Posted 18th November 2015 | 1 Comment

Storm Barney disrupts trains in West Midlands


AUTUMN gales have disrupted train services in the Midlands, after the high winds blew trees on to tracks and overhead wires.

Network Rail says the trees caused 'significant damage'. One of the incidents was at Wylde Green on the Lichfield line, and the line reopened around midday after engineers had repaired the overhead equipment.

Another tree was blown on to the railway at Coseley, and both lines rermain blocked there while engineers replace 800m of overhead line. The Coseley blockage means that Virgin Trains and CrossCountry services have been diverted, while London Midland trains are being replaced by buses. Network Rail warned that disruption was likely throughout Wednesday.

London Midland said it hoped to run a near-normal timetable on other routes, but some trains could be shorter than usual on the Hereford, Rugeley and Shrewsbury routes because of the damage, and the fact that some rolling stock has been stranded out of position. The problems at Coseley may also mean that some Shrewsbury and Liverpool trains must start from Wolverhampton.

Both Network Rail and London Midland have apologised for the disruption. Network Rail had responded to the forecast of gales by putting chainsaw gangs on standby overnight, and empty 'route-proving' trains were run early today to check for damage.

Network Rail said: "Our teams worked throughout the night to help keep as many trains and passengers moving as possible today. We continue to work at several locations." A spokesman added that a gazebo and a trampoline were among objects blown on to the railway in a number of places overnight.

Reader Comments:

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  • Chris Green, Huddersfield

    This is to be expected in conditions like this unfortunately, and nothing can be done to prevent these incidents from occurring. It can be difficult for a commuter to keep their cool when they have places to get to, but we all just to be prepared for situations like this when they're around the corner.