South London train services are being diverted and the Gatwick Express is suspended after a train struck a tree in Balham.

The incident took place at around 1pm today (Wednesday, September 20).

Lines were blocked through the area as the damage was investigated, affecting Gatwick Express services between Gatwick Airport, East Croydon station and London Victoria.

The Gatwick Express has been suspended as a result and trains to London Victoria are being diverted to London Bridge.

The train got stuck to a large tree when approaching Wandsworth Common.

Two lines instead of the usual four are blocked between Balham and London Victoria, causing Gatwick Express to recommend that passengers allow an extra hour for their journey.

Lines have now reopened.

Gatwick Express tweeted: “A train has struck a tree in the Balham area.

“All lines are blocked through this area whilst we investigate the damage.

“This will affect Gatwick Express services that run between Gatwick Airport / East Croydon and London Victoria.

“These services will be subject to delays, alteration and possible cancellation.

“The train struck a large tree on the approach to Wandsworth Common.

“Both ‘fast’ lines are now blocked whilst teams respond to move the tree.

“We are currently only able to use two lines instead of four between Balham and London Victoria.

“This will cause further congestion through the area.

“We would recommend that you allow up to an additional 60 minutes to complete your journey.

“You may need to use an alternative route or change trains to reach your destination.

“Southern services that run from the East and West Coast will terminate and restart at Gatwick Airport or Haywards Heath.

“Other services may divert to London Bridge instead of London Victoria.

“Gatwick Express services will be suspended until further notice.”