Rail commuters faced major disruption across England

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Media captionRail passengers face 'nightmare' journey as services delayed

Thousands of rail passengers faced delays and cancellations across England after overhead electric wires stopped working in the Midlands.

Services affected on Tuesday included routes to London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Wales and Southampton.

It was caused by a London Midland train "involved in an incident" with overhead wires at Birmingham International station, Network Rail said.

Hundreds queued at Coventry station after problems began at about 06:30.

By 16:30, London Midland said it was operating a reduced hourly service between Birmingham and Coventry.

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Virgin Trains, Arriva Trains, Cross Country and London Midland services routed through Birmingham were either delayed or cancelled.

Image caption Up to 300 people were queuing for replacement buses at Coventry station

Liam Sumpter, from Network Rail, said: "Shortly after 06:30 an empty London Midland train leaving Birmingham International station, heading towards Coventry, became involved in an incident with the over-line equipment."

This "resulted in significant damage to that over-line equipment and the train itself, and blocked the line in its entirety," he explained.

Commuters took to Twitter to vent their frustrations:

Kirsty from Wolverhampton said: "Seven hours late and the trains still aren't fully sorted. My God its been crazy between Birmingham and Coventry today!"

Fiona Trewavas from Aylesbury said: "Attempting to get to Birmingham to see Mary Poppins. Trains totally messed up. Currently sat at Northampton. Announcements very wrong too!"

Han Nivz from Salford said: "Delays are fine, but we were kept waiting for nearly an hour waiting for a train driver to arrive at Coventry in a taxi...?! "

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Media captionThere have been queues in Coventry

Bus replacement services operated between Rugby, Northampton and Coventry; and Chiltern Railways and Arriva Trains both accepted London Midland and Virgin tickets.

Birmingham Airport warned travellers to allow extra time when planning their journey to avoid missing their flight.

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