Normal service resumes after rail death

VIDEO COMMUTERS are returning to Ipswich today after a nightmare journey into work this morning.A man was killed on the track near Ipswich tunnel just after 7am today in what paramedics described as a “horrific” collision.

COMMUTERS are returning to Ipswich today after a nightmare journey into work this morning.

A man was killed on the track near Ipswich tunnel just after 7am today in what paramedics described as a “horrific” collision.

Commuters faced terrible journeys to work in London, with the trip taking up to an hour-and-a-half longer than normal.

However those returning this afternoon should face trouble-free journeys, according to rail operator 'one'.

The company said main line services to and from London Liverpool Street were severely disrupted because of the fatality but were now running smoothly.

Both main lines running through the town were reopened by about 9.15am and no further cancellations are expected later today.

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A spokeswoman for the company said: “There was just one subsequent cancellation which was the twelve o'clock from London Liverpool Street to Norwich.

“Everything is running smoothly now.”

The company quickly put a replacement bus service in place between Ipswich and Colchester after the fatal collision but hundreds of people still suffered lengthy delays.

Those passengers on board the train, which struck the man at about 7.10am about a quarter of a mile from the Ipswich tunnel, were kept on the train until the track was cleared.

British Transport Police said the man appeared to have walked into the path of the train.

It is thought he was aged in his 40s and his death was not being treated as suspicious.

He was struck by the 6am train travelling from London Liverpool Street to Norwich as it approached the Ipswich tunnel near Halifax Road. It was travelling at 30mph or 40mph.

Jason Gillingham, the officer in charge at the scene for the East of England Ambulance Service, said: “It was a horrific scene.

“Myself and the ambulance crew pronounced life extinct on scene. With the assistance of the fire service and police we assisted with removing the body from the train.

“Our understanding is he walked into the track but obviously the police investigation is ongoing.”

The ambulance officers treated the train driver for shock and checked the passengers had not been injured when it came to a sudden halt.

British Transport Police said the scene of the impact, near Halifax Road in Ipswich, had been cleared by about 8.50am.

Sunita Kachala, spokeswoman for the British Transport Police, said: “At approximately 7.10am today a man walked into the path of the 6am Liverpool Street to Norwich train. The man died on impact.”

Inspector Chris Bragg, a BTP officer at the scene, said: “We try to minimise the disruption to the public but we also have a responsibility to investigate the incident.”

Were you on the train which struck the man? Were you caught up in the delays? Call The Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk.

RAIL operator 'one' implemented contingency plans today after both main lines were closed after a man was killed on the track.

The incident left passengers stranded at Ipswich station and the rail company faced with the task of moving passengers to Colchester by bus in the morning rush hour.

Both the southbound and northbound main lines remained closed for about two hours, with the line to London opened first and the northbound line reopened at about 9.15am.

It was expected services would take several hours to fully return to normal.

Jonathan Denby, 'one' spokesman, said the company faced the huge task of finding a large number of buses quickly to transfer passengers to Colchester in the morning rush hour.

He said the company was “doing the best it could” to get trains running again quickly.

“We were getting buses as quickly as we could, obviously it's difficult at that time of day.

“There were significant delays.”

CROWDS of commuters were left waiting for more than an hour at Ipswich station following the fatality.

Scores of people attempted to clamber on rail replacement buses while others decided to take a chance and wait for the next available train.

Adam Watson, 35, of Ancaster Road, Ipswich, said: “I am off to London and was due to get the 7am train. It's now 8.15am and I'm still waiting. I'm going to get a replacement bus but I don't know when I'm going to get there.”

Amanda Davis, 28, of Lovetofts Drive, Ipswich, said: “I work in London and was supposed to get the 8.18am. God knows what time I will get there. I dread getting a bus because it will be a squeeze and by the time I get to London, it will be time to come back so I think I may just go home.”

Simon Penaluna, 42, of Ravenswood Way, Ipswich, said: “I am waiting for a replacement bus to London and I have been here for a while now. The delays are understandable though because it is a fatality.”

Simon Caplehorn from Diss changed at Ipswich to make his connection to London but was then faced with the large queues for the replacement buses.

Ipswich resident Paula Althorpe, 44, waited on the platform in the hope of another train arriving.

She said: “It's is going to be a struggle to get to work today. We've been told the trains might start running again after 9am so I think I'm going to wait because it might still be quicker than getting a bus. Either way I'll be quite late.”

Clare Fowler, 20, from Bury St Edmunds, was on her way to London where she was due to attend a meeting with her boss.

She said: “I was due to meet my big boss today for the first time so it is not the best of starts. There is no point getting the bus because it will take half an hour to Manningtree and then another hour to London from there. I think I'm going to be quite late.”

Jan Farmery, from Halesworth, said: “I am meant to be going to a meeting so it looks like I'll miss the beginning of that. I'm waiting for a bus. I don't know what time I'll make it in.”

While most commuters were frustrated by the delays, one man, Kenneth Thimblethorpe, 61, of Woodbridge Road, said: “I've just arrived and been told about the delays. I'm off to London today but I don't mind waiting for a bit. It doesn't bother me.”

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