Object on railway line to Rugby caused significant damage to London Midland trains

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An object on a railway overhead wire caused major damage to two London Midland trains, resulting in one train being out of service for over eight months.

Both trains are now back in service, following a programme of extensive repair works costing nearly £250,000.

The trains were damaged by an object on the overhead lines.

The top and side sections of both trains were subject to major damage and the pantograph from one unit detached completely impacting the exterior of the train as it came down.

There were no passengers travelling on the 3.55 service from Northampton to Rugby and no train crew were injured. However severe delays were caused by the train blocking the line between Northampton and Rugby before being taken back to the Siemens’ Kings Heath Traincare depot for repairs.

One of the trains was so badly damaged it had to be taken to the Kilmarnock depot in Scotland for specialist repairs.

The incident led to one train being out of service for two to three weeks and the other for eight and a half months.

The first train cost £47,000 to repair, while the second train needed £180,000 of work.

The maintenance works, carried out by Siemens, included a complete replacement of both pantographs (the connecting arm between the train and the overhead power supply), as well as major dent repairs and re-paint work.

The damage meant that passengers in and out of London had to put up with fewer carriages until Siemens was able to help London Midland by providing an extra train.

Neil Bamford, London Midland’s engineering director, said: “This is a prime example of how one seemingly small piece of debris on the line can severely impact our passengers.

“Our partner Siemens and the fleet team have worked incredibly hard to get these two trains back into service in such a short space of time, and I am delighted with the end result.

“The repairs managed by Siemens were carried out to a really high standard and it’s great to see the trains are now back out on the network serving our passengers.”