RAIL comuters have been told that delays in the region due to damaged overhead cables are now expected to continue into the afternoon.

The lines between Darlington and Newcastle have reopened but operators have warned that train travel will be disrupted until at least 2pm- four hours longer than initially hoped- according to National Rail Enquiries.

Trains running from Darlington and Durham towards Newcastle were all diverted from around 6am this morning after reports of damage to the overhead cables.

In the last half hour, services have been resumed but are taking some time to clear.

Services travelling via the Durham Coast line such as Hartlepool, Seaham and Sunderland were not directly affected but may experience some delays.

Routes affected included the CrossCountry between Scotland / Newcastle and Birmingham New Street / Reading / Southampton Central / Plymouth / Penzance, LNER between Scotland / Newcastle and London Kings Cross and TransPennine Express between Newcastle and Liverpool Lime Street / Manchester Airport.

An LNER spokesperson said: "Lines have now reopened following overhead electric wire damage between Durham and Darlington.

"Trains between these stations may still be cancelled or revised. Disruption to trains until at least 14:00."

Earlier this morning, the company said: "The overhead electric wires have been damaged between Durham and Darlington. This is expected to cause disruption to trains until at least 10:00.

"Whilst Network Rail investigate the issue, trains will be unable to run between Durham and Darlington.

"Please allow for delays and alterations to your journey this morning if you are travelling between Newcastle and Darlington."

The Northern Echo:

CrossCountry, LNER and TransPennine Express have all had to cancel trains and alternative road transport is being arranged for travellers.

For updates visit nationalrail.co.uk/service_disruptions/today.Aspx or visit Twitter and use #Durham