Fallen tree causes more disruption to rail passengers

Tree on overhead line St Albans. Photo from Network Rail
Tree on overhead line St Albans. Photo from Network Rail

Commuters using Thameslink services faced more disruption today (Friday) after a tree fell onto the overhead wires which power trains in the St Albans area.

The tree has been removed but it caused some damage to one of the lines towards Bedford. Passengers at Luton, Luton Airport Parkway, Leagrave, Harlington, Flitwick and Bedford train stations, using the Bedford to Brighton line, may be affected by the disruption, which is expected to last until the end of the day.

Network Rail response teams removed the trees as quickly as possible but one of the four tracks through the area is only available to diesel trains until repair work is carried out overnight.

As all Thameslink trains are electrically-powered this is continuing to cause disruption.

Neil Henry, Network Rail’s head of operations, said: “We are sorry for the continued disruption this is causing to passengers.

“Although the tree has been removed it caused damage to the overhead power cables on one of the lines which needs to be repaired before it can be used by electrically powered trains.

“We need to close all of the lines to safely carry out the repair so this will be carried out after the end of service tonight to minimise the disruption.

“We fully expect all lines to be open as usual for start of service on Saturday.”