A burning train derailed in Manchester after the rear engine ignited today, but no-one was injured in the accident.
A huge blaze broke out on the chartered heritage train, believed to travelling from Ardwick to Carnforth, near to Wilburn St Salford at around 2.45pm today.
There were no passengers on board the West Coast Railways service and British Transport Police confirmed that the incident happened due to an engine fault.
The vehicle came off the rails and is currently stuck on Windsor Bridge.
Long delays for train commuters are expected as all services have been cancelled for those travelling to Preston and Newton-le-Willows, while services between Manchester city centre, Oxford Road Station and Eccles have also been halted.
A spokesman for National Rail said: “An empty train has become derailed between Salford Crescent and Deansgate.
“Because of this, trains are currently unable to run between Salford Crescent / Eccles and Manchester Piccadilly / Manchester Victoria. There is no current estimate for when a normal service will resume.
“Replacement road transport has been ordered.”
ROADS CLOSED: Emergency services attempt to control train fire
Some eye-witnesses claimed to have heard a huge bang moments before the train derailed.
Emergency services are working to manage the situation and there will be some disruption to travel, including a number of temporary road closures.
STUCK ON BRIDGE: Train blocks tracks for thousands of commuters as emergency crews attempt to move stranded carriages
A statement released by BTP said: “Officers were called to the rail line close to Wilburn Street, Salford, following a report of a train carriage on fire.
“BTP and Greater Manchester Police officers attended the incident, which was reported to BTP at 2.45pm.
“One of the carriages of the train, a charted service ran by West Coast Railways, has derailed from the rail line but remains upright.
“No passengers were onboard the train at the time of incident and the driver is safe and well.
“Officers, along with other emergency services and agencies, will be working to establish the full circumstances.”
Preston, Bolton, Salford Crescent, Deansgate, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Airport; also Chester, Warrington Bank Quay, Earlestown, Newton-le-Willows, Eccles, Deansgate and Manchester Piccadilly; also Wigan Wallgate, Swinton, Salford Central and Manchester Victoria
SMOKE IN THE DISTANCE: Plumes billowed high into the air after burning for almost an hour