Train travellers have been warned they could face two days of delays after a tractor ploughed through a fence and onto nearby railway lines.
The farm vehicle and its accompanying trailer damaged overhead wires and tracks in West Yorkshire, leading to emergency repairs and delays that will affect some passengers until Friday evening.
Network Rail said on Thursday that the tractor, which was discovered the previous night, had been removed by firefighters and a specialist recovery team, but remedial work on the rail infrastructure still needed to be carried out.
The tractor “broke the field boundary from a nearby farm” and rolled on to the line near Fitzwilliam, London North Eastern Railway said.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said specialist rescue teams worked “throughout the night” on Wednesday alongside Network Rail officials to move the vehicle, which had “demolished” a gantry supporting the overhead line equipment.
The tractor was finally hoisted from the line at about 5.30am.
Contact with the overhead lines, the fire service said, had caused the electric supply to the line to trip.
Network Rail expected all lines to be open and trains able to run as normal from 6pm on Thursday, but London North Eastern rail passengers using St Pancras and King’s Cross have been warned of major delays until Friday evening.
Services including the CrossCountry from Leeds to Reading and Plymouth and between Glasgow Central and Birmingham New Street are affected, along with East Midlands Trains between Leeds and London St Pancras International and Northern services between Leeds and Doncaster and Sheffield.
The news got a less-than-positive response on Twitter, with one commuter writing: “You can’t make this stuff up”.
No injuries were reported and no arrests have been made in connection with the incident, British Transport Police said.
CrossCountry tweeted: “No CrossCountry services will serve Wakefield Westgate until further notice. A limited CrossCountry service will run through Leeds with some services diverted between Sheffield and York.”
The London North Eastern Railway tweeted that there will be “multiple service alterations” on Thursday morning.
Northern said services between Sheffield and Leeds via Moorthorpe and Wakefield Westgate and services between Doncaster and Leeds are disrupted.
Details of all affected services can be found here.