Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Leeds station in chaos after train fire

Industrial action and livestock on the line added to the problems facing travellers

Simon Calder
Travel Correspondent
Thursday 05 October 2023 12:26 BST
Which way now? Leeds station in West Yorkshire
Which way now? Leeds station in West Yorkshire (Simon Calder)

As the return to work began after the latest strike by train drivers, passengers using Leeds station faced dozens of cancellations due to a fire on a train.

Northern, which runs many of the commuter trains from the West Yorkshire hub, said during the morning: “We are aware of a fire on a train at Leeds, some lines are blocked.

“Train services running through this station will be cancelled or delayed.

“Emergency services are on site and dealing with the incident.”

No injuries were reported, but thousands of travellers found their trains cancelled or heavily delayed.

Services from Hull, Ilkley, Bradford, Skipton and Huddersfield were worst affected, but many other trains were heavily delayed. One departure to Carlisle was over an hour late.

Disruption at Leeds – one of the busiest stations in the UK – is expected to continue into the afternoon.

Passengers were further affected by short-notice cancellations due to staff shortage, especially on TransPennine Express trains. Early afternoon departures to Manchester, Newcastle, Saltburn, Scarborough and Hull are cancelled.

Other problems affecting travellers include livestock on the line from Harrogate and trains arriving late from the depot.

One passenger, Tom Forth, wrote on the social media site X: “Now the fire on the train has been put out, and everyone’s okay, and now it’ll take a few hours for Leeds Station to catch up with all the trains because we run it at 100 per cent capacity and we’ve cancelled almost all the major investment.”

Leeds will be affected by the cancellation of the HS2 line north of Birmingham. Although the eastern leg was scrapped in 2021, the western leg was still expected to offer services from London to Leeds via Manchester.

An overtime ban by train drivers belonging to the Aslef union continues until Friday, causing disruption across England.

Some early Avanti West Coast trains to and from London Euston were cancelled as a result of the 24-hour strike by drivers, which ended at midnight.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in