Plastic sheet on 25,000 volt power lines delays Birmingham to Lichfield trains

Businesses and homeowners are being urged to secure their outdoor possessions after trains were delayed by plastic sheets blown on to the railway.

Services on the Cross City line between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield were delayed today (10 March) when plastic sheeting was blown from neighbouring properties onto the overhead power lines in two separate locations.

A total of 16 trains were disrupted during a three hour period while Network Rail staff untangled the plastic and removed it from the overhead lines, which carry 25,000 volts of electricity, in the Duddeston and Gravelly Hill area of Birmingham.

Plastic sheeting on overhead line.

With strong winds forecast for the rest of today and into tomorrow, Network Rail is urging people to secure anything which could be blown onto the tracks or power lines to prevent more disruption.

Martin Colmey, operations director for Network Rail’s Central route, said: “Strong winds and unsecured items next to the railway are not a good mix. We see too many incidents where sheeting,  gazebos, garden furniture and even trampolines end up on the railway.

“If you live or work near the railway, please secure anything which could blow onto the network and help us keep the railway open for the people who rely on it to travel around the West Midlands.”

Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “Items caught in the overhead wires cause unnecessary delays for passengers and can have a significant knock-on impact lasting several hours.

“With further high winds forecast in coming days I urge everybody to secure their property so we can keep our railway open for people making essential journeys.”

Train stuck under overhead line.

Passengers can check for the latest travel information at  

Photo credit: Network Rail

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