Posted 11th April 2016 | 4 Comments

Birmingham power cut disruption 'caused by vandals'

VANDALISM was the likely cause of widespread disruption affecting railway passengers in Birmingham today, Network Rail has said.

Pictures released by Network Rail show apparent attempts to burn and cut cables which power signals at Proof House Junction, south of Birmingham New Street.

The resulting signal failure at 04.00 this morming caused major disruption, with train operators urging people not to travel until the problem had been resolved.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “Early indications are that foul play caused today’s signalling failure. As well as putting their lives at risk, railway trespassers and vandals can face fines and prison sentences.

“Thousands of people were delayed getting to work today. The cost to the industry will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. This is taxpayers’ money which could have been invested in improving the railway.”

Train services in and out of the south side of Birmingham New Street station began to run again at around 09.15 after repairs were had been made. However, passengers were advised that it would take some time for timetables to get back to normal. London Midland said it was hoping to be running a full service again by mid-afternoon.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • jak jaye, sutton coldfiled

    And what the graffiti morons who have plagued the railways for years,every time a new piece of railway is built or painted fresh slogans appear why isnt anyone ever caught
    [They are, as we have reported in Railnews many times over the years.--Editor.]

  • Jim Livesey, Mirfield

    Why are those who carry out these crimes always described as "vandals"?

    They are metal thieves and are intent on making money - obviously without any care for disruption caused.

    Vandals throw bricks at trains or attempt to derail trains for their own "amusement".

    The "vandal" description in NR press releases suggests that they do not have a category for "professional" crime.

    {There is a reason on this occasion. The damage was undoubtedly deliberate, but the motive was unclear. Cable theft is suspected, but Network Rail/BTP have yet to confirm it. Railnews does not describe confirmed cable thefts as the work of 'vandals'. We describe them as thieves.--Editor.)

  • Steve Alston, Crewe

    In the WM area this is a common occurrence over the last 15 years - so I'm assuming BTP are sensible enough to look at those who did it last time, the time before and the time before.

    If I recall one occasion was a sacked, former railway worker (possibly NR?)... Employers be careful who you upset, I suppose. :oO

  • Chris Green, Huddersfield

    Catch the ignoramuses and put them behind bars, throwing away the key in the process. Don't just give them a ticking off. The British justice system is too lenient and does not give offenders something to think about while in their cells more tougher sentences are needed. Furthermore, what are they doing near the tracks anyway? They don't think about what they are doing before they do it.