UK train operating company blames delays on “strong sunshine”

Yesterday morning Twitter user Tom Attwood complained to train operator Southeastern that "Staff at Lewisham have no idea what they are doing – guard on platform 1 is having a meltdown".

Southeastern replied "Apologies we are having issues dispatching trains due to the strong sunshine this morning".

Twitter users expressed their disbelief, saying "is there any weather that’s not an issue?", "Is it melting the leaves?" and "Have you tried wearing sunglasses?".

Southeastern later elaborated, saying "the sunshine is affecting the CCTV monitors which drivers use to check if it’s safe to close the doors" and "If the driver can’t see the screens, somebody could be hurt when the train dispatches".

A Southeastern spokesperson said: "We know that sometimes it seems that if it’s not leaves on the line or snow on the track then it is some other weather issue.  

"But actually glare this morning made it impossible for some drivers to see the full length of their train in their mirrors before leaving stations.  

"When this happens they have to get out and check to ensure everybody has got on or off their train safely before they can move. This can take a little more time but thankfully for all it doesn’t happen very often.

"The problem is with the sunlight striking the protective glass on the platform. It’s like when you’re trying to use your smartphone in the sunlight. You get the reflective glare bounce back at certain angles."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York has said that workers on their service "use sun glasses and window-mounted visors to mitigate the glare".

That evening Attwood tweeted "no sunshine to blame for this evening’s terrible service! You’ve had all day to plan for this evening!"

This morning, service on the line has been disrupted due to a landslide.

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