Rail services across Suffolk faced a day of chaos after storm
- Credit: Archant
East Anglia’s rail services faced a day of chaos as the morning storm brought trees down across several routes.
At one stage the Felixstowe branch line was the only Suffolk service still operating – and the main line to Norwich remained closed all day after the early gales brought down a number of trees north of Diss.
Jonathan Denby from Greater Anglia said the intensity of the fairly short storm had caused major problems with trees being blown across tracks throughout the county.
Lines were blocked between Stowmarket and Norwich, between Ipswich and Colchester, at Elmswell on the cross-country route and between Saxmundham and Darsham on the East Suffolk line.
Between Marks Tey and Sudbury a train hit an tree that had been blown down in the dark. No one was hurt and the unit was able to limp back to Colchester – but it had suffered some damage. A bus service substituted for branch line trains for the rest of the day.
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But elsewhere it was not possible to arrange alternative transport during the rush-hour and passengers were advised no trains could run.
Mr Denby said: “This storm didn’t last long, but it was very intense and has caused us more problems than the other recent storms.”
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The main line between Ipswich and Colchester reopened at lunchtime with most other routes operating by mid-afternoon.
The one route that remained shut all day was the line between Ipswich and Norwich after a number of trees were brought down near Diss. They not only brought down overhead wires, but also twisted the posts holding the wires up.
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said engineers would be working throughout the night to try to get the main line to Norwich open by Friday morning rush-hour.
She said: “A number of trees, which were not on our land, came down and the sheer force has caused us huge problems – but luckily we have a team on hand to deal with the problem.”
The effects of the storm were confined to Suffolk and Norfolk. Mr Denby said: “There was a line of damage from Colchester to Cambridge. Above that we had all kinds of problems. Below that things are operating. There are trains from Clacton and Colchester to London. Other services to the south are okay.”
For details of how to claim compensation or alternative routes, visit Greater Anglia’s website.