COMMUTERS could face disruption for “much longer” than Monday after a train derailment at Eastleigh Station causes travel chaos.

Network Rail has announced that passengers should prepare themselves for delays, cancellations and diverted journeys until Monday February 3 while temporary tracks are built at the station, but a more permanent solution to fix the tracks could take “weeks or months”.

This comes after six 52 tonne freight train wagons derailed from the tracks on Tuesday morning, leaving passengers facing heavy travel disruption ever since.

All of the wagons have now been lifted back onto the track using large mechanical jacks, but the tracks has been left with “very significant damage” and in order to get trains running as soon as possible, Network Rail are creating temporary tracks.

A spokesperson for the rail company said: “We are dealing with a complex situation involving the derailment of six 52 tonne wagons that has taken much longer than was initially expected. Following the derailment there is extensive damage to the track and our engineers are working around the clock to get the railway back open as quickly and as safely as possible.

“To do this we are installing temporary track and will make alterations to the signalling and power supply. But longer term repairs will take much longer - weeks or months - and this will be accessed once the temporary tracks are in place.

“We think we know what caused the derailment but it is still under investigation and we cannot say at this time.”

After the wagons were reconnected to the track on Thursday January 30, workers began constructing the temporary tracks and four large construction vehicles were at the scene.

While disruption was originally expected to last until 10.30pm on January 28, the most up to date information now is that most services should resume on Monday February 3.

Eastleigh Borough Councillor David Airey admits he is “surprised” at the length of time the repairs are taking.

The cabinet member for transport said: “The length of time to undertake the repairs has surprised me but it is complex and ensuring the safety of staff working on the repairs, as well as getting a safe railway ready for operation does take time.

“Clearly emergency timetables have had to be introduced with trains diverted to run on alternative routes with different stopping patterns but I have noted that many of these trains have been significantly late. Some information has been somewhat limited.”

Passengers are urged to check updates before travelling.