Vandalism is thought to have caused today’s widespread rail disruption, it is now believed.
From early this morning commuters were subjected to major delays, including on the Northampton-London Euston route. The problems are only now being resolved.
But Network Rail, which manages the UK’s rail infrastructure, believe the cause was an attempt to burn and cut cables powering signals just south of Birmingham New Street station.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “Early indications are that foul play caused today’s signalling failure. As well as putting their lives at risk, railway trespassers and vandals can face fines and prison sentences.
“Thousands of people were delayed getting to work today. The cost to the industry will run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. This is taxpayers’ money which could have been invested in improving the railway.”
Train services in and out of the south side of Birmingham New Street station resumed around 9.15am after repairs were made, however passengers are being advised that it will take some time for timetables to get back to normal.
London Midland runs a range of services, including the West Coast Main Line which serves stations including Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Tring, Cheddington, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley, Milton Keynes and Wolverton.