Posted 16th August 2018 | 3 Comments

Tractor blocks East Coast Main Line

TRAIN services in West Yorkshire were badly disrupted on Thursday after a tractor ran on to the main line near Wakefield, bringing down an overhead gantry and a tree.

The incident on Wednesday night was at Fitzwilliam, between Wakefield and Doncaster, and tripped the OHLE breakers when the gantry fell, dragging the power lines with it.

According to LNER, the tractor ‘had broken the field boundary’ from a nearby farm and rolled on to the line.

There does not seem to have been anyone on board the tractor, and there were no reports of any injuries, but trains on a number of routes were being diverted or replaced by buses. The operators affected were LNER, Northern, CrossCountry and East Midlands Trains.

The tractor was removed at about 05.40 on Thursday, and Network Rail hoped to complete repairs by 18.00.

An investigation has been launched into the cause of the apparent runaway.

Meanwhile, services have been restored on the Cross City line in Birmingham after two trees fell on to the line north of University station on 14 August and again overnight on 15 August. Overhead power lines were damaged.

Ntetwork Rail engineers removed both trees, cut back other vegetation, stabilised the embankment, repaired the OHLE and completed safety inspections. The line reopened just after 21.00 on Wednesday..

Reader Comments:

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

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    42 of the new trains for the ECML will be electric only Class 801 units. They only have a single diesel engine as an auxiliary power unit. Not a true bi-mode though it is capable of moving the train (slowly) short distances in case of power failures, but not sufficient to use diversionary routes. Also if something brings down the overhead lines that's going to block a bi-mode as well, though it could take a diversionary route.

  • Chris Jones-Bridger, Buckley Flintshire

    Once again the vulnerability of an electrified route where available diversionary routes are unwired or only partially wired. For once the forthcoming introduction of bi-mode units will give the ECML operator flexibility in developing contingencies for future unplanned line blockages.Chris

  • Geoff Ogilvy, Bracknell

    Humour : it is sad to read that two trees fell on to the line north of University station on 14 August and again overnight on 15 August. Presumably propping them back up didn't work.