Firefighters have been dealing with a major warehouse fire next to railway lines in Wolverhampton.
For safety Network Rail was forced to close the tracks and stop running trains when the blaze broke out at around 9pm last night (Monday 5 December).
Train services are currently suspended in both directions on the Stour Valley line between Wolverhampton, Sandwell & Dudley and Birmingham.
That’s because the main wall of the destroyed warehouse building is now unstable and is at risk of collapsing onto tracks and the 25,000-volt web of overhead electric wires which power trains.
Latest drone pictures from the site have been released this afternoon (Tuesday 6 December) to show the extent of the damage.
Where possible, train operators are diverting services between Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street, extending journey times.
However it means the follow stations on the Stour line are closed:
- Dudley Port
- Sandwell and Dudley
- Smethwick Galton Bridge
- Smethwick Rolfe Street
Passengers are also being kept on the move by rail replacement buses between Crewe and Liverpool South Parkway and between Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury in both directions.
Network Rail is working closely with West Midlands Fire Service and Wolverhampton Council to assess the damage and make the site safe so that railway lines can reopen as soon as possible.
However, with the major incident ongoing, passengers are being advised to check www.nationalrail.co.uk before they set off on their journey for the latest travel information.
Martin Colmey, Network Rail’s Central route operations director, said: “We’re sorry to passengers impacted by the fire next to the railway and we’re working hard to help the fire service establish the extent of the damage locally so trains can run again.
“I’d please ask people planning on travelling on the West Coast main line through Wolverhampton to check National Rail Enquiries before they set off on their journey.”
For the latest updates on this ongoing disruption people can follow the @NationalRailEnq Twitter feed.
Alternatively, check www.nationalrail.co.uk for the latest travel updates.
Photo and video credit: Network Rail