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Cross City south to remain closed while trees and embankment are made safe

Press release   •   Aug 15, 2018 13:11 BST

In the last 24 hours, two trees have fallen onto the line, badly damaging overhead power lines, and a section of the embankment, north of University station, has become unstable.

The Cross City line between Birmingham New Street, Longbridge, Redditch and Bromsgrove will remain closed until further notice while engineers remove trees and make safe an embankment.

In the last 24 hours, two trees have fallen onto the line, badly damaging overhead power lines, and a section of the embankment, north of University station, has become unstable.

For safety reasons, the railway will remain closed while repairs taken place.

The cause of the earth movement remains under investigation.

James Dean, chief operating officer for Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “We are doing all we can to remove the at-risk trees and make the embankment safe as quickly as possible. The embankment is very wet, which appears to have caused the issues, and we are investigating the cause of this.

“Safety is paramount and the decision to keep the railway closed has not been made lightly. Passengers can be assured we will fully reopen the Cross City line as quickly as possible and I’d urge them to check before they travel for the latest information.”

Richard Brooks, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway said: "As we are now not expecting services to resume today we would advise customers to plan an alternative route this afternoon and allow extra time for their journey. We apologise for the disruption and urge anyone who has been affected to claim compensation through delay repay."

The first tree fell late on Tuesday morning (14 August) and damaged the overhead power lines. Repairs were made and the line reopened late on Tuesday night – only for a second tree to fall and damage the power lines again shortly afterwards. Further repairs were made overnight and a survey first thing this morning revealed earth movement on the embankment.

West Midlands Railway tickets are being accepted on local National Express West Midlands bus services between Birmingham New Street and Longbridge. Rail replacement buses are in operation for stations between Longbridge and Redditch / Bromsgrove.

Trains between Birmingham New Street and Hereford are being diverted in both directions and are not calling at University. Trains between Birmingham New Street and Lichfield will run as booked.

Anyone affected by these changes should claim for compensation through delay repay.

For service updates follow @WestMidRailway on Twitter or check

Notes to editors

For further information on West Midlands Trains, London Northwestern Railway or West Midlands Railway call our newsroom on 03300 955150.

About West Midlands Trains

West Midlands Trains Ltd. will be running the West Midlands rail franchise from 10 December 2017 until 2025/6. Abellio has a 70.1% share of the company, East Japan Railway Company (JRE) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Mitsui) own the remaining 29.9% in a 50:50 split.

About Abellio
Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. Every day our people provide rail, bus and tram services to 1.7m customers across the UK, Germany and in the Netherlands. In the UK we operate buses through Abellio London, as well as ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, and Merseyrail in a joint venture with Serco. In Germany we operate Abellio Deutschland, serving communities in North Rhine Westfalia, Saxony, Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt, Hesse and Thuringia. Our role in transport extends beyond the journey from a-to-b. With our international heritage and our policy of sharing best practice, not just amongst ourselves, but across the wider transport industry, we provide thought leadership and truly innovative ideas which make a positive contribution to the communities we serve. For more information on Abellio visit

About Mitsui
Mitsui is one of the most diversified and comprehensive trading, investment and service enterprises in the world with 139 offices in 66 countries as of March, 2017. Utilising our global operating locations, network and information resources, we are multilaterally pursuing business that ranges from product sales, worldwide logistics and financing, through to the development of major international infrastructure and other projects in the following fields: Iron & Steel Products, Mineral & Metal Resources, Infrastructure Projects, Integrated Transportation Systems, Chemicals, Energy, Food Resources, Food Products & Services, Consumer Services, IT & Communication, and Corporate Development Business. Mitsui is actively taking on challenges for global business innovation around the world. For more information, visit

About JR East
East Japan Railway Company (JR East) was established in 1987, when Japanese National Railways was divided as part of a package of railway reforms. JR East’s railway business covers a 7,500 km (approx. 4,660 miles) network in the eastern part of the Japanese main island, including Tokyo Metropolitan area, and provides transportation services, comprising urban, suburban and high speed operations, for 17 million passengers on a daily basis. JR East also undertakes non‐transport commercial activities, which account for more than 30% of the total revenue of JR East Group. JR East contributes to passengers and communities it serves by delivering high degrees of punctuality, reliability and comfort and also continues to pursue higher levels of safety and service quality through technical innovation. For more information, visit