Monday 28 Jul 2003


Region & Route:
Network Rail is offering a £5,000 reward for information leading to the successful prosecution of whoever set fire to Garston signal box on Merseyside yesterday (27 July). Damage to the signal box is so severe that it won’t re-open - the entire structure was burnt to the ground. All the indications are that the fire, which was discovered at about 8.45 pm on Sunday, was deliberate. The signal box was not staffed at the time and the upper door was locked. However, the lower door leading to the relay and interlocking room appears to have been forced.  Overhead power lines to the rail network in the area had to be switched off, leading to the cancellation of two trains and delays to four others. After putting out the fire and damping down the remains of the building the fire service left at about half past midnight. The overhead power lines have been re-energised and the only train services affected are those to/from the Garston Freightliner terminal. A special method of signalling these trains is being introduced as a temporary measure while Network Rail decides what will happen in the medium and long-term future. - more - Garston – 2 A spokesman for Network Rail said: “At a time when we are being told we have to save money wherever we can, the last thing we need is somebody deliberately destroying our property. It’s far too early to say how much this fire will cost us but it is probably going to run into hundreds of thousands of pounds. I would urge anyone who knows anything at all to come forward and help us catch the criminals that did this.” Anyone with information should contact the British Transport Police on 0800 405040 or alternatively call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. Both calls are free and callers to Crimestoppers can leave information anonymously if they wish to.

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