Update: Rail bridge collision causes delays on Norwich-London mainline

Greater Anglia train on the Norwich to London service run by Abellio. Photo: Bill Smith

Greater Anglia train on the Norwich to London service run by Abellio. Photo: Bill Smith - Credit: Archant © 2012

Rail services on the Norwich-London mainline have been delayed this morning after a vehicle struck a bridge at Needham Market.

Services between Needham Market and Ipswich were affected and train speeds were reduced on the mainline after the collision involving the Coddenham Road Bridge at about 10am.

Network Rail engineers inspected the bridge and a spokesman for Greater Anglia said train services are returning to normal, but trains are being delayed by up to 30 minutes and disruption is expected until 1pm.

A catalogue of rail problems, including slippery tracks caused by leaves on the line, signalling problems and train faults caused delays to services this morning.

A signalling problem at North Walsham resulted in the cancellation to services running between Norwich and Sheringham.

The issue has been fixed by Network Rail. However, a spokesman for Greater Anglia said that disruption on the railway line was expected until 8.20am. The first trains to run will be the 7.15am from Norwich to Sheringham and the 8.22am from Sheringham to Norwich.

Leaves on the line have also caused delays for trains heading into London today.

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A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: 'Intercity services are being delayed due to the rails being slippery-this will cause congestion to other mainline services via Shenfield.

'Autumn brings high winds, rain and leaf fall, resulting in more frequent line blockages and slippery track.'

Delays were caused first thing this morning following a points failure at London Liverpool Street, which has since been fixed.

A number of services have also been cancelled this morning because of train faults, including the 6.52am Norwich to Great Yarmouth service, the 7.04am Cambridge to Norwich, the 7.32am Great Yarmouth to Norwich, the 7.47am Lowestoft to Norwich, the 8.36am Norwich to Great Yarmouth, 8.40am Norwich to Cambridge, 10.12am Cambridge to Norwich, 11.17am Great Yarmouth to Norwich, and 1.12pm Cambridge to Norwich.

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: 'We had a couple of trains which required additional maintenance overnight and we apologise for the requirement of our customers to use alternative means of transport including bus replacement services or other train operators' services. We are working to rectify the train faults as quickly as possible.

'In addition, there was an earlier signalling problem, now resolved, which led to cancellations on services between Norwich and Sheringham.

'Our Intercity services between London and Norwich are running with minor delays of up to 5 minutes. We apologise for the inconvenience our customers have experienced this morning because of this service disruption.'