Birmingham & Black Country

Birmingham New Street Station power failure caused long delays

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Media captionNew Street power chaos

A major power failure caused hours of delays to trains through Birmingham New Street.

Network Rail asked people to avoid the station after signal problems at Proof House Junction.

Trains struggled to get in and out of the south end of the station, with problems affecting Arriva Trains Wales, CrossCountry Trains, London Midland and Virgin Trains.

Network Rail said it believed the cause of the problems was vandalism.

Live updates on the rail disruption

Image caption Network Rail tweeted a photo of the damaged cables

The latest problems came after passengers took to Twitter to express their frustration over severe delays due to another signalling problem last Friday.

Thousands of rail commuters also faced delays and cancellations across England on Tuesday 5 April when overhead electric wires stopped working at Birmingham International station.

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Earlier Chris Denham, from Network Rail, said: "We've had a problem with the power supply that lights all the signals up just south of Birmingham New Street which has been ongoing for several hours now."

Shortly after 09:00 Network Rail announced the power supply had been restored.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Power was restored but services were still backed up at Birmingham New Street afterwards

Earlier a spokesman apologised to passengers for the delays.

"We are very sorry for this disruption and a difficult start to the week, and Network Rail is working with the train operators to get services back to normal as quickly as possible."

The spokesman said the cost of the delays will "run into hundreds of thousands of pounds" which could have been spent on the rail network instead.

Passengers used the hashtag #BirminghamNewStreet to complain about the delays on Twitter.

Martin Ward wrote on BBC Midlands Today's Facebook page: "All that money spent on Birmingham New street (shopping centre!!!). Should have spent it on track and signals. Grrrrr"

Meanwhile, Ann Marie Gallagher wrote: "Just sit down, have a hot drink, read your book , eat your snacks , breathe - it's not the end of the world."

Ade Slf Cotton added: "Should use steam trains as back up."

Birmingham New Street tweeted on Sunday that it had been nominated for Station of the Year.

Image copyright Peter Hay/Twitter
Image caption Passengers took to Twitter to express their frustration at another day of delays
Image copyright Amy McCann/ Twitter
Image caption One passenger praised the work of those trying to get the train service back on track

Passenger Jodie O' Rourke tweeted "Why is it that a journey involving #birminghamnewstreet always goes wrong."

CrossCountry said the problem caused up to an hour-long delay between Manchester Piccadilly and Bournemouth.

Virgin Trains West Coast reported waits of up to 30 minutes between Wolverhampton and London Euston.

London Midland said it was expecting services to be affected until about 16:00 BST on Monday.

Image copyright Harry Ward
Image caption Harry Ward tweeted: "Can someone come and rescue us from Coleshill please?"

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