Network Rail bosses manage to fix Clacton rail route after landslip and Felixstowe line after crash

A landslip damaged the railway between Alresford and Great Bentley. Picture: NETWORK RAIL

A landslip damaged the railway between Alresford and Great Bentley. Picture: NETWORK RAIL - Credit: NETWORK RAIL

Engineers have been battling all weekend to reopen two East Anglian rail lines that were damaged at the end of last week.

The crossing was blocked after a collision between a car and a train on Wednesday evening. Picture:

The crossing was blocked after a collision between a car and a train on Wednesday evening. Picture: SKY CAM EAST - Credit: Archant

Engineers have been battling all weekend to reopen two damaged East Anglian rail lines.

They have worked around the clock to fix routes to Clacton and Felixstowe, which bosses announced this evening should both re-open as normal from tomorrow morning.

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.

British Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on a level crossing off

British Transport Police and Network Rail investigate the scene of collision on a level crossing off Felixstowe Road in Ipswich. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant


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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.”

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It was feared that the Felixstowe branch line, where signalling was badly damaged during Wednesday evening’s collision between a train and car at a level crossing near Levington, would not re-open until Tuesday.

A limited number of freight trains had been able to pass 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.

But Network Rail chiefs said tonight that they hope to re-open the line to passenger trains as normal tomorrow morning.

Greater Anglia and Network Rail decided not to run any passenger trains over the weekend 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...it was felt it was better not to try to get passenger trains through until the repairs are completed.”

A man suffered life-changing injuries in the accident and was in a serious but stable condition on Thursday.

Further updates on his condition have not been confirmed.

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