Birmingham & Black Country

Trees down on rail lines and structures blown down in high winds

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Media captionStorm Barney batters West Midlands

Passengers have faced delays and disruption after trees fell through overhead wires in high winds.

A tree fell onto the line at Coseley affecting services between Birmingham and Wolverhampton.

The disruption, affecting several operators, would last until the end of service, Network Rail said earlier.

A tree also came down at Wylde Green affecting services between Lichfield, Sutton Coldfield and Birmingham New Street.

The line was closed until after 11:00 GMT, with buses running between Sutton Coldfield and Lichfield stations.

Image copyright Network Rail
Image caption Engineers have been repairing the line after a tree fell through overhead wires on the line between Lichfield and Birmingham, causing train cancellations

More updates on this and other stories from Birmingham and the Black Country

Arriva Trains Wales, CrossCountry and Virgin Trains services were being diverted and not calling at several stations between Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street.

London Midland services were not running between Wolverhampton and Birmingham.

The delays were caused as Storm Barney hit the area with winds of up to 70mph.

Repairs ongoing

A Network Rail spokesman apologised to passengers for the delays.

"Our teams worked throughout the night to deal with weather-related issues to help keep as many trains and passengers moving as possible today.

"The high winds caused damage across the rail network."

Image copyright Google/Andrew Buck
Image caption The 150ft (46m) Fort Shopping Park tower before Storm Barney (left) and this morning (right)

Elsewhere, the mast in the Fort Shopping Park in Birmingham was toppled in the high winds, while emergency services reported trees falling on several roads.

Earlier, a spokesman for the shopping centre's owners said the 150ft (46m) tower was being dismantled and removed, adding no people or vehicles were injured when it was toppled.

Image copyright Andrew Buck
Image caption A mast at the Fort Shopping Park in Birmingham was toppled as Storm Barney saw high winds hit the West Midlands

The Fort remained open with motorists being directed to the underground car park while work to remove the tower, which has stood since 1996, continued. The park said it was the first time it had been damaged.

Motorists were also delayed after a lamp-post between junctions six and seven of the M6 was knocked over by a van. Highways England tweeted, at about 21:00 on Tuesday, that the hard shoulder and two lanes of the northbound motorway were closed due a fallen lamp-post and that contractors were being sent to the scene.

The motorway reopened a few hours later and Highways England confirmed its inspectors were out looking at all light columns.

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