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Snow Hill disruptions enter fourth day as Network Rail scramble to identify cause

Disruptions on the Snow Hill lines have continued into a fourth day as Network Rail has yet to identify the root cause of the signalling problems.

The problems began on Tuesday when a major signalling fault forced the closure of the line. Network Rail brought in teams of engineers to work on the fault, but while the location of the problem has been narrowed down to a 15 mile area of track, the root cause of it has yet to be identified.

Engineers have been working in shifts around the clock since the fault occurred performing “extensive testing” on every cable and circuit to find the faulty component, but as of 9am this morning it had still not been identified.

A Network Rail spokesperson told RTM that until the cause of the problem is found it was not possible to estimate how much longer it will take to repair.

Liam Sumpter, area director for Network Rail, said: “Extensive testing of all cables and circuits within a 15 mile stretch of track continues as we do everything possible, with extra resource from across Network Rail as well as external expertise, to identify the fault and make the repairs.

“This is an unusual situation and we are leaving no areas uncovered as we try to resolve it. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and are working with affected train operators to minimise disruption to passengers as much possible. Anyone planning to travel by train should check with National Rail Enquiries for the latest information.”

London Midland head of Snow Hill services, Brenda Lawrence, added: “Our focus for now is to keep our passengers moving.  Our contingency plans remain in place.

“Once the service is restored there will be a full and thorough review of what went wrong. We fully appreciate that our passengers on this line are not getting the service they deserve and we apologise for this - regardless of the cause.”

London Midland has been forced to cancel all services that run between Birmingham Snow Hill and Stratford-upon-Avon and passengers on Chiltern Railways’ services are also affected, with buses replacing trains between Stratford-upon-Avon and Hatton/Leamington Spa and trains between Leamington Spa and Stratford-upon-Avon starting and finishing at Hatton.

*Update 17.05, 21 November

Network Rail have confirmed to RTM that the faults have now been cleared. After exhaustive testing engineers were able to idenitfy two faulty data cables. 

The line will operate a full service as per the timetable from Saturday morning. 

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