A train has hit a bicycle between Barnham and Chichester resulting in delays and cancellations on the Brighton to Portsmouth railway line.
In a statement, Southern has confirmed the bicycle had been ‘maliciously placed on the track’.
The incident happened at 8.40pm today (Wednesday, April 3) involving the London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour train.
However, the disruption it has caused is expected to continue until at least 10.30pm.
In the statement Southern said: “Services are currently unable to run Westbound from Barnham towards Chichester, Portsmouth and Southampton.
“At around 20:40 this evening we received word that the 19:06 Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour service has struck an object while travelling between Barnham and Chichester.
“The train crew have investigated and have discovered that the train has struck a bicycle which had been maliciously placed on the track.
“This has caused damage to the train, and mechanics have been dispatched to assist, and are expected on site at around 22:10.”
Southern has arranged replacement buses and passengers are being told that they can use their ticket on the Stagecoach 700 route.
Passenger Charlotte Harding was on her way back to Portsmouth and Southsea from Brighton when the train terminated suddenly at Ford.
She said passengers were being kept updated by the conductor and that a fitter was working on the train and line in a bid to reopen it shortly.