the night working to establish the full circumstances of how this incident came to happen”.

GWR customers intending to travel from Salisbury are advised that journey times will be considerably extended. GWR say, “In the short term, in any event until robust arrangements are in place for alternative transport, customers are requested to consider deferring their journey or utilising other routes.

“Currently we are unable to guarantee that it would be possible to complete any given journey attempted along the affected corridor.”

As Salisbury’s local radio station Salisbury Radio broadcast additional local news bulletins last night, journalist Beth Doherty says, “Having received messages from people whose family were due to be on that train, we are so thankful that no-one has died. It’s a sad reminder of why rail safety is so important”.

Written by
David Harber
View all articles
Written by David Harber