UPDATE – Cross City south train services to recommence from first thing Thursday after two days of disruption

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Photo ©West Midlands Railway

Update Wednesday 15th August 10.20pm – Line now open and all services expected to resume as normal from start of service Thursday 16th August.

Engineers have removed both trees, cut back other vegetation, stabilised the embankment, fixed the damaged overhead power lines and completed their safety inspections.

The line reopened just after 9pm tonight.

West Midlands Railway said: “While the line has reopened, there will be no services running this evening as trains and crew are out of position. It is hoped a full service will run from first thing on Thursday morning but there may be some disruption. Passengers are advised to check before they travel.”


All West Midlands Railway Cross City south train services have been suspended until further notice while an unsafe embankment is secured.

Services between Birmingham New Street and Bromsgrove / Redditch were suspended yesterday (Tuesday 15th August) after a tree fell on to the line close to University station. Stations affected are University, Selly Oak, Kings Norton, Northfield, Longbridge, Barnt Green, Alvechurch, Bromsgrove and Redditch.

As engineers were ready to reopen the line yesterday evening, a second tree fell at the same location, badly damaging overhead power lines.

West Midlands Railway said this afternoon that a section of embankment had become unstable and that the line would remain closed until further notice while engineers remove trees and make the embankment safe.

National Rail tweeted that the disruption was expected to continue until the end of service today (Wednesday 15th August).

The cause of the earth movement remains under investigation.

James Dean, chief operating officer for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “We are doing all we can to remove the at-risk trees and make the embankment safe as quickly as possible. The embankment is very wet, which appears to have caused the issues, and we are investigating the cause of this.

“Safety is paramount and the decision to keep the railway closed has not been made lightly. Passengers can be assured we will fully reopen the Cross City line as quickly as possible and I’d urge them to check before they travel for the latest information.”

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway said: “As we are now not expecting services to resume today we would advise customers to plan an alternative route this afternoon and allow extra time for their journey. We apologise for the disruption and urge anyone who has been affected to claim compensation through delay repay.”

Alternative transport

West Midlands Railway tickets are being accepted on local National Express West Midlands bus services between Birmingham New Street and Longbridge. Rail replacement buses are in operation for stations between Longbridge and Redditch / Bromsgrove.

Trains between Birmingham New Street and Hereford are being diverted in both directions and are not calling at University. Trains between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield will run as booked.

Compensation

Anyone affected by these changes should claim for compensation through delay repay.

Updates

For service updates follow @WestMidRailway on Twitter or check www.nationalrail.co.uk.

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