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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 07:06 GMT 08:06 UK
Rail services normal after crash
Essex train crash
A freight train hit the cab of the lorry
Train services between London and East Anglia that were suspended after a freight train crashed into a lorry cab on the track in Essex, have returned to normal.

Services on the line between Ipswich and Colchester were disrupted shortly after 0525 BST on Monday after a heavy goods vehicle crashed through a concrete parapet near Manningtree.

The crash brought chaos for commuters when the lorry's cab ended up blocking the track after it had rolled off the A137 between Ardleigh and Manningtree.

Minutes later it was struck by the freight train - in an incident similar to the accident at Selby which claimed the lives of 10 people.

'Mighty bang'

The line is the main route into London from East Anglia and is used by thousands of commuters.

Train services between Colchester and Ipswich, Harwich and Norwich were cancelled with coaches operating in their place.

Police said the lorry smashed into the wall of a railway bridge while approaching a corner before careering on to the line.

Crash bridge
The railway bridge where the lorry crashed

The 47-year-old driver from Essex is believed to have pulled himself out of the cab moments before it was hit by a Colchester-bound goods train.

He is being treated in Colchester General Hospital where his condition is stable.

The driver of the Freightliner freight train, which stayed upright, was described as "shocked but unhurt".

Maxine Smith, 39, who lives next to the railway line, said she was woken by a loud crash.

She said: "We heard just an mighty bang like an explosion and we looked out of the window.

"The driver had got out and as I was on the phone to the emergency services the train hit the cab.

'Speed limit'

"There was debris all over the track. The driver had rolled himself off the track towards the embankment."

Freightliner's director of strategy Roger Goundry said the 20-wagon locomotive had been travelling to Birmingham from Felixstowe.

"The train struck the cab on the line and pushed it about a train's length down the track before it could stop," he said.

"The maximum speed this train is allowed to travel is 75 mph, and the fact that it stopped at that distance down the track suggests it was travelling at a slower speed than the maximum."

The train suffered little damage and there was no damage to the track.


Click here to go to Essex
See also:

01 Jul 02 | England
25 Feb 02 | England
24 Aug 01 | UK
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