PASSENGER train delays to and from Reading Station were easing this evening after contractors shifted a derailed engine which had been causing havoc since the early hours.

The train came off the tracks in the Reading Depot at Cow Lane which meant that a third of the carriages serving the Thames Valley area were unable to leave the sidings where they had been overnight. Workers removed the First Great Western train at 4pm - nearly 12 hours after it happened.

Routes between Reading, Basingstoke, Bedwyn and Gatwick Airport, plus Slough to Windsor, Twyford to Henley, Maidenhead to Marlow and Paddington to Greenford were among the services experiencing delays, with buses operating between Reading and Basingstoke. South West Trains, CrossCountry and London Underground also accepted First Great Western passengers where possible.

First Great Western spokesman James Davis apologised for the delays and said: "We've been ale to release those trains and they are getting back to the network and hopefully things should get back to normal."