Waverley passengers rail chaos on East Coast line

Passengers are moved on to buses at Edinburgh Waverley. Pic: Neil Hanna

Passengers are moved on to buses at Edinburgh Waverley. Pic: Neil Hanna

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NORMAL train services have resumed after passengers faced hours of delays and cancellations as a result of overhead wire problems near Edinburgh.

Network Rail officials said that the knock-on delays resulting from the line issues had ended by 8pm, with the final delayed service leaving Haymarket at 20.21pm.

Train services have been disrupted due to overhead wiring problems.

Train services have been disrupted due to overhead wiring problems.

Scotrail also confirmed that peak time restrictions had been lifted until Wednesday in a bid to get the network back on track, while passengers were told they could use equivalent First Scotland bus services for routes shown on their tickets.

In all, over 20 services heading south between North Berwick, Dunbar and Waverley suffered delays – with trains between the capital and North Berwick being axed as late as 7pm.

Network Rail bosses said all services - including those heading into Edinburgh on the East Coast main line from London ahead of the New Year festivities - had been disrupted.

The cause of the overhead wire failure was still being investigated, they added.

It is thought a train passing through Berwick at around midnight on Tuesday may have brought down some of the structures holding up overhead wires - but Network Rail bosses stressed a number of possible causes were still being looked into.

They said trains had been allowed to use the line up until 9am yesterday, but that a decision was taken to close around half an hour later.

A spokeswoman for Scotrail said that engineers were on-site near Portobello, where the incident occurred, throughout the day until the line was cleared to reopen just before 6pm.

“The line was reopened at 5.50pm, and the 18.41 service from Haymarket to North Berwick was able to get away on time, and so it appears everything is back on track,” she said.

“Due to ongoing service disruption, evening peak ticket restrictions are also being eased, so that passengers with off peak tickets will be able to travel on peak services.”

But a spokesman for Network Rail added that commuters were facing subsequent delays until at least 8pm as trains scrambled to catch up.

“We’ll be looking at knock-on delays until around 8pm, after which time all services should have resumed to normal,” he said.

“We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused.”