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Summary

  1. Trains resume between London and Milton Keynes following a fire near the line in Harrow
  2. Services were cancelled all morning but resumed at 13:00
  3. However, delays remain
  4. Updates on Friday, 15 September 2017

Live Reporting

By Alex Pope

All times stated are UK

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Sergio Aguero

Caroline Chapman

BBC Sport

Sergio Aguero scores a hat-trick as Manchester City show their class to move top of the table and inflict a first league defeat of the season on Watford.

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That's all from Local Live

Our news updates have now come to an end for the day and for the week, and it's time for us to head off home.

Many thanks for your company - we hope you've enjoyed reading the stories we've brought you.

Have a great weekend and we'll be back at 08:00 on Monday.

Severe accident: A603 Bedfordshire both ways

BBC News Travel

A603 Bedfordshire both ways severe accident, between A5134 and A421 Bedford Southern Bypass.

A603 Bedfordshire - A603 Cardington Road in Bedford closed in both directions between the A5134 junction and the A421 Bedford Southern Bypass junction, because of an accident. Congestion to the A5140 Rope Walk junction.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

The weekend weather outlook

Julie Reinger

BBC Look East weather

Any rain should clear tonight, with showers becoming confined to the Norfolk coast.

It'll be mostly dry by morning with clear spells and a few fog patches.

With temperatures falling as low as 4C (39F) there could be a touch of grass frost in rural areas.

Weather graphic for 06:00 Saturday
BBC

Tomorrow will be a day of sunny spells and scattered showers, which could turn heavy with hail and thunder.

Top temperature of 15C (59F).

Sunday will start cold, with a touch of frost in rural areas. Any mist and fog patches will clear to leave mainly dry conditions with sunny spells.

There's a small chance of an isolated shower, which could be heavy and thundery.

BBC Weather has more.

Houghton Regis scene

Sharon Fade was last seen three days before her body was discovered in undergrowth in Houghton Regis.

Read more
Gnanachandran Balachandran

The victim, from Canada, had been staying with the estranged wife of one of his killers in Milton Keynes.

Read more

A nose for the job!

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The search has started for "sniffers" in Silsoe.

Silsoe Odours Ltd is looking for people with a "specific sense of smell" to work in their odour laboratory.

The job entails analysing odours.

It's a job.. not to be sniffed at!

A nose
Getty Images

Goodnight Watford: 'One Direction's first gig was a disaster'

Mark Savage

Music reporter

Whatever you do, don't ask Niall Horan about One Direction's concert debut.

"I never want to talk about that gig again," grimaces the star. "Worst night of my life. The worst One Direction show ever."

Niall Horan
Capitol Records

The band were less than a year old when they played the Watford Colosseum in December 2011. They'd just hit number one with What Makes You Beautiful but, despite weeks of live performance on the X Factor, they weren't quite prepared for the rigors of a full show.

"We've refused to talk about it ever since," says the 24-year-old. "It was a disaster. We were just a joke.

"Anything we rehearsed just went out the window. It was our first ever gig and we just didn't know what the [expletive] was going on."

One Direction in 2011
Shutterstock

Contrary to his memory, the show got a four star review in the Watford Observer, which praised the "tightness of the vocals"; and fan-shot footage captures a likeable, if ramshackle, trot through the band's first album.

"Yeah, there was a charm," admits Horan. "But the second gig was better."

Mercedes Benz

The car owner was carried on the bonnet of his vehicle at speed for a mile as the offender drove off.

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Severe accident: A5183 Hertfordshire southbound

BBC News Travel

A5183 Hertfordshire southbound severe accident, between B5378 Allum Lane and A411 Barnet Lane.

A5183 Hertfordshire - A5183 in Elstree closed and slow traffic southbound between the B5378 Allum Lane junction and the A411 Barnet Lane junction, because of an accident.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Severe accident: M1 Bedfordshire northbound

BBC News Travel

M1 Bedfordshire northbound severe accident, at J12 for A5120.

M1 Bedfordshire - Very slow traffic on M1 northbound at J12, A5120 (Flitwick), because of an accident earlier on. All lanes have been re-opened. Travel time is 25 minutes. Congestion to J10, A1081 (Luton Airport Spur Road).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Wolverton Grammar School celebrate 70-year reunion
A group of friends met at the Buckinghamshire school in the 1940s.

Harrow fire: All lines open between London and Milton Keynes

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

We've just told you about London Euston re-opening after last night's fire in Harrow.

London Midland has confirmed that all lines have re-opened between Milton Keynes Central and London Euston, but trains in both directions may be delayed by up to 90 minutes, cancelled or revised due to trains and train crew being out of position.

