Rail services hit by snow in East Anglia – but a full service could resume

The snow hit train services. Picture: PAUL GEATER

The snow hit train services. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

Rail services across East Anglia were hit by Wednesday’s heavy snow – just hours after Greater Anglia and Network Rail said they hoped to run a normal service on the day.

After between three and six inches of snow fell in the early hours of Wednesday morning, the rail companies were forced to revert to their emergency plans – running no trains on the Lowestoft and Felixstowe lines out of Ipswich and limited services on the main line to London and cross-country routes from Ipswich to Cambridge and Peterborough.

A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said thanks to great efforts from their staff, many mainline trains were able to run – but there were problems for both staff and passengers reaching stations.

She said: “Some of our staff were quite heroic battling through snow during the early hours to get the trains out and provide services for our passengers.

“We were not able to run trains on our coastal branches but we were able to operate on the main line and the cross-country routes even though there were not as many services as normal.”

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Greater Anglia was in constant contact with Network Rail and meteorologists during the day – and by mid-afternoon they were confident there would be a robust service to bring commuters home in the evening.

Managers were hoping to be able to run a normal service on Thursday morning – but that would depend on the weather and the state of the tracks.

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No more heavy snow is forecast overnight – but temperatures are expected to fall very low and that can cause problems with frozen points and with cracked rails which can turn signals to red.

The Greater Anglia spokeswoman said: “So far as tomorrow is concerned, we are still rather in the hands of Network Rail but we are talking to them.”

Network Rail said they hoped to reopen the lines closed on Wednesday – but that depended on an inspection and ensuring all the points and signals were working.

A spokeswoman for the infrastructure company said: “We are keen to allow those branch lines to operate if it is at all possible – but they might not be able to open first thing on Thursday because we will have to do all the inspections first and very low temperatures can cause us problems, especially if snow freezes on to the tracks.”

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