Payout could top £1 million

INSURERS could be hit by claims totalling nearly £1 million as a result of this week's Suffolk train crash.And that figure does not include the personal injury claims that could come from the 58 passengers on board the 9.

By Paul Geater

INSURERS could be hit by claims totalling nearly £1 million as a result of this week's Suffolk train crash.

And that figure does not include the personal injury claims that could come from the 58 passengers on board the 9.05 train from Lowestoft to Ipswich.

Assessors have still not worked out the full cost of the accident which closed the line for almost two days from Monday and forced Anglia Railways to hire in coaches to carry its East Suffolk Line passengers.

The damage was considerable.

The crossing itself was so badly damaged that it is still out of commission. Road vehicles are being controlled by temporary traffic lights while trains are being hand-signalled across the crossing.

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"That is an expensive commitment," said Peter Meades from Anglia Railways.

"Railtrack provide the staff for that but they have to be on duty almost around the clock – from the 5.38am train from Lowestoft through to the 22:02 from Ipswich.

"They will have to maintain that commitment until the crossing is repaired – and that could take two or three weeks."

Replacing the damaged track and sleepers was an expensive job – and Anglia's single carriage unit has been taken to Wolverton works, in Milton Keynes, for repair.

"That will take several weeks, it is a big job," said Mr Meades. "It all needs straightening out and new bogies – it's not a simple job by any means."

The Lorry involved in the accident was nearly brand new – it was registered between last September and February this year.

It is owned by Kerr Farms, run by former Ipswich Town chairman John Kerr, but no one from the company was today able to comment on the cost of the damage to them.

In addition to all the known costs, it is likely that some of the passengers injured in the crash will seek personal injury compensation.

Anglia Railways have been in touch with passengers and told them their legal position – but ultimately any compensation claim would have to be paid by the insurers of whoever was held responsible for the accident.

The formal investigation is expected to take several weeks to reach a conclusion, and final settlement could be delayed if criminal action is taken against any person or organisation as a result of the crash.

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