NETWORK Rail has apologised for the misery endured by rail passengers for much of yesterday.

It came after a Hampshire MP demanded an apology on behalf of commuters for the travel chaos caused yesterday morning by overrunning engineering works.

South Western Railway, the main operator in Hampshire which runs services from Southampton, Eastleigh, Winchester and other smaller stations to London, had urged commuters not to travel due to cancellations.

Company bosses warned that as a result of overrunning engineering works in London, all lines were blocked between London Waterloo and Surbiton, while Woking, Surbiton, Raynes Park and Earlsfield stations were all closed.

Winchester MP Steve Brine branded the chaos on the railways “totally unacceptable”.

Mr Brine said: “The travelling public have had a miserable few months and I can say, both as a commuter and a local MP, we are absolutely at the end of our tether.

“It is not acceptable to say don’t travel. People make plans, they have jobs and they need to get on with their lives. I will be speaking to the Secretary of State for Transport as soon as (and if) I can get to London this morning.

“Network Rail and SWR need to get together and deliver on the promises SWR made to my constituents when they won the franchise 16 months ago.

“We need them to get a grip and work together, acting on the recently published Holden Review would be a good place to start.

“Overrunning engineering works seems to be the least of their problems right now but they need to eliminate these failures.

“I have written to SWR and NR this morning asking for a full explanation and an apology on my desk by the end of the day which I will be publishing for my constituents to read.”

The works had been scheduled to finish by 4.30am to allow time for trains to leave depots and get to stations around the county.

Following Mr Brine’s comments, a spokesman for Network Rail said: “We are very sorry to passengers for the serious disruptions to services on the South Western Railway network.

“This was caused by our overrunning engineering work near Surbiton which meant we were unable to open a number of lines into Waterloo station until after 9.30am.

“We are working hard to return the train service to normal as soon as possible, but passengers should expect serious disruption for the rest of the day and continue to check before they travel.”