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Passengers stranded after train hits tree branches near Sutton Coldfield

By Sutton Coldfield Observer  |  Posted: February 08, 2014

Passengers were left stranded after a train hit tree branches which had fallen on to overhead power lines.

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PASSENGERS were left stranded after a train collided with tree branches which had fallen on to power lines near Sutton Coldfield on Saturday afternoon.

Rail users were travelling on the 12.32pm from Longbridge to Lichfield City when high winds brought down the branches on to overhead cables.

“Branches wrapped themselves around the power equipment on the top of the train,” said a spokesman for London Midland.

“We have had debris all over the place and the issue has had a knock-on effect to services.”

The train proceeded with caution to Sutton Coldfield railway station to allow passengers to disembark.

A rescue unit was then called to recover the damaged train, which causes delays of up to an hour.

Train services running between Four Oaks and Lichfield Trent Valley were cancelled and disruption is expected until at least 4.15pm.

Scores of people took to Twitter after being left waiting at stations on the Cross City line following the incident.

National Express West Midlands bus services are conveying passengers between Blake Street and Birmingham New Street via Four Oaks and Sutton Coldfield in both directions until further notice.

Arrangements have been made for London Midland rail tickets to be accepted for routes 115, 902, 904, 905 and 915.

Meanwhile, the Environment Agency and the Met Office have warned of more rain and gale force winds across the Midlands on Saturday night.

And with more heavy rain forecast, West Midlands Ambulance Service is urging the public to heed weather warnings and follow safety advice.

The service will have addition vehicles on duty this weekend as heavy rain and strong winds once again hit parts of the West Midlands region.

WMAS Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer, Craig Cooke, said: “In general, over the weekend we would ask all members of the public to follow the advice of the Environment Agency and other emergency services and stay away from flood control areas, rivers, streams and other waterways at this time.

"We would also advise motorists to exercise extreme caution and not attempt driving through flooded roads.

"Not heeding the many safety warnings puts lives at risk, including ambulance staff and other emergency service personnel called to provide a service in these most challenging of conditions.”

The ambulance service is likely to face a busy time this weekend and people should only call 999 for life threatening emergencies.

For less urgent cases of illness, injury or pre-existing conditions, the public are advised to consider alternative medical assistance such as their GP, NHS 111, visit a walk-in centre or consult a pharmacist.

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