Network Rail has issued an updated statement on the circumstances surrounding the loss of power that halted Liverpool's local rail lines last Friday morning.
The statement, prepared jointly with Galliford Try, said: "At approximately 8.50 am on Friday 23 September all power was lost in the integrated electrical control centre at Sandhills. As a result, the signallers inside the building were unable to monitor the railway signals throughout the entire Merseyrail system, and power was lost to points, railway telephones and level crossing CCTV cameras. As a consequence, trains were brought to a stand and controlled arrangements made to put passengers on replacement road transport organised by Merseyrail."
Network Rail said the fault had been identified by 10am, a temporary repair carried out and train services returned to normal by lunchtime.
Describing the cause of the power loss, Network Rail continued: "Contractors Galliford Try were working in the IECC upgrading security. This was an upgrade to the overall security of the IECC and not specifically to deter cable thefts [as wrongly reported elsewhere]. Whilst carrying out this work, they disturbed a cable that had been installed separately within the past 18 months. As a result, there was a short circuit and subsequent power loss. In common with industry practice, Network Rail will compensate the train operators affected by the power loss. The level of compensation is regarded as commercially sensitive, but the figure of £6,500 as reported in some media outlets, is inaccurate."
The statement went on: "A joint investigation between Network Rail, Merseyrail and Galliford Try is ongoing to establish precisely the circumstances surrounding the power loss. Network Rail would like to apologise to everyone affected by the disruption to services and assure them that everything will be done to minimise the possibility of a similar occurrence in the future."