Rail link closed for three months
SUFFOLK'S rail link with the midlands and north will be closed for three months, it emerged today.A bridge just outside Ely was badly damaged by a freight train that was derailed on Friday - and it will now have to be replaced.
SUFFOLK'S rail link with the midlands and north will be closed for three months, it emerged today.
A bridge just outside Ely was badly damaged by a freight train that was derailed on Friday - and it will now have to be replaced.
While the work is carried out passengers heading from Ipswich and Stowmarket to Peterborough, the north and the midlands, will face journeys taking an hour longer . . . and some will have to use buses instead.
Passengers heading for Peterborough are advised to travel via Cambridge and change there, or to use a special bus service between Bury and Ely.
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Tickets are valid whichever option is chosen - and both will add 60 minutes to the journey time.
The bridge was badly damaged when the freight train came off the track and caused massive damage.
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Over the weekend the locomotive and those wagons which were still on the track were removed by engineers.
However 11 trucks remain on the track - including on the bridge itself.
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said: “There are very serious problems on the track there. Not only are the trucks on the bridge, the ground there is also very difficult to access with our recovery machinery.
“We are still working out exactly how to recover the train, but it is clear the bridge will have to be replaced and our engineers are working up a design for that.”
The rail link is used by one passenger train every two hours in each direction but it is becoming an increasingly busy freight route and these trains will probably be re-routed via Norwich or London.
It is also often used by excursions run by East Anglian-based Nenta Traintours - and they are now anxiously waiting to see if the line will be reopened by the time their trip to Leeds and York is due to run on September 1.
Ray Davies from Nenta said: “If the line is still closed we will have to try to run via Cambridge, although that could be difficult because of the limited amount of space there is on the track through Newmarket.
A spokeswoman for train operator 'one' said: “It is affecting a tiny piece of track between Ely and Soham and we only have one train every two hours that uses that line.
“But we appreciate it will cause those passengers inconvenience and we apologise for that, although of course the circumstances are entirely beyond our control.”