Published: 10:15, 28 July 2021
| Updated: 10:17, 28 July 2021
Trains between Kent and the Sussex coast are being disrupted by a fault with the signalling system on the Marshlink line.
Southern says its services to and from Ashford International may be delayed or cancelled because of the issue at a signalbox in Rye.
Passengers are being warned that journey times could be significantly longer than usual, and they should check live train information before travelling.
Network Rail, which maintains the track and signalling, said on Twitter: "We're really sorry for the disruption to @SouthernRailUK passengers travelling between Ashford and Hastings this morning - our signal box at Rye has lost its comms links to each end of the line.
"We're putting emergency plans in place to run trains while we fix the problem so please keep an eye on @SouthernRailUK for travel updates.
"Rye is an older signalbox that still relies on telegraph 'block instruments' to send trains to and fro, and both links have gone down in each direction.
"That may sound archaic but in the spirit of 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' it does a great job 99% of the time.
"We're on the case trying to get both links up and running again ASAP. Thank you for your patience."
Rail replacement buses have been sent to Hastings, Rye and Ashford International to be used by station staff to move as many passengers as possible in the event of cancellations.
There will also be some delays on roads in the Rye area, as a level crossing problem has also been reported.
Affected passenger can use their tickets on Southeastern services on routes between Hastings and Tonbridge, via St Leonards Warrior Square, and between Tonbridge and Ashford International.
A spokesman for Southern said: "A signalling communication system fault has been preventing some trains from arriving at and departing from Rye.
"Response staff are on site, and they have put contingency measures in place to allow a small number of trains to move. Technical investigations have also started.
"Until the issue is resolved, there will still be delays and short-notice changes to our services in this area."