You may have noticed in recent days that there have been few trains operating on our line and that a replacement bus service has been operating and continues to do so.
Our railway correspondent, David, explains the unlikely circumstances:
"The Ansaldo signalling system for South Manchester failed last Wednesday evening with a fault that is unable to be found. So no signalling from Stockport Edgeley to Prestbury on the Macclesfield line, Edgeley to just north of Crewe on our line, and Heald Green to Wilmslow on the Styal line. Following the clipping of points, a very limited trains are now running through some very long emergency hand signalled blocks (possibly single line only) to give a limited Avanti London service to Stoke (1 train per hour, although have now started some Crewe-Manchester running via the WCML and Earlstown) and a Northern stopper to Stoke (every 2 hours)
Cross Country are starting and terminating at Stoke. On our line the points have been clipped at Wilmslow to enable Freightliners to serve Trafford Park,
This means that an hourly rail replacement bus service is running instead of passenger trains.
Apparently, Ansaldo engineers are being flown over from Italy to try and find the problem (spare the joke about having to quarantine for two weeks when thet get here!). Network Rail are advising no services likely until Monday morning at the earliest."
"Apparently a faulty piece of equipment in the Manchester South Signalling Centre was identified last night (Saturday).
Trackwork points which had been clipped are supposedly being unclamped now to enable testing this afternoon, with normal service planned to resume if all goes well."
So far, on Monday morning, Live Trains is showing that the replacement bus service is still operating.