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Hundreds of holidaymakers are facing an agonising wait to discover if they will make their flights as a freight train fire is causing delays to rail services from Manchester Piccadilly and the Airport.
UPDATE: The fire is believed to have been now extinguished though normal services have yet to resume. Fire crews remain at the scene.
UPDATE: Lines are now fully reopened yet normal services are not expected to resume until later this morning.
The fire occured at Heald Green railway station near Stockport and Northern Rail have confirmed that commuters should expect ‘serious dispruptions’ to their journeys.
The engine compartment of a train is believe to have been the cause and fire crews are currently battling the blaze.
Commuters travelling towards Crewe are also being warned to expect delays, while many connections directly between Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport have been cancelled.
It is believed that the driver was the only person onboard and it was he who raised the alarm.
The fire caused servcies to the Airport to cease at 7am, and services to Crewe via Styal have also been affected.
Electricity to the overhead lines had to be cut due to the nature of the fire, yet it is believed power has now been returned.
The 6.46am service from Manchester Airport to Piccadilly had to be stopped and didn’t resume until 8.30am.
Station Manager Damian O’Rourke said: “Crews quickly extinguished the fire and are remaining on scene to make sure the engine, which was involved in the fire, carries on cooling down.
“We coordinated with rail track officers and closed two of the lines because they were near to overhead line equipment.
“We have since managed to reopen one of the lines under a caution to get traffic moving and we are working with rail operators and waiting for recovery of the train to can get services back to normal as soon as possible.”
More to follow.
Picture courtesy of Firing up the Quattro.