HUNDREDS of Bank Holiday rail-travellers were delayed when lightning knocked out signals at Victoria station.

The power supply, which controls signals and points around Victoria, was hit in a freak electrical storm, leaving passengers on the Orpington line stranded.

Trains coming in and leaving the mainline London station were at a standstill until Railtrack engineers installed a back-up system and repaired the fault.

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Railtrack spokesman Kevin Groves said: “The signalling depot is about a mile from the station and it's designed to cut out automatically if there's ever any fluctuation in power. All the trains stop until we can restore the supply which, in this case, took 20 minutes.”

About 30 to 40 trains were affected in the incident, which happened shortly after 1pm on Sunday, August 26, including ones on the Kent Link services through Orpington and Beckenham Junction.

Dave Ewart of Connex, operators of the service, said: “The trains can get quite busy on a Sunday but obviously not as busy as those at commuter times. Buildings can be protected from lightning strikes as much as possible but there is a lot of cabling which is always susceptible.”