RAIL passengers were led to safety when their train was trapped in a tunnel under the Mersey last week.

Commuters on the 6.30am Ellesmere Port to Liverpool service were trapped underground for an hour when a small fire caused a cable failure on the track between Hamilton Square and James Street on Wednesday morning.

Rail replacement bus services were organised as the closure of the line caused chaos during the rush hour, exacerbated by the shut-down of the Liverpool loop line.

A Network Rail spokeswoman said: "A small fire on the line caused the electrics to short circuit at approximately 7am.

"As a result, morning train services terminated at either Birkenhead Central or Birkenhead North, and bus services were provided to allow passengers to complete their journeys.

"A train in the tunnel at the time of the incident was stuck as a result of the power failure. The passengers on board were safely evacuated by railway staff, and were not in danger at any point. The issue was resolved by 11am, and services were restored.

"Network Rail has a robust maintenance regime, which predicts and prevents faults on the rail network. But, as with any operation that relies on electrical systems, unexpected faults can occur such as a short circuit caused by a minor fire, as was the case this morning. We apologise for the inconv-enience caused to Merseyrail passengers."