Delays on Thameslink line after tree falls onto cables in St Albans

PUBLISHED: 08:53 18 November 2015 | UPDATED: 08:58 18 November 2015

After a tree fell in high winds onto live cables in St Albans, local firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared debris from the Thameslink train tracks. Photos courtesy of Alex Bottomley

After a tree fell in high winds onto live cables in St Albans, local firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared debris from the Thameslink train tracks. Photos courtesy of Alex Bottomley

Alex Bottomley

Yesterday's high winds made a tree topple onto overhead wires on the Thameslink line between St Albans and Harpenden, where it brought down over half a mile of cables and caught fire.

After a tree fell in high winds onto live cables in St Albans, local firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared debris from the Thameslink train tracks. Photos courtesy of Alex Bottomley
After a tree fell in high winds onto live cables in St Albans, local firefighters extinguished the fire and cleared debris from the Thameslink train tracks. Photos courtesy of Alex Bottomley

There is still disruption to the rail service between Bedford and London St Pancras International as a result.

Thameslink said that engineers worked through the night to repair the damage and work is continuing today, which means that train travel will be disrupted until midday.

Local residents John Bottomley and his 11-year-old son Alex saw the drama unfold last night (Tuesday).

John said that at about 8.15pm, a tree fell onto the railway line near St Albans City Station, due to the high winds.

The tree, located in the rear garden of a house in Beaconsfield Road, brought down the overhead power cable and fell onto the track north of platform four.

He and Alex, a Verulam School pupil, saw three fire engines attending the fallen tree, using chainsaws to clear debris from the track.

John said: “We could see safety lights placed on the tracks to warn approaching trains. It could have been a nasty incident.

“My son and I saw the fire engines after we got home from swimming. There were branches from other trees nearby whipping around the place.”

A firefighter from St Albans Fire Station said that three appliances were at the scene between 8.15-9.30pm.

He said: “The tree was burning because it had fallen on electric wires. There were no injuries, and we handed the scene over to Network Rail after we had cleared the tree.”

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