Cranes move in to lift 11 derailed wagons from track near Ely as rail workers struggle to restore passenger service by Monday

Ely derailment - cranes get to work removing the 11 wagons derailed in Monday's accident

Ely derailment - cranes get to work removing the 11 wagons derailed in Monday's accident - Credit: Archant

Wagons are being lifted off the track with a rail crane, as a major recovery operation gets underway at the site where a freight train derailed in Ely on Monday.

Ely derailment - now its time to remove 11 wagons derailed in Monday's accident

Ely derailment - now its time to remove 11 wagons derailed in Monday's accident - Credit: Archant

A rail crane was brought in overnight on Tuesday so that work could begin to lift the 11 derailed wagons from the tracks.

Each empty wagon weighs 11 tonnes, with the heaviest container including its contents weighing 106 tonnes and each one will be carefully lifted onto the undamaged track to be towed away.

The train and the wagons that stayed on the track were towed away on Tuesday afternoon.

The recovery operation is expected to take a number of days and once complete, nearly ¼ mile of track needs to be replaced.

Freight train derailment on the outskirts of Ely has caused massive disruption PHOTO: Jeremy Caldeco

Freight train derailment on the outskirts of Ely has caused massive disruption PHOTO: Jeremy Caldecoat - Credit: Archant


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The work is scheduled to complete over the weekend and the line is expected to be open on Monday. In the meantime, the line will remain closed and passengers are urged to check before they travel.

Simon Ancona, Network Rail’s chief operating officer for Anglia, said: “We have an army of experts and specialist teams who are working day and night to remove the wagons as quickly as possible.

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“Once they are out of the way we can replace the tracks, carry out the necessary repairs, reopen the line and get passengers on the move again. We expect to be able to reopen the line on Monday. I’d like to thank passengers for their continued patience.”

The incident affects CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains and Greater Anglia passengers.

Passengers are advised to check how their journey may be affected with their train operator, or nationalrail.co.uk

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