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Rail services hit after storms

Overnight storms have led to yet another day of difficulty for commuters.

Lightning strikes meant disruption to rail services in the West Country and also in Kent.

A weather warning remained in place throughout the day with heavy showers and more thunderstorms expected.

On the railways, First Great Western services were affected by storms in the Bath Spa area. Lightning damaged equipment between Melksham and Chippenham in Wiltshire, with the lines between Swindon and Bath Spa/Westbury closed.

A limited replacement road transport was operating, with disruption expected to last until at least noon.

To the east, a lightning strike at Otford in Kent was affecting Thameslink services between Sevenoaks and Kentish Town in London, while Southeastern services between Ashford International and London's Victoria station via Maidstone East were also affected.

Some trains between Sevenoaks and Swanley were diverted and were not calling at stations between Sevenoaks and Bickley.

A shuttle service was operating between Maidstone East and Ashford International approximately every 80 minutes between these stations.

A Met Office warning said the bad weather is set to continue, with t hunderstorms expected to move towards the Midlands and Wales.

Forecaster Nicola Willis said there had been between 0.4in and 0.8in (10mm and 20mm) of rainfall over a four-hour period this morning.

She went on: "That is quite a significant amount of rainfall. There have also been quite a few lightning strikes over that period."

Motorists were warned of the risk of surface water after the heavy downpours.

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