Stunned passengers travelling on a train from East Croydon were told their train would be skipping six stations, owing to a faulty satellite link.

Passengers were told by the driver that the train would be stopping at the end of the line in Caterham, Surrey, due to a lost Satnav link. Many passengers who had wanted to alight at the stations in between were subsequently forced to wait half an hour for another train.

It is claimed that because some stations have shorter platforms than others, train drivers are unable to open the right doors at every station on the route without the aid of satellite navigation.

One passenger said, "It's absolutely bizarre. We now have trains that can't let the passengers out because they fail to pick up signals from outer space."

A spokesman for Southern Railway said: "A lot of our trains have GPS which recognises where the train is and allows it to open the doors at the station, depending on the length of the train and the length of the platform."

He added: "Doors can be opened manually in an emergency but we would not recommend it at other times."