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18th May, 2022

Warning for people to secure outdoor items after plastic on overhead lines delayed West Midlands Railway services for hours

PEOPLE and businesses are being urged to secure outdoor items after rail services were disrupted for hours yesterday because of plastic sheeting blowing onto overhead wires.

A total of 16 trains on the Cross City Line between New Street and Lichfield were delayed or cancelled after incidents at two separate sections.

Network Rail staff had to untangle the plastic and remove it from the overhead lines, which carry 25,000 volts of electricity.

With strong winds forecast today, 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.”

Passengers can check for the latest travel information at





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