Fire on Sandy tracks causes 'severe disruption' for rail passengers this morning

Passengers planning on travelling on the East Coast Main Line today (Wednesday, July 20) are being urged to plan ahead and check before travelling as severe disruption is expected.

By News Reporter
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 10:18 am

Teams from Network Rail need to carry out repair and recovery work after a fire spread onto the railway line in Sandy, which is on the route between Peterborough and King’s Cross.

The incident has caused major damage to signalling equipment and a level crossing in the area, both of which need complex repairs to be completed.

Teams also need to inspect the track for damage after track temperatures reached 39.8 degrees Celsius on Tuesday, the hottest recorded place on the East Coast Main Line.

Damage caused by the fire. Image: Network Rail

A Network Rail spokesman said: "The fire at Sandy has also meant that the planned inspection of over 250 miles of track on the southern end of the East Coast Main Line has not yet taken place.

"This means that these inspections to check whether any railway equipment has been damaged by Tuesday's record-breaking temperatures will need to be carried out on Wednesday. If any faults are found, these will need to be repaired before trains can run as normal again."

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This means that no trains will be able to run between Peterborough and King's Cross for the start of service today (July 20).

Damage caused by the fire. Image: Network Rail

There will also be no Thameslink trains on the following routes until at least late morning:

Bedford and London via St Albans

London and Sutton via Wimbledon or Mitcham Junction

London and East Grinstead, Littlehampton or Orpington

London and Rainham

No service is expected between Peterborough and Stevenage

There will be no service between Cambridge and King's Lynn until at least 9am

Simon Pumphrey, Infrastructure Director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “The heat has caused numerous challenges for the railway. Our teams remain on site to deal with the damage caused by the fire at Sandy.

"We’re working as hard as we can, but the complexity of the work means there will be severe disruption to trains on the East Coast Main Line tomorrow.

“The incident has also disrupted our plans to manually inspect the route between Peterborough and King’s Cross for any other damage and carry out any repairs, so we'll be working today to do that.

“We’re sorry if this impacts on your plans and we’re doing what we can to restart services as soon as possible.

“In the meantime, please check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with your train operator."