A new month brought old problems on the railways with delays to mainline services.

There were hold-ups of up to two hours following overhead wire problems at Wolverton in Buckinghamshire.

This meant trains were unable to run between Rugby/Northampton and Milton Keynes Central.

Buses had to run on this route instead and buses were also operating between Northampton and Wellingborough to connect with East Midlands Trains services to St Pancras station in London.

The Wolverton problem today follows serious delays last month caused by overhead line difficulties at Radlett in Hertfordshire and St Neots in Cambridgeshire.

The RMT and TSSA unions today questioned the adequacy of staffing levels following these incidents.

Speaking of "three chaotic failures in three weeks", RMT leader Bob Crow called for "cuts to staffing and to overhead line capacity to be reversed".

TSSA leader Manuel Cortes said: "This is the third week running that we have had major disruption on either the East or West Coast main lines because of problems with overhead power lines.

"We have to ask ourselves if Network Rail has cut back too far on maintenance spending in the past five years, and whether rail regulators and ministers are right to press it for further cutbacks of up to 19% over the next five years.

"These cuts are leading to a second-class railway for passengers who already pay the highest fares in Europe. They should be stopped immediately."