Rail chaos on key Birmingham-London route following landslip


Tens of thousands of travellers are facing severely extended journeys due to a landslip between Rugby and Coventry.

Normally this is an extremely busy stretch of line, shared between intercity trains linking London with the West Midlands as well as local and regional services.

But Avanti West Coast and London Northwestern Railway are unable to run trains from Birmingham towards the capital on the usual route due to the landslip in a cutting.

Phil Barnes, operations director for Network Rail, said: “Network Rail engineers are assessing the damage caused by a landslip between Coventry and Rugby and are working on a plan to safely reopen the affected track as soon as possible.

“With one of the two tracks in this area closed to trains, a reduced service is running through the area and we apologise for the disruption to journeys.”

London Northwestern is telling travellers: “Due to a landslide between Coventry and Rugby the line is blocked and we unable to operate services through the area.

“We expect this to last until end of day Tuesday 13 February 2024.”

Avanti West Coast is running some Birmingham-London trains on much longer route.

Going places? Departure board at London Euston showing cancellations

(Simon Calder)

A diversion has been put in place that requires passengers from Birmingham to travel northwest away from London to Stafford, from where trains are running on the Trent Valley line, avoiding the landslip.

One Edinburgh-London train ran normally as far as Wolverhampton, where it reversed to Stafford and then took the diversionary line. It is currently around one hour late.

Dave Whitehouse, safety and security director at Avanti West Coast, said: “The landslip between Rugby and Coventry means our services to London Euston are unable to operate as normal while Network Rail complete the emergency repairs.

“We are working with Network Rail and other train operators to ensure our customers are able to still travel to and from London while this work takes place over the next days.”

At London Euston station, other Avanti services, including to Manchester and Glasgow, have been cancelled as the impact of having staff and rolling stock out of position intensifies.

On Monday, tickets can be used on Chiltern Railways between Birmingham Moor Street and London Marylebone, or on the CrossCountry link from Birmingham New Street to Reading and Great Western Railway from there to London Paddington.

Tuesday services are likely to be severely affected, with a possibility of disruption extending into Wednesday.

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