A collapsed sewer beneath a sinkhole is causing major disruption to rail travel in south east London.
Engineers from Network Rail and Thames Water are working to fix the problem at Forest Hill. Work is complicated by the fact that the sewer is 6m below ground and the sinkhole is in a difficult location beneath track.
Network Rail area director Paul Rutter said: “Following investigations, a collapsed sewer has been found at the site of the hole which was found on the railway in the Forest Hill area yesterday. Network Rail engineers have been working with our counterparts at Thames Water throughout the night to identify and fix this problem as quickly and as safely as possible.
“Because of the location of the hole we are unable to run trains on this track through to London Bridge this morning and it looks likely that disruption to services will continue throughout the day.”
Thames Water senior operations manager Danny Leamon said: “Our specialist teams worked through the night, and they’ll continue to work as fast as possible today to get the pipe fixed and help Network Rail get the track reopened.
“Our sewer is below the track, but it is too early to say whether the sewer pipe is the cause of the sinkhole.”
He added: “This is an extremely complex job as the pipe is in a difficult location in the tracks and six metres below the ground. Engineers hope to finish repairs later today but we’re unable to put an exact time to it at this stage.”