Nov 21 2011 By James Cracknell
COMMUTERS travelling on the Uxbridge branch of the Metropolitan line on Monday morning (21) faced a nightmare journey to work when the line was closed in the middle of rush hour.
Passengers were thrown off an Uxbridge branch train at 8.30am at Harrow-on-the-Hill, with the driver explaining there had been a points failure at Rayners Lane.
Transport for London (TfL) soon announced that the line - including for Piccadilly trains - was closed completely and commuters were told to wait for local buses instead. They later attributed the problems to a signal failure.
It couldn't have been worse timing for TfL, which has faced a backlash this month after the Gazette revealed it was slashing rush-hour services to Uxbridge. The Monday morning chaos will heighten feelings that the branch is being neglected in favour of other routes.
A contract to replace signals on the line, needed to improve frequency, has been delayed by as much as six years following the collapse of the public-private partnership Metronet, which went bust in 2008.
Latest estimates put the completion of Met line signal upgrades back to 2018.
The Uxbridge branch began operating again with minor delays from 9.45am.
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