DAMAGE to overhead electric lines caused significant disruption to East Coast Main Line rail services throughout Monday and into Tuesday morning.

The damaged lines were in the Overton area north of York and caused disruption to services on Monday - with delays of up to 70 minutes, alterations and cancellations depending on the service. 

LNER said: "Yesterday afternoon (Monday, December 2), the overhead electric wires were damaged just north of York station, resulting in all lines being blocked between York and Northallerton.

"LNER Customers who decided not to travel yesterday 02/12/19 can to use tickets today 03/12/19 if they wish.

There was further disruption to services on Tuesday morning but all services have now returned to normal.

A Network Rail spokesperson said on Monday: "We’re sorry that there’s significant disruption to the East Coast Main Line near York.

"This is because of damage to the overhead line equipment between Skelton Bridge and Skelton Junction in the Overton area.

"Our response teams are on site and prioritising getting passengers moving again as soon as possible.

"At this stage disruption is expected for several hours.

“Passengers should check with National Rail Enquiries or with their train operators.”

Karen Bainbridge from Newton Aycliffe had to get a replacement bus from Newcastle. She said she’d never seen anything like the masses waiting but said the queues moved quickly and she couldn’t fault the rail companies.

LNER tweeted: "Due to severe damage to the overhead electric lines north of York, all lines are blocked. Train services running through these stations will be delayed, or subject to amendment and cancellation."

It has advised customers to defer travel to tomorrow and said ticket restrictions have been relaxed for today.

LNER has said that an alternative bus service will operate between Newcastle, Darlington and York where available. 

Transpennine Express has advised customers not to travel between York and Newcastle and Middlesbrough.

Meanwhile, CrossCountry trains tweeted: "Overhead wire damage at York and all lines are blocked. Train services running through this station may be cancelled or delayed by up to 60 minutes. Disruption is expected until 17:00."

North Yorkshire fire service said crews have been called in to assist with the possible evacuation of people from trains stuck due to the lines being damaged.

Station manager Tony Walker tweeted: "Ongoing incident north of York. Assessment being made by Network Rail to establish if overhead lines can be lifted to allow trains to proceed. Approx 650 passengers in total on 3 trains. Crews assisting with welfare, lighting and plan to evacuate if required."