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Suspected cable vandalism causes delays at Birmingham New Street

A major signalling problem, thought to be caused by vandalism, has led to widespread delays at Birmingham New Street.

Network Rail engineers were called to fix the problem at 4am after apparent attempts to cut and burn cables powering signals at Proof House junction, south of Birmingham New Street station.

The power was off from 4am to 9.15am, meaning no trains could leave the south of Birmingham New Street.

Power has now been restored and Virgin and Arriva Trains Wales services are no longer affected but engineers are still working to fix the signalling problem, causing congestion, cancellations and delays of up to 60 minutes on CrossCountry services to Nottingham, Cardiff Central, Leicester, Newcastle, Reading and Stansted Airport, and London Midland services to London Euston, Walsall, Longbridge, Rugeley Trent Valley, Lichfield Trent Valley, Redditch, Liverpool Lime Street and Northampton.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “Early indications are that foul play caused today’s signalling failure. As well as putting their lives at risk, railway trespassers and vandals can face fines and prison sentences.

“Thousands of people were delayed getting to work today. The cost to the industry will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.  This is taxpayers’ money which could have been invested in improving the railway.”

If you have any information about this incident, please contact the British Transport Police on 0800 40 50 40 or text 61016.

The incident marks the second major disruption near Birmingham in a week, after more than 100m of overhead wires came down near Birmingham International on 5 April, causing delays on London Midland, Virgin, CrossCountry and Chiltern routes.


Andrew Gwilt   11/04/2016 at 22:27

Might of been rats that chewed on the cables and thats why it caused lots of delays for passengers in Birmingham New Street affecting services to/from London Euston and elsewhere on the WCML.

Guest   11/04/2016 at 23:49

Andrew, no it won't of been rats, the insulation is far too thick for that. And it wasn't just trains on the West Coast route that were affected,

David   12/04/2016 at 12:16

It can't 'of been rats' as that isn't English. It might have been rats, even if it wasn't. Please use the language properly if you're going to contribute and expect to be taken seriously.

Andrew Gwilt   13/04/2016 at 09:16

David. Don't tell me what to do. In fact shut your mouth instead David. Idiot.

Andrew Gwilt   13/04/2016 at 09:19

Well if it wasn't rats who damaged the insulation cables then I reckon it is yobs that have damaged the cables and caused the delays to all train services coming to & from Birmingham New Street.

Chris   14/04/2016 at 21:32

You really don't help yourself do you...

Andrew Gwilt.   18/04/2016 at 10:00

Ha. Shut up Chris. Idiot.

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