back to top

Train Delays Blamed On "Strong Sunshine"

Commuters were not happy with "sunshine" being given as the reason for late trains.

Posted on

Southeastern railway tweeted that in response to passenger Tom Attwood, who was at Lewisham station on Tuesday morning. He responded:

@Se_Railway strong sunshine? That's a new one! X

But the company said it's a serious problem. In a tweet to another angry passenger, it said drivers going through Lewisham couldn't see the dispatch screens.

@TLC1972 We have delays though Lewisham due to drivers not being able to see the dispatch screens due to the sunshine. ^MS

Advertisement

One passenger asked, quite reasonably, how trains run at all in hot countries, if sunlight is such a problem.

@theroyalfactor @Se_Railway How do they go on in hot countries where they have sunshine all the time????

But the company said "somebody could be hurt" if the trains ran in such conditions.

@AnthonyChuck If the driver can see the screens, somebody could be hurt when the train dispatches. ^AW

The company also claimed on Twitter that the sun made it hard for drivers to see CCTV monitors that show whether it's safe to open and close train doors.

@amosreboot Apologies, the sunshine is affecting the CCTV moniters which drivers use to check if its safe to close the doors. ^MS

It's certainly a newer entry in the traditional list of late-running train announcements.

@Se_Railway Reasons to give when trains are late ⭕ Broken down train ⭕ Signal failure ⭕ Weather ⭕ Sick passenger ⭕ The sun (new entry)

The announcement left people wondering whether they'd actually stumbled upon a parody account.

LOL the wrong kind of sun I’m not sure which one is the parody account

This isn't the first time train drivers have complained about sunlight causing a problem. Southeastern issued a warning to drivers in 2012 about the dazzling reflection caused by the Shard skyscraper at certain times of the day, as trains pull into London Bridge.

But in 2012, Southeastern told drivers to "slow down when visibility is poor" and wear sunglasses if necessary, rather than stop altogether.

It is apparently still a problem.

@tattwood @Se_Railway To be fair, I have seen this often at London Bridge. Driver can't see signals due to low sun direct into face.

Here's hoping the sun learns to stop interfering with key commuter routes.

@Se_Railway @tattwood Parcel of sunglasses on route to Lewisham 😂😎

Patrick Smith is a senior reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Patrick Smith at patrick.smith@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.