Phil James, Route director, North West

I’m very sorry for the disruption to our passengers today who were affected by the overhead wire damage between Wigan and Preston.

What happened?

At about 3am this morning (Tuesday), Network Rail staff working on the railway noticed damage to the electric wires near Euxton, Balshaw Lane.

The damage was caused by a broken dropper. A dropper is a part of the overhead line equipment which helps to hold up the wire that provides power to the trains. 

In the image below, you can see an example of a dropper:

What did we do to fix it?

To repair the damage, the team arranged to stop all trains. This was to stop electricity running along the wires to allow the team to work safely on track.

They then drove a MEWP (a mobile elevated working platform vehicle) onto the track to access the height of the wires. 

Next, the tension to the overhead wires was fixed and the droppers were rejoined. 

The line reopened at 11:20am.  

I appreciate this incident was very disruptive to people who needed to travel this morning. We worked as quickly as possible to ensure trains could get back to a normal service. 

I am very grateful for the patience of all passengers this morning.

Thank you for bearing with us while we completed the fix.