Swan on the tracks halts trains on London’s Elizabeth line | London

Services on a major section of London’s new £19bn Elizabeth line have been suspended because of a swan blocking the tracks.

Transport for London (TfL) said there were no services between Heathrow airport in west London and Abbey Wood in south-east London – via the centre of the capital – due to “an obstruction on the track”. It said there were severe delays on the rest of the line.

Passengers onboard trains reported being told a bird was to blame. National Rail Enquiries said there were “animals on the railway”.

The incident was first reported at 12.56pm on Thursday. The line remained closed more than two hours later. Passengers reported being held on trains, which do not have toilets, for up to an hour.

One person wrote on Twitter: “I have been trapped on the Elizabeth line for an hour because of a swan on the line.”

Another posted: “You are an absolute shambles @TfL. I cannot believe you closed the entire Elizabeth line for a swan on the tracks. Has nobody been on the shooing course? How hard is it to move a swan?”

Last August, rail services between Norwich and London Stansted were affected when an escaped giant tortoise named Clyde made its way on to the tracks. The animal received non-life-threatening injuries when it was hit by a train.

The west African giant tortoise had gone missing from Swallows Aquatics pet shop in East Harling. It took four rail workers to move it from the track. After being treated by a vet, Clyde recovered.

The Elizabeth line stretches from Reading in Berkshire and Heathrow airport to Shenfield in Essex and Abbey Wood. It opened in May 2022 at an estimated cost of £18.9bn.


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