THERE was drama aboard a train passing through the Severn Tunnel last night, after it ground to a halt and passengers reported seeing ‘flames’.

The incident occurred at 8.33pm, with the 5.23pm Portsmouth Harbour to Cardiff service coming to a stop within the tunnel, which passes under the Severn Estuary.

Incident at Severn Tunnel picture: Jo Anna

Incident at Severn Tunnel. Picture: Jo Anna

Customers from the broken-down train were taken on towards Newport around two hours later, at 10.17pm.

A spokesperson for GWR said: “The cause of the fault is currently being investigated.

“Unfortunately, this closed the line into/out of South Wales while a track inspection was carried out, significantly delaying services through the area.

“Customers were either taken forward using a diversionary route, or by replacement bus service.

“We are really sorry to those caught up in the disruption. Those affected may be entitled to compensation and we would urge them to get in touch.

In a Facebook post Jo Anna said: “We were travelling at speed through the Severn Tunnel when the tunnel lit up as if a light had been turned on.

“I heard a loud noise and it felt like the train rode over something.

“I noticed the flames first on the right side of the train, externally, further down the carriage.

“Then it was as if the item on fire went underneath the carriage, came hurtling towards me (externally) bounded off the wall and hit the window next to me.

“The item was in flames as this happened. I smelt smoke and everyone in the carriage started to voice their concerns.

“When the train came out of the tunnel, I looked out the window and realised that the window had shattered.”

Liam Bennet, who was in another train travelling behind the train in question at the time, said: “We got stopped behind the one ahead and then taken back to Bristol Parkway.

“We were given very minimal information and kept there for almost three hours before finally moving off.”

National Rail said the line was clear again by 1am on Thursday morning.

Tom Lane was caught in the aftermath of the incident at Newport station.

He said: “Since arriving at the station and getting on a train it was about one hour and 45 minutes, some people had been there longer.

“The staff were really helpful, and we were able to wait for a train with everyone being looked after.”

GWR are urging those who were affected to get in touch as they may be entitled for compensation: https://www.gwr.com/help-and-support/refunds-and-compensation/delay-repay