Surprise trouble hit the world's busiest rail commuter line on Wednesday (7 March) while Britain still waited to hear whether a single train would run on Thursday (8 March).
GV Paddington railway station.
SV & CU PAN Piled-up parcels. (3 shots)
SCU's Passengers waiting TILT UP TO departure board. (2 shots)
SV PAN ALONG empty track.
GTV's Traffic jams (3 shots)
Initials GD/VS 21.48 GD/VS 21.55
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Background: Surprise trouble hit the world's busiest rail commuter line on Wednesday (7 March) while Britain still waited to hear whether a single train would run on Thursday (8 March).
A 24-hour national strike was set to start at midnight, but millions of commuters in Southern England unexpectedly found it impossible to get a train home.
A go-slow protest by drivers on some of the busiest London lines forced officials to cancel most Southern Region trains. The result was absolute chaos.
Traffic was snarled as city workers caught without trains tried to struggle home on roads jammed by cars and buses.
In some instances, journeys which normally took half an hour by train, took up to three hours by road. Thursday's nationwide stoppage will be the second to hit all rail services in Britain within eight days.
SYNOPSIS: Paddington station in the heart of London, where hundreds of thousands of people suddenly found no trains to take them home on Wednesday night. The effects of a Go-Slow protest by train drivers forced officials to cancel trains on the world's busiest commuter train system a day early.
Rail freight piled up untouched, and surprised would-be commuters arrived at major stations to find no trains.... only notices announcing suspension of services. The strike wasn't to have begun until Thursday, but there weren't enough British Rail drivers to carry on even emergency services.
The sudden traffic jams virtually clogged all main exits out of london. Some journeys which usually took half an hour by express train took up to three hours by road. But Wednesday night was only a taste of the national shutdown of trains scheduled for Thursday.