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Commuters and holidaymakers have been suffering long train delays after a rail track fire at Gatwick airport station.
Dozens of trains operating to and from the West Sussex airport, which is on the main line between London Victoria and Brighton, were delayed or cancelled due to the blaze.
The section of track - which is on the main line between London Victoria and Brighton - was initially closed on Tuesday morning.
Network Rail reopened two of the four lines shortly afterwards, but two remained closed for the rest of the day.
Southern, Gatwick Express and Thameslink services were affected, with journeys said to be delayed by up to 35 minutes.
Video footage taken by a passenger on the Gatwick platform showed flames on the track and smoke billowing into the air.
The cause of the fire on the 'electrical third rail' is unknown CREDIT: @RICHIPRODUCTION /TWITTER
Network Rail said the fire was caused by a problem with the power supply, leading to "significant disruption".
The blaze melted electrical cables and the conductor rail which provides power to trains at about 7am.
A Network Rail spokesman said: "We're really sorry for the delays that passengers are experiencing today, our engineers are on site working to repair the damage caused by the fire.
"The damage is quite extensive, so it's difficult to give a firm estimate as to when the railway will return to normal."
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said the blaze was already out when crews arrived at the scene.
Flames on the track just outside Gatwick airport station CREDIT: @RICHIPRODUCTION /TWITTER
Trains were unable to use all lines through Gatwick airport while the rails and surrounding cables were repaired.
Disruption was likely to continue for most of Tuesday.
Smoke billowed into the sky from the track fire CREDIT:@RICHIPRODUCTION /TWITTERA statement issued by Gatwick Express said: "Earlier this morning, reports were received of a small fire on a section of track outside Gatwick Airport. This fire is now out.
"Whilst the cause of the fire is unclear, the result is that the electrical third rail, running rail, and surrounding cables have become damaged.
"While this equipment is repaired, trains are unable to use all of the lines through Gatwick Airport.
"Network Rail, who own and maintain the signalling and track, are attending the problem and will be providing updates to us.
"Gatwick Express services may be delayed or cancelled at short notice. Some will call additionally at Clapham Junction which may add additional time to your journey.
"To help you to complete your journey as quickly as possible, Gatwick Express tickets are also being accepted on Thameslink and Southern train services between Brighton and London Victoria."
This article first appeared on www.telegraph.co.uk
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