Pictures show damage to overhead rail lines believed to have been caused by vandals, which has caused hours of disruption.

Train passengers have faced major delays and cancellations on the East Coast Mainline between Darlington and Newcastle since lunchtime on Saturday (May 25) after damage was caused to the electric lines near Chester-le-Street.

Pictures released tonight by Network Rail show pieces of metal hanging over the tracks from the cables.

Network Rail believe vandals are behind the damage and said engineers will be working throughout the night.

A spokesperson said: "We want to thank passengers for their patience following disruption caused by vandalism to overhead electric wires. Our teams will be working overnight to fix the damage to allow for trains to run as normal from the morning."

Trains have been running on one side of the tracks, and having to wait for services coming in the opposite direction before being able to pass the site.

It has affected LNER, Lumo, Cross County and Transpennine Express customers.