Gloucester freight train derailment: Services return on Saturday
LATEST: The recovery of a derailed freight train is “continuing to plan”, railway bosses have said.
The empty displaced container which left the rails just outside Gloucester on Tuesday night has now been successfully up righted.
Railway workers are in the process of dismantling the container along with the derailed section of the wagon in preparation for it to be removed from the site.
In order for the removal to go ahead the road beneath the derailment is due to be closed from midnight tonight for five hours to allow specialist transport access to the wreckage.
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It is hoped the area will be cleared by midday tomorrow to allow Network Rail to continue with track repairs.
Commuters could face delays for three more days after a freight train derailed near Gloucester Railway Station.
The train was coming from Wentloog and was on the way to Daventry on Tuesday when an empty Stobart Rail container became detached from the train wagons and lodged in the embankment.
Emergency services were called at about 8.45pm.
A spokesman for Network Rail said investigations by the Rail Accident Investigation Branch were continuing.
This morning Network Rail confirmed normal services should resume on Saturday.
The incident also caused damages to around 4 miles of the railway infrastructure, which include:
Two railway bridges at Worcester Street and London Road, in Gloucester
Two level crossings at Poole and Keen
A set of switches and crossing and lineside equipment
Impact on services
Train services between Gloucester and Lydney are currently affected. Specifically,
First Great Western
- Trains are running through Gloucester, although minor delays may be incurred due to congestion at the station
- No trains will run between Gloucester and Cardiff Central
- Passengers for Cardiff Central or Newport are advised to travel to Bristol Parkway for a connecting First Great Western service
- Journey times may be extended by up to 30 minutes
Arriva Trains Wales
- Buses are replacing trains between Lydney, Gloucester and Cheltenham Spa
- The A48 (where the buses would normally run) is currently closed. This means buses are being diverted
- Journey times may be extended by up to 60 minutes
Network Rail this morning said: "Work to assess the repairs remains underway and we hope to conclude the process by tomorrow with an aim to put a delivery plan in place.
"Our aim is to resume rail services by the start of services on this Saturday morning.
"In the meantime, we will continue to support the Rail Accident Investigation Board in their investigation to determine the cause of the incident. "Services between Gloucester and Lydney are currently disrupted and we advise passengers to check with national rail enquiries for the latest update before their travel today.
Rail union RMT General Secretary Bob Crow said yesterday: “Last night another freight train derailed in Gloucester leaving services into Wales closed for at least four days. The incident happened on the same day that a freight train derailed in North London causing total chaos.
“This pair of major derailments within 24 hours is deeply worrying and suggests that the policy of cutting maintenance jobs and casualising key works out to private agencies and contractors is coming back to haunt transport services with a vengeance.
“It appears that no one was injured in either incident and that is nothing short of a miracle. RMT will play a full role in the investigations into both derailments but we will also be stepping up our campaign to halt the jobs and maintenance cuts on Britain’s railways that create the perfect conditions for exactly these kinds of accidents.”
The railway track was damaged in the accident, as were two railway bridges at Worcester Street and London Road.
The spokesman said: "Thankfully no one was injured owing to this incident and we will be working closely with the freight train operator as well as the Rail Accident Investigation Board to investigate the cause of the incident.
"In the meantime, our engineers have been out on site all night and will continue to do so to assess the damage, so that we can determine the works required to resume rail services as soon as possible.
"Services between Gloucester and Lydney are disrupted and we advise passengers to check with national rail enquiries for the latest update before their travel.
"If the track is damaged too badly, we will have to relay the track, but at the moment we are still waiting on the report.
"It will be an expansive operation."
A spokesman for Direct Rail Services said the wagon was empty after a supermarket goods delivery.
Network Rail did not expect the railway to be open until early this morning.
Commuter Michelle Dodson spent nearly four hours trying to get to work yesterday morning.
She lives near Lydney and usually works in Swindon but had a meeting in London to get to.
"Because of the A48 being closed for the roadworks, the trains from Lydney have been jam-packed the last few days," she said.
"I decided the best way to do it yesterday was to drive to Swindon and get the train from there to London but because of the road works it took me 90 minutes to get to Swindon and I missed my train.
"I left home at 6.50am and got to London at 10.10am.
"It's a bit of a nightmare."
Anne Richards, 48, from Abbeydale, was due to catch a train to Cardiff for a day out yesterday.
Instead, she was boarding a bus at Gloucester, which was taking her to Lydney where she could get a train.
She said: "It is a bit of pain, but it is just one of those things.
"It is the regular commuters I feel more sorry for because from what I have been told this is going to go on for a few more days.
"But I guess really it is lucky that it was a freight train that was derailed rather than one carrying passengers."
Marcus Melroy, 32, from the city centre, was trying to get to Maesteg for work.
His early morning train was also cancelled and replaced with a bus.
He said: "It's just one of those things. What can you do about it?
"They've put buses on so I will be slowed down a bit, but I will get there in the end."