PUBLISHED: 14:30 18 March 2018
Engineers have been battling all weekend to reopen two East Anglian rail lines that were damaged at the end of last week.
Network Rail engineers are still working at Levington after Wednesday’s collision. Picture: GEMMA MITCHELL
While they have succeeded in reopening the line to Clacton – trains should run as normal on that route from Monday morning – there will be no passenger trains on the Felixstowe line until Tuesday at the earliest.
The Clacton line was severed by a landslip at Thorrington between Great Bentley and Alresford shortly after midnight on Thursday morning.
The damage was extensive and caused serious problems for Greater Anglia – not only were Clacton and Walton on the Naze isolated from the rail network, they had several trains stabled in the Clacton Depot overnight that were unable to be used.
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: “Our team has been able to repair the landslip and is running a test train on it. Greater Anglia are using the line on Sunday night to get their trains from Clacton where they need to be for the start of services on Monday and services should run normally from then.”
However it was not such good News on the Felixstowe branch where signalling was badly damaged during Wednesday evening’s collision between a train and car at a level crossing at Levington.
A limited number of freight trains have been able to get through over the weekend – but these had to be signalled manually by staff at the scene, a process that added at least 20 minutes to the journey between Ipswich and Felixstowe.
Greater Anglia and Network Rail decided not to run any passenger trains because these would have taken about an hour to make the 12-mile journey and they felt it was better to offer a bus alternative and allow freight trains through.
There were still fewer freight trains than normal heading to the port – but they were able to move some of the cargo that had built up since the accident.
The spokeswoman said: “There is a great deal of damage at Felixstowe and we have had to get some special signalling equipment delivered for our engineers working there.
“Given the complexity of fitting this and the fact that any trains have to be flagged through manually, it was felt it was better not to try to get passenger trains through until the repairs are completed, hopefully on Tuesday.”
Source : EADT