Bridge fire causes rail travel chaos

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The Independent Online

Tens of thousands of passengers were facing continued disruption tonight after a fire broke out on a rail bridge close to Euston station in London.

Tens of thousands of passengers were facing continued disruption tonight after a fire broke out on a rail bridge close to Euston station in London.

Train operators were struggling to run normal services on two tracks reopened following the fire on the bridge used to transport freight over lines at Harlesden in north-west London.

The blaze damaged the bridge and electrical cabling, forcing the station to close for more than four hours until shortly after lunchtime.

A spokesman for Virgin, one of the two train operators to use the station, said it was hoped all four tracks would be fully re-opened by tomorrow morning.

He said: "We are trying to get back to as close as normal as possible but there is still continuing disruption. There are still only two tracks at the moment but the biggest difficulty is that trains and crews are in the wrong place after this morning's disruption.

"We have managed to run most trains and we are currently giving priority to those trains we expect to be busy, particularly those where football fans are returning to the North West."

A spokesman for Silverlink, which runs commuter services to Birmingham and Watford out of the station, as well as the North London Line, said services would be reduced for the rest of the day.

He said: "Services are not running normally and they will be affected for the next three hours. There will also be the effects of the earlier disruption, with some trains running late and one or two cancellations. We hope it will be back to normal tomorrow."

A spokesman for Railtrack said: "Things are as near normal as possible but I cannot give an estimate of when the other two lines will reopen. I think it will make a negligible difference to most people tomorrow."

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