Southern strike causes overcrowding at West Croydon station

London Overground busy due to Southern strikes

London Overground. (Archive photo) Pic: Jungho Choi

Southern drivers continued to strike for a second day causing massive queues in Croydon. Overcrowding and long queues were reported at West Croydon station as commuters attempted to make their way to work via Overground, Thameslink and Tramlink services.

Beleaguered commuters tweeted photos of large crowds stretching out of the entrance to West Croydon station as staff tried to ease overcrowding inside the station. Meanwhile those lucky enough to board trains expressed shock and frustration as trains left with barely any passengers on board.

Twitter user @theandymoancuso posted two photos, one showing the “500+ deep” queues outside the station, and one showing a London Overground service train leaving with few customers on board. Those who managed to make it onto a train are seen sitting down, with just a handful of commuters having to travel without a seat.


Twitter user @InspiredAssets, who was caught up in the queues outside the gates, called the over-crowding “horrendous”, while user @BeccaBoo_88 described it as “carnage.” Crowds were reportedly held outside for over an hour.

The strikes are being held as part of a long running dispute over Southern Rail’s plans to move to driver-only operated trains. Unions ASLEF and the RMT claim driver-only operated trains are unsafe and will cost workers jobs.

ASLEF, the train drivers union, released an image on its website today that showed a woman being dragged along a platform in West London after getting her hand trapped in a driver-only operated train door. She was reportedly dragged 60 feet before managing to free herself and sustaining injuries in a fall.

Stephen Murdoch, the driver of the train appeared in court yesterday, accused of wilful omission or neglect. General Secretary of ASLEF Mick Whelan said in a statement that this case proves that the “the traction interlocking system” – which is supposed to prevent a train from moving if an item is stuck in the doors – was not a “failsafe system.”

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