Rail chaos between Manchester and London after trackside fire in Harrow
Passengers travelling between Manchester and London are facing travel chaos after all direct trains between the two cities were cancelled following a blaze.
A factory fire near the tracks on Thursday night forced the closure of the line between Watford Junction and London Euston.
A trackside wall was left in danger of collapse, meaning it has to be rebuilt and made safe again before the line can reopen.
Transports bosses said the line was likely to be shut for several hours, as engineers work to restore the service as soon as possible.
An update on the Virgin website said: âTrain services running to and from these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 120 minutes or terminated at and started back from Milton Keynes Central.
âLondon Euston and Watford Junction will not be served. Disruption is expected until the end of the day.â
Eig ht fire engines and 58 firefighters were called to the scene after a blaze broke out at a timber yard near Harrow in north London around midnight.
Station Manager Jason Jones, who was at the scene, said: âWe had a very well developed fire which was extremely visible from quite a way out.
âThere were propane cylinders involved so a hazard zone was set up as cylinders can explode when exposed to heat.
âThe site is next to Headstone Lane train station and trains were stopped.
âCrews worked very hard through the night at this challenging incident to bring the fire under control.â
The trackside wall will need to be âdismantled, made safe and rebuiltâ a Network Rail spokesman said.
It means the West Coast main line will remain shut between Euston and Milton Keynes while repairs are made.
A statement on the National Rail website said: âAt approximately 11.55pm yesterday evening, a large fire was reported at a timber yard near Headstone Lane.
âThe emergency services have worked through the night to control the blaze. The damage has been looked at by structural engineers and they have declared the building is currently unsafe for trains to run. Until the building has been made safe, trains will continue to be disrupted between Watford Junction and London Euston.âSource: Google News