Probe launched after rail crash

RAIL officials are today beginning an investigation after a train carrying 25 passengers slammed into equipment left on the rails by contractors repairing the line.

RAIL officials are today beginning an investigation after a train carrying 25 passengers slammed into equipment left on the rails by contractors repairing the line.

The Anglia Railways Cambridge to Ipswich service hit a metal object, thought to be a trolley, around 400 yards from the platform at Bury St Edmunds shortly after 2pm yesterday.

Although no-one was hurt in the incident, East Anglia's Air Ambulance was called to the scene as a precaution, while firecrews also attended to clear diesel spilt from the train's fuel tank, which ruptured in the collision.

Contractors from Amec, employed by Network Rail, were still working on the track as the two-carriage train approached, but also escaped injury.


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The crash caused delays for passengers travelling through East Anglia during the afternoon, although the line was cleared within two hours of the incident.

Passenger Marcia Eaton, who was travelling on the 13.05 service to Ipswich to visit her brother, said she was on a telephone and her fellow travellers heard a crunch as the train approached Bury station.

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"Everyone was shocked as it came so out of the blue, but there were several announcements telling us we had hit something on the track, and people calmed down quickly.

"There were about 25 passengers using the service, and we were all moved into the end carriage and helped off the train when the fire service arrived. "Most people were then taken on to Ipswich on buses. It is very inconvenient, but could have been a lot worse."

British Transport Police officers and Network Rail attended the scene to begin an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the crash, details of which will be shared with bosses from Anglia Railways.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: "We sent safety managers to the site to carry out an investigation, as we need to understand how the train came to enter a section of track while workers were still there."

Peter Meades, a spokesman Anglia Railways, said the rescue operation had been a success and apologised to passengers for any delays encountered during the afternoon.

"For safety reasons, the train had to be terminated following the diesel spill and the passengers were taken off the train and escorted to the station by our staff under controlled arrangements. They were then taken to their destinations by coach at around 2.45pm.

"Obviously there were delays to trains in the immediate vicinity, with a knock-on effect upon services throughout the afternoon, as we were a train short.

"But there was no significant damage to the train, and it should be back in service after the fuel tank is replacing. After any such incident, we carry out safety checks on the train to make sure it was operating properly."

Simon Lubin, spokesman for the British Transport Police said the diesel train's fuel tank was ruptured by the collision, and warned the incident could have been much worse.

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