Train derailment causes week of delays

The crane lifts the derailed trains. Pic: Network Rail
The crane lifts the derailed trains. Pic: Network Rail

A freight train which derailed has blocked a major railway line linking Peterborough with a number of cities.

The train came off the tracks near Ely at about 2.40pm on Monday closing the line.

Work to recover the carriages is underway - but the line - which connects Peterborough to Cambridge via Ely, Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, and Stansted Airport is not expected to be re-opened until Monday, August 21 at the earliest.

A total of 11 wagons of the 33 being pulled by the train derailed.

Specialist cranes have been brought in to lift the carriages with the heaviest of the 11 containers weighing 106 tonnes. The empty wagons weigh 11 tonnes each.

Following the recovery of the train and the wagons, a quarter of a mile of track which was damaged in the crash will also need replacing by engineers.

The train and wagons which remained on the track in the incident were dragged away from the scene on Tuesday afternoon.

While the recovery work is taking place, bus replacement services have been running, and customers have been advised to check available routes before they travel.

Simon Ancona, Network Rail’s chief operating officer for Anglia, said: “We have an army of experts and specialist teams who are working day and night to remove the wagons as quickly as possible.

“Once they are out of the way we can replace the tracks, carry out the necessary repairs, reopen the line and get passengers on the move again.

“We expect to be able to reopen the line on Monday. I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience.”

A spokesman for the Rail Accident Investigation Branch said they had been to the scene gathering evidence for an investigation into the crash.

The cause of the derailment has not yet been revealed.

A spokesman for Network Rail said no-one was injured in the incident.

The incident affects CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains and Greater Anglia passengers.

Passengers are advised to check how their journey may be affected with their train operator, or by visiting nationalrail.co.uk