Here’s how a balloon delayed train travellers in Manchester today

If your train commute got held up on Monday morning - a helium balloon may have been to blame.

A helium balloon has caused delays to rail passengers after it got tangled in 25,000-volt overhead electric cables which power trains in Manchester city centre.

The foil balloon got caught on the high-voltage overhead wires this morning (Monday 4 October) delaying trains travelling between Manchester Oxford Road and Warrington Central.

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Engineers had to close the line and switch off the electricity so the balloon could be taken down safely.

Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “While helium balloons are fun, they pose a real safety and performance risk to the railway. Fortunately our engineers quickly removed this balloon before it could seriously delay passengers and freight. Please keep helium balloons away from the railway.”

Balloon on the overhead lines in Manchester

Helium-filled balloons causes dozens of train delays for passengers across Britain each year.

Network Rail has recorded more than 600 balloon-related incidents across England, Scotland and Wales over the last 10 years.