Thames Water facing ‘significant’ compensation payout to Network Rail

Thames Water is currently in discussions with Network Rail, which is looking to secure a 'significant seven figure' compensation payout, after a burst water pipe disrupted train services last week.

The incident, which happened shortly after 10am last Monday (August 1), caused travel chaos for thousands of commuters traveling between London and Brighton after the line was blocked by a mudslide caused by the burst pipe.

As a result, the line, which handles around 140,000 commuters a day on its Southern, First Capital Connect and Gatwick services, saw delays of up to three hours.

Network Rail confirmed it is looking for compensation to recover its own compensation payout costs to the train services, alongside ongoing infrastructure costs to repair the damage.

Network Rail media relations manager, Russell Spink, said: “We have been left millions of pounds out of pocket as we have to payout compensation to every train that is cancelled or delayed.

“We are requesting a significant seven figure sum from Thames Water to cover these costs and pay for long-term infrastructure work to the line.”

Network Rail said the amount of compensation it would receive had not yet been confirmed by Thames Water, as ongoing investigations are currently being carried out by the water company.

Mr Spink added: “I imagine it will be while before the long-term costs are completely clear, however it’s not in Network Rail, or Thames Water’s interests to delay essential infrastructure repair work.”

Thames Water apologised for the disruption to service, but said it was ‘too early’ to comment on compensation costs.

Carys Matthews

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