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Overground line to reopen after engineers fix freight train derailment damage

PUBLISHED: 17:00 17 February 2020

Work is carried out on the Barking to Gospel Oak line. Picture: Network Rail

Work is carried out on the Barking to Gospel Oak line. Picture: Network Rail

Network Rail

There’s good news for passengers on the troubled Barking to Gospel Oak Overground line - it’s set to reopen on Wednesday, February 19.

Damage caused by the derailed freight train. Picture: Network RailDamage caused by the derailed freight train. Picture: Network Rail

The Barking to South Tottenham section of the line has been closed for nearly a month after a freight train derailed on the morning of Thursday, January 23.

The 22-wagon train travelled two and a half miles along the track before the problem was flagged up to the driver, with that whole section needing to be removed and replaced by Network Rail's team of engineers.

Working round the clock, the team have cleared away the damage and replaced 39 pieces of rail, 5,300 concrete sleepers and 900 wooden sleepers.

In addition, they have removed and replaced 10,000 tonnes of ballast and replaced custom timbers at 10 bridges.

Work to repair the Barking to Gospel Oak line. Picture: Network RailWork to repair the Barking to Gospel Oak line. Picture: Network Rail

And despite the difficult conditions posed by Storm Dennis, the progress made means that the line is in a position to fully reopen, with Overground services running as normal from Wednesday.

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Ellie Burrows, Network Rail's route director for Anglia, said: "Works have progressed well and we're in a good position to complete everything in time for passenger and freight services to resume on Wednesday.

"It's been an absolutely mammoth task for our engineering teams working through some horrendous weather over the last couple of weekends, but we're nearly there.

The broken rail caused by a derailed freight train. Picture: Network RailThe broken rail caused by a derailed freight train. Picture: Network Rail

"I'd once again like to thank our passengers and lineside neighbours as I know this has caused them a lot of unexpected disruption but I'm pleased to say the end is in sight."

A rail replacement bus service has been in place between Barking and Walthamstow Central since the disruption began.

The government's rail accident investigation branch (RAIB) has confirmed it will look into the derailment of the train, which was carrying construction soil to the Buckinghamshire village of Calvert.

It is set to look at the condition, inspection and maintenance of the track, including the bridge timbers supporting the rails.

It will also investigate the wagon's condition, inspection, maintenance and loading, as well as any other underlying factors.

The RAIB inspection is being carried out independently of any others that the railway industry or its regulator, the Office of Rail and Road, may carry out into the incident.

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