Train services hit after line-side fire

Train services on the South West main line have been disrupted following a line-side fire.

South Western Railway (SWR) said the fire, near Christchurch, in Dorset, blocked the tracks between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth shortly before 14:00 BST.

Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service (DWFRS) said firefighters arrived to find three separate areas of fire involving an electrical cable.

SWR said the lines had reopened by early evening but disruption to rail services was likely to remain until the end of Wednesday.

Electric cable on fire beside rail line
The fire involved an electric cable by the railway line [Network Rail]

DWFRS said crews were called to deal with the fire on a stretch of line near Ambury Lane.

Trains were halted and power was switched off to allow firefighters to work safely on the lines.

SWR said rail tickets were being accepted on bus services.

Due to the level of disruption, it said passengers travelling between Basingstoke and Weymouth could source their own taxis and claim them back through its website.

Train services in the New Forest had already been delayed following an earlier track circuit failure.

An earlier line-side fire next to the track between Fleet and Winchfield in Hampshire also meant trains had been running at a reduced speed on some lines towards Basingstoke.

Meanwhile, on the Isle of Wight a fire on property near the railway, between Sandown and Shanklin, also caused disruption to Island Line services on Wednesday morning.

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