Rail services return after Staffordshire cable fall

Rail services are returning to normal after overhead cables were brought down twice on a major line.

Passengers between Birmingham and Stafford, Manchester, Liverpool and Scotland faced delays until Wednesday morning.

Cables fell between Penkridge and Wolverhampton on Monday night before being brought down again on Tuesday.

In the second incident, the cable hit a train carrying passengers who described "a large pink flash".

'Extensive damage'

A Network Rail spokesman said: "There were virtually no trains between Wolverhampton and Stafford for the best part of 36 hours, if you count it as one continuous incident."

The line reopened at about 10:00 GMT and National Rail Inquiries said delays were cleared by 11:30 GMT.

The overhead power lines, which carry 25,000 volts of electricity, came down in the Penkridge area on Monday evening, Network Rail said.

Repairs were carried out and the lines reopened about 08:30 GMT on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, the first train through the area brought them down again, but this time caused extensive damage," the spokesman added.

"Over a mile of cables were brought down and a large amount of the equipment they are connected to was also severely damaged."

Cause not known

Passenger Teresa Fuller, who was on Tuesday's train which was hit by the power line, said there was "a large pink flash followed by a clattering sound" as the cable hit the roof.

Those on board waited for about two hours before the train was evacuated and they were led along the tracks to waiting coaches.

Network Rail said an investigation into what happened was now under way.

"At this stage we have not established a cause for the two incidents as we have been concentrating on getting the repairs completed and services running again.

"We will have a thorough technical investigation to find out what caused the trouble."

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