South Wales trains restart as 20,000 passengers delayed

Power has been restored on the south Wales rail network after an electricity failure affected an estimated 20,000 passengers on Tuesday.

Network Rail blamed a blown fuse for knocking out signalling in Cardiff just after 0700 GMT, halting some 30 Arriva Trains Wales trains between stations.

First Great Western services from London were turned around at Newport.

Arriva Trains Wales said power was restored at around 1000 GMT although delays continued into the afternoon.

The power surge halted all trains in the south Wales network and also left level crossings in the position they were in when the power went down.

There were also reports of severe road congestion as a knock-on effect.

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Media captionPeter Leppard of Arriva Trains Wales: ''I'm sorry they weren't able to travel this morning''

A Network Rail spokesman said a blown fuse was found in the power supply and they were still working with Western Power to investigate the cause.

"Trains are now on the move, however there are still some slight delays as we ease into normal time-table by this evening's rush hour," said a spokeswoman at 14.20 GMT.

"We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused and we advise passengers to check before they travel into and out of Cardiff today."

British Transport Police (BTP) said it had been informed and was ruling out any foul play.

Peter Leppard, of Arriva, said trains should get back to normal by about 1500 GMT.

He said trains were running again, but they may not be quite to timetable for a few hours.

Mr Leppard some stranded trains were able to get back to the stations they came from, but others had to stay where they were for up to two hours.

He said: "I think people have been very understanding on the whole. We occasionally get power supply problems but nothing of this magnitude.

"We will be meeting with Western Power Distribution to discuss the problem this afternoon."

Image caption A deserted Cardiff Central rail platform

Mr Leppard anyone who had "not been able to travel" would be able to get a refund.

Michael Bevan, 48, from Aberdare, Cynon Valley, who commutes to work every day to Barry in the Vale of Glamorgan, told the BBC Wales News website: "Today the train stopped just passed Radyr and we were there for about an hour.

"It reversed a bit and we ended up getting on as bus at Radyr and that took me here to Cardiff Central. I was told there are no buses or trains to Barry. I'm going to get a lift now to Barry and worry about getting home later on."

Vanessa Tyndale, 22, who was trying to travel to Bristol where she is a student, said: "I am just visiting friends and they said there is a power cut and nothing has changed for about two hours.

"It looks like I am just going to have to stay in Cardiff. I'm just going back to my friends and will maybe get a train later of tomorrow morning."

But appart from delays for staff reaching work, the rail disruption may not have had a major impact on business in south Wales.

Freightliner, which runs coal, aggregates and container services in south Wales, said that despite some delays it had suffered no cancellations or major effects to its operations.

Cardiff council said there was little impact on its work.

A Welsh Assembly Government spokesman said: "We're in constant contact with Network Rail who have assured us that they are taking all possible steps to rectify the problem."

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