Southern services are also currently suspended between Milton Keynes Central, Watford Junction and Shepherds Bush.

Harrow fire: London Euston re-opens

Katy Lewis

BBC Local Live

We've just heard that London Euston has re-opened.

A Network Rail spokesman said trains would run out of Euston at 13:00 with an amended timetable.

Its statement said that land next to the railway, which was badly damaged by fire overnight, had been "made safe".

Passengers should check before they travel with their train operator or visit the National Rail website for the latest travel information.

View more on twitter
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That's a relief!

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

How does the saying go? "Seek and ye shall find?"

Well, that certainly seems to be the case in the search for a missing historic civic chain.

In June we reported that the mayor of St Albans, Mohammad Iqbal Zia, and his wife Farhat were "retracing their footsteps" to find the chain after it was misplaced.

Civic chain
St Albans City & District Council

Well, now everyone can breath a sigh of relief as it's been found, under a pile of papers in a desk drawer in their home.

They say they are "ecstatic" about the news that has "caused us untold distress".

Cllr Mohammad Iqbal Zia and his wife, Farhat
St Albans City & District Council

The piece dates from 1907 and consists of an 18-carat gold shield-shaped body, mounted with the enamelled Arms of the City.

Phew...

Strictly dance reveal

This is the moment any Strictly Come Dancing fan looks forward to...

Today it's been announced what sizzling dance routine Buckinghamshire's Brian Conley will perform when the hit show returns next Saturday.

Let's hope he doesn't look like a puppet when he tries a Tango with Amy to Temptation by Heaven 17.

Just remember, "every second counts" and he can't "break away"!

View more on twitter

Harrow fire: Wall being demolished

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

Work is well under way to knock down an unstable hall in Harrow after a fire destroyed it last night.

It means no trains are running on that section of the West Coast Main Line, which runs parallel to the building,

All services into London Euston railway station from Milton Keynes and Northampton are cancelled.

Disruption is expected to last for the rest of the day.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M25 Hertfordshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Hertfordshire clockwise severe accident, between J24 for A111 and J25 for A10.

M25 Hertfordshire - One lane closed and queuing traffic on M25 clockwise between J24, A111 (Potters Bar) and J25, A10 (Enfield), because of an accident involving car and lorry.

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Tribute paid to Graham Taylor on his birthday

A special tribute has been paid to former Watford manager Graham Taylor.

The England manager died in January aged 72 and today he would have been 73.

View more on twitter

Severe accident: M25 Berkshire clockwise

BBC News Travel

M25 Berkshire clockwise severe accident, after J15 for M4 affecting J14 for A3113 Airport Way.

M25 Berkshire - One lane blocked and very slow traffic on M25 clockwise after J15 M4, because of an accident involving three cars. Congestion to J14, A3113 (Heathrow Terminal 4).

To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time

Harrow fire: Specialist equipment arrives to fix wall

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

As specialist equipment arrives to fix the damaged wall on the West Coast Main Line, we are now turning our attention to other stories going on in the region.

All train services from Milton Keynes and Northampton into London Euston are cancelled for the rest of the day, but if anything changes we will of course keep you updated.

Specialist equipment
London Euston

Harrow fire: Damaged wall being removed

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

London Midland says work to remove the damaged wall in Harrow after last night's fire has begun.

Because it is unsafe and so close to the West Coast Main Line, all services into London Euston from Milton Keynes and Northampton are currently cancelled.

View more on twitter

Harrow fire: Buses running from Northampton to Wellingborough

Sam Read

BBC Radio Northampton politics reporter

At Northampton railway station buses have arrived to transport commuters to Wellingborough station so they can pick up the Midland Main Line service into London.

It seem to be rather quiet here compared to the scene in Milton Keynes...

Bus at Northampton railway station
BBC

Where the queues were much longer...

Queues of commuters at Milton Keynes railway station
South Beds News Agency

And there were more buses...

Buses at Milton Keynes railway station
South Beds News Agency

Harrow fire: Disruption expected into the weekend

Richard Westcott

Transport correspondent

This is going to cause problems on some of Britain's busiest train lines all day and possibly into the weekend.

The fire has damaged a wall right next to the track.

Engineers need to knock the wall down, but to do that they must bring in specialist kit and close the line so they can gain access to the site.

Not a quick job and that's assuming all goes to plan.

West Coast main line: Long delays after Harrow fire

If the wall damages a rail as it comes down, for example, it could delay things.

You can catch King's Cross East Coast trains to Scotland/London, but they'll be busier.

Harrow fire: Suggested alternative routes

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

If you need to get into London Euston from Northampton or Milton Keynes today, Virgin Trains has just released this map of alternative routes.

View more on twitter

Harrow fire: No signs of chaos in Northampton

Sam Read

BBC Look East

The scene at Northampton railway station is not that chaotic, despite the problems caused by the blaze in Harrow.

There are no queues, which suggests many travellers have decided to stay at home or have found alternative routes by now.

I've spoken to a few frustrated passengers who're not able to get a direct train into London Euston.

Most seem to understand the situation as they realise it can't be helped.

Sign at Northampton Railway station
BBC

If anyone wants to get into London from Northampton there seem to be a few options.

You either get a train to Milton Keynes and be bused to Luton, or go to Wellingborough station and pick up Midland Main Line services from there.

Harrow fire: Replacement coaches at MK station

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

Commuters are now getting on to buses at Milton Keynes railway station to take them to Luton, so they can get into London.

View more on twitter

Harrow fire: Travellers good humoured at MK station

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

The feeling at Milton Keynes station today is one of good humour and resignation.

No trains are running to or from London Euston on the West Coast Main Line, so if anyone wants to travel from Northampton and Milton Keynes to the capital they're having to find alternative routes.

Commuters at Milton Keynes railway station
BBC

Passengers are being advised to get on buses from MK to Luton.

Sign at railway station
BBC

Several staff from Network Rail, London Midland and Virgin are on hand to advise passengers on the best alternative routes.

Harrow fire: Network Rail 'working quickly' to fix wall by track

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

I've just spoken to Allan Spence at Milton Keynes railway station, who's the head of passenger and public safety at Network Rail.

He told me the company was working "as quick as we can", with an unsafe wall by the line at Harrow needing to be dismantled and rebuilt.

No services will run on the line "until it is safe", he said.

Alternative buses are on offer, saying it was doing its best to get people to their destination.

Milton Keynes railway station
BBC

Travellers are being advised to check the National Rail website before making their journey.

No trains running into London from MK

Kate Bradbrook

BBC Look East

I'm at Milton Keynes railway station where no trains are going into London Euston today after a fire in Harrow.

It means this rather busy commuter route looks a little different.

Instead travellers are going by bus to Luton to pick up train services there.

Disruption is expected to last for the rest of the day and possibly into tomorrow morning.

Milton Keynes train station
BBC

'Significant disruption' on West Coast Main Line trains

Virgin Trains has released a statement after the Harrow fire, which is severely disrupting train services into the capital today from Milton Keynes and Northampton.

As things stand trains can run from Northampton to Milton Keynes, but replacement buses are now operating from MK to nearby train stations.

The company says: "Due to a fire near the railway, which is suspected to have involved gas cylinders, all lines are currently blocked between Euston and Milton Keynes, and there will be significant disruption on other parts of the route.

Harrow Fire
@LondonFire

"Other train operators are accepting Virgin Trains tickets so customers can travel on alternative routes, while Virgin Trains has also lifted restrictions so that customers do not have to travel on their booked trains, or can also travel tomorrow instead if they wish.

"We are sorry for the inevitable disruption and delays to journeys."

Wall to be dismantled after Harrow fire

The retaining wall beside the West Coast Main Line will need to be "dismantled and made safe", says Network Rail.

It explains that the line will be shut all day...

View more on twitter

'Only travel today if you have to' says train company

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

If you need to get into London today from Milton Keynes or Northampton, all the information you need has been released by London Midland trains, which you can see here.

East Midlands and Chiltern Railways are accepting London Midland and Virgin Railways tickets.

No services will run between Milton Keynes and Euston at all today, and services from Northampton into London are stopping at Milton Keynes.

Francis Thomas, from London Midland, says only "travel today if you absolutely have to".

View more on twitter

'Big job to fix' train line after fire

Alex Pope

BBC Local Live

The overnight fire at a factory and offices in north-west London will cause train disruption into London from Milton Keynes and Northampton for the rest of the day.

London Euston says the fire has "damaged the trackside retaining wall" and it is a "big job to fix".

The fire-damaged wall is in "danger of collapse and needs making safe before trains can safely run", a spokesman added.

Fire damaged wall
London Euston
Train line and fire damaged building
London Euston

Buses to take commuters to other stations

London Midland trains has just confirmed that replacement buses will now run from Milton Keynes to Luton or Bedford so commuters can get into London.

This is because no train services are running from MK into London after a fire overnight in Harrow.

View more on twitter

Train services affected into London all day

As no trains will be running from Milton Keynes into London today, affecting services from Northampton, Chiltern Railways says it's accepting Virgin Trains and London Midland tickets.

View more on twitter

'Explosion' heard in Harrow fire

More video footage has been shared online from the Harrow fire, which is affecting train services into London from Northampton and Milton Keynes.

Olivia Weetch filmed the fire last night.

View more on twitter