Usually, when trains have to stop running as the overhead power lines are damaged, that damage has been caused either by the pantograph of a train getting caught up in them and pulling them down, or by an external object falling on them – often a tree, but other objects, such as garden trampolines, balloons or kites, have sometimes been involved.
Today (13 October 2020) it was another power line. A Scottish Power cable fell onto the overhead lines at Scremerston, three miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed on the East Coast main line. This caused significant damage and, with cables across the track, no LNER or CrossCountry trains were expected to run directly between Newcastle and Berwick for the rest of the day.
Network Rail route director Paul Rutter said: “We’re really sorry that passengers on the East Coast main line have suffered such disruption today. This morning there was a fatality at Stevenage and now we have significant damage to the overhead power lines in the North East. The two incidents combined have caused significant delays and disruption.
“We’re working closely with Scottish Power to make the area of the overhead power damage safe for engineers to get on site. They’ll then judge the amount of work needed to get trains running safely through the area. We’re doing this as quickly as possible, but expect that the East Coast Main Line in this area will remain closed to trains for the rest of today.
“We’re all working to get trains moving through the area in the morning. Updates on services will be posted on National Rail Enquiries as soon as they are available.”