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UPDATED 10.40pm: Major delays on York-London trains after power lines damaged
RAIL passengers travelling between York and London are continuing to face severe delays tonight after overhead power lines were damaged.
About 600m of wires between Doncaster and Newark were damaged this lunchtime, stranding a train heading from Leeds to London Kings Cross, with services not expected to be running properly on the East Coast Main Line until at least midnight as fewer trains than normal are able to use the affected lines.
The damage meant northbound and southbound trains were unable to run between Doncaster and Newark this afternoon, although diesel services between York and London were diverted via Lincoln where possible to avoid the damaged section of the power lines near Retford, in Nottinghamshire.
Rail operator East Coast said tonight that repairs have been carried out, allowing some of the lines to reopen, but services between Doncaster and Peterborough may still be delayed for up to an hour, although delay times have shortened during the evening. The company has advised passengers not to travel today unless their journey is essential, with tickets for travel today still being valid on Friday.
Ticket restrictions have been lifted so East Coast ticket-holders can travel on CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains, First TransPennine Express, Grand Central, First Hull Trains and Virgin Trains services. The train which was left at a standstill by the damaged wires is being hauled clear of the area, but no other services have been stranded by the incident, the exact cause of which is currently unknown but is believed to have involved the train's pantograph which connects it to the cables.
Work on repairing the power lines will continue overnight and East Coast said it hopes services will be running as normal on Friday.
More information is at eastcoast.co.uk/travel-information or by following @eastcoastuk using the hashtag #Retford