Chaos at Birmingham New Street as all trains cancelled due to overhead wire damage

There are no trains operating in or out of Birmingham New Street this afternoon after "extreme temperatures" damaged overhead power lines.

Birmingham New Street
Birmingham New Street

On what has been confirmed as the hottest day ever in the UK, scorching temperatures have affected the station's 25,000 volt overhead cables, meaning no services can currently operate to and from the station.

Passengers on one train from Lichfield to New Street reported being stuck in a tunnel at around 1pm this afternoon after seeing overhead wires fall onto the track.

The train was then plunged into darkness and passengers reported hearing "explosions".

All power has now been switched off to the high-voltage cables and Network Rail's rapid response team is dealing with the fault outside of the station.

Network Rail said that engineers are working "as fast as they can" to resolve the issue but "at this time, there is no estimate as to when services will resume."

However, the disruption continued into Wednesday morning with all trains to and from the station cancelled.

Network Rail’s Central route director, Denise Wetton, said: “As predicted the extreme temperatures have impacted our overhead cables which power trains and we’ve had to stop all trains at Birmingham New Street station.

“Please keep following our ‘do not travel’ message today as journeys are being severely impacted.

“We’re sorry to people impacted and we’re working as fast as we can to get things back up and running.”

People are being urged not to travel by train and rail tickets are currently being accepted on local bus services across the region.

A spokesperson for National Rail said: "Damage to the overhead electric wires between Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield Trent Valley is causing disruption to journeys between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield Trent Valley.

"Trains running between these stations may be cancelled or delayed. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.

"Passengers are strongly advised not to travel today due to forecast high temperatures and major disruption affecting the network."

For football fans, it has thrown into doubts attendance at this evening's Walsall v Coventry match at Bescot Stadium.

Walsall FC confirmed earlier today that tonight's pre-season friendly will still go ahead despite the heat, meaning fans will need to find alternative ways to travel.

Cancellations and replacement services:

Avanti West Coast has also cancelled all services today after "multiple incidents across the network" inflicted by "extreme heat".

Avanti passengers with tickets for today can use them tomorrow or Thursday. They can also claim a refund.

The train service provider has also warned that today's chaos could impact tomorrow's services and is advising customers to check their journey before arriving at a station.

CrossCountry customers can use their tickets on National Express West Midlands Buses, while London Northwestern and West Midlands Railway are running replacement buses between Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield Trent Valley.

Where to check for updates:

As this incident is ongoing, people are being advised to:

  • Follow Birmingham New Street station’s Twitter account @NetworkRailBHM

  • Follow the Twitter account of their train operator

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