Wales

Arriva and FGW services resume in south Wales after lightning strikes

An Arriva Trains Wales train
Image caption The double lightning strike has had a knock-on effect on Arriva's Valley Lines services

Rail services across south Wales are returning to normal for the evening rush hour after engineers fixed signal failures caused by a lightning strike.

The double lightning strike early on Wednesday initially closed the track between Cardiff and Bridgend.

It brought more than 24 hours' delay and disruption to First Great Western services west of Cardiff with a knock-on effect for Valley Lines services.

Network Rail said the damage has been repaired and normal schedules resumed.

A spokeswoman said: "Damaged signalling equipment on the railway near Miskin has been fully repaired with normal timetable being re-implemented.

"Whilst there will still be some minor delays as the services ease back, passengers should expect full services between Cardiff and Bridgend before the peak travel period starts."

The resumption of normal services marks the end of more than 24 hours of delays and disruption for thousands of rail passengers across the region.

It had been hoped damage to signal equipment in the Llantrisant area at about midnight on Wednesday would have been repaired by 04:00 GMT on Thursday.

Arrive Trains Wales (ATW) said Network Rail and BT engineers had worked through the night, but the problem had not been fixed when Thursday morning's rush hour began.

As a result the line between Cardiff and Bridgend remained closed, and an emergency train plan introduced.

All normal Bridgend to Cardiff services via the Vale of Glamorgan were cancelled and replaced by the Manchester to Carmarthen/Milford services, which were diverted via the Vale of Glamorgan line, calling at Rhoose, Llantwit Major and Barry.

The emergency plan was brought in after ATW reported severe delays on five of the company's Valley Lines services during Wednesday evening's rush hour.

Delays affected passengers travelling on First Great Western (FGW) services as far west as Pembrokeshire as well as those travelling through Cardiff Central on Arriva services.

Network Rail - which owns and operates the railways - had earlier said its engineers had been working round the clock since the incident and to restore services.

Temporary signals were put in place to allow some trains through Cardiff and Bridgend on Wednesday.

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