HUNDREDS of people faced commuter chaos yesterday after part of a railway line collapsed – and misery is set to continue until tomorrow.
Trains were suspended from Wrexham to Bidston from about 10am onwards after a 1.5-metre deep hole opened up near the track in Shotton.
Passengers travelling to Cefn-y-bedd, Hope, Penyffordd, Hawarden, Shotton, Hawarden Bridge, Neston, Heswall, Upton and Bidston were forced to use a bus replacement service to complete their journey.
Engineers were sent to repair what is believed to be a collapsed culvert, and the route was closed for the remainder of the day.
Earlier in the day Network Rail reported via its Twitter page that trains were suspended due to a problem with lineside equipment.
Later a spokesman confirmed: “At 9.58am, a Network Rail track maintenance technical team reported a 1.5-metre deep hole affecting the lines between Shotton High Level and Hawarden.
“Replacement bus services are provided between Bidston and Wrexham by Arriva Trains Wales.
“Additional engineers and structures staff are at the site. The initial cause has been reported as a collapsed culvert 40 feet beneath the embankment.
“The problem has been caused by a broken pipe that runs under the track. Work will now take place to seal the pipe and fill in the hole.
“The line will remain closed until 6am on Friday.”
A spokesman for Arriva Trains Wales added: “Arriva Trains Wales is making every effort to minimise the disruption to the service and is working towards resuming a normal service as soon as possible. The current estimate for the resumption of the normal timetable is from the start of services on Friday, February 1, subject to the successful completion of safety checks.
“We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused by the disruption.”
A Dwr Cymru Welsh Water spokesman said: “Having been made aware of the situation, we attended the site to investigate and found a culvert to be the cause.
“Culverts such as this are not the responsibility of Dwr Cymru.”