SOUTH West Trains apologised for widespread disruption to passengers caused by ice on the lines last Friday morning.

An SWT spokesman said: “This was due to a combination of icy rail conditions between Havant and Haslemere and a signalling problem at Hilsea.

“At 5.05am, we received reports the 4.30am Portsmouth to London Waterloo train service had stopped at Rowlands Castle and was unable to draw power from the conductor rail due to the icy rail conditions.

“As a result, we were unable to run trains in the London-bound direction for an hour.

“While this was ongoing, we received additional reports there were signalling problems between Hilsea and Havant, which meant drivers needed to stop their trains and gain verbal permission to continue past two signals.

“Both incidents resulted in significant disruption for both long-distance and suburban services. The displacement effect on train crew and trains was significant.

“Many train crews were unable to reach their trains to begin or continue working, and the carriages for some morning peak departures were delayed coming into Waterloo and therefore delayed departing.”