Major recovery operation gets underway to remove derailed freight train at Ely as passengers continue to face disruption until at least Monday

Recovery is underway of the 11 freight wagons that derailed on Monday causing travel chaos for passengers.
Recovery is underway of the 11 freight wagons that derailed on Monday causing travel chaos for passengers.

Major recovery operation is finally underway to remove the derailed freight train at Ely which has caused havoc for passengers since it happened at lunchtime on Monday (14).

Wagons are being lifted off the track with a rail crane, as a major recovery operation gets underway at the site where 11 wagons on a 33 wagon train derailed known as the West Curve near Prickwillow.

A freight train has derailed between Ely and Manea.

A freight train has derailed between Ely and Manea.

A rail crane was brought in overnight on yesterday (Tuesday) so that work could begin to lift 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 yesterday afternoon.

The recovery operation is expected to take a number of days and once complete, nearly a quarter of a mile of track needs to be replaced. The work is scheduled to be completed over the weekend so passengers will have to wait until Monday for the line to finally reopen. In the meantime buses are operating between Ely and Peterborough calling and March, Manea and Whittlesey. Travellers should check the National Rail website before starting their journey.

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. 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.”

Freight train derailment just outside of Ely near Prickwillow - the shot clearly shows a number of wagons off the track.

Freight train derailment just outside of Ely near Prickwillow - the shot clearly shows a number of wagons off the track.

The incident affects CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains and Greater Anglia passengers. Passengers can check how their journey may be affected with their train operator, or nationalrail.co.uk