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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 March 2007, 20:11 GMT
Train derails after hitting tree
The derailed train
The front of the train was derailed by a fallen tree
A train has been derailed in Kent after hitting a tree which came down in high winds and blocked the line.

Eight people, including the driver and conductor, were on the early morning train from Kent to West Sussex. Rail firm Southeastern said no-one was hurt.

Spokesman Nigel Jarrett said the front of the train came off the rails. It was later re-railed before being removed.

Southeastern said services between Tonbridge and Redhill, Surrey, had returned to normal by Tuesday evening.

The rest of the line from Redhill to Gatwick Airport was unaffected by the incident.

The three-carriage train, that derailed at about 0540 GMT, was the 0500 GMT Tonbridge to Gatwick Airport service.

The front wheels of the train came off the rails, although the carriages remained upright, and it travelled a quarter of a mile before coming to a halt.

Mr Jarrett said the class 5083 car derailed between Edenbridge and Godstone, near Crowhurst, Kent.

A tree on a house in Portslade
High winds brought a tree down in Portslade, Brighton and Hove

"We understand that nobody was hurt although it must have been quite a frightening experience in many ways," he said.

Passengers were taken to taxis waiting to collect them at a nearby bridge.

Other delays in Kent on Tuesday included lines blocked between Dover and Canterbury, and between Ramsgate and Canterbury, because of fallen trees.

The 0618 GMT Ashford-to-London Victoria service hit a large tree at Barming, near Maidstone, