FREIGHT WAGONS LIFTED FROM ELY RAIL BRIDGE : Wagons are lifted from the damaged Ely rail bridge

Tuesday 24 Jul 2007


Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern
Following the derailment of a freight train on 22 June 2007 on a rail bridge over the river Ouse between Ely and Soham, the complicated operation to remove 11 wagons safely from the bridge has begun. Owing to the marshy fenland location and the extensive damage to the bridge, Network Rail has had to build a 1.3km temporary road from the A142 to get a crane in to perform the lift, which is expected to take at least two days to complete. Around 20,000 tonnes of stone and plastic mesh has been brought in to build a stable and secure platform on which to place a 1,000-tonne crane and two smaller 250-tonne cranes to remove the wagons. Network Rail Anglia Route Director Patrick Hallgate said: "Building a 1,000-tonne crane platform on deep boggy marshland is indicative of just what a tricky engineering problem the incident has created. Our engineers have been working really hard to get to this key phase of the recovery programme. Once the lift is complete, we can get on with clearing the river, rebuilding the bridge and getting passenger and freight services back up and running as soon as possible. "There is still a lot of work to do, and the complexity of the situation means we do not yet have a reopening date for the line. We share passengers' frustration at disruption to their service and we promise to keep all those involved informed of the progress of the recovery."

Notes to editors

'One' services between Liverpool Street and Peterborough will start and terminate at Bury St Edmunds. A bus replacement service will be in operation between Bury St Edmunds and Ely. Passengers for through journeys via Peterborough are advised to use Ipswich to Cambridge services and Central Trains services forward to Peterborough. Journey times will be extended by up to 60 minutes. Ipswich - Cambridge trains are unaffected. We will work closely with the train operator 'One' to keep passengers informed of service changes. Alternatively, passengers should call the National Rail Enquiries Helpline on 08457 48 49 50 or visit for information and help to plan their journeys.

Contact information

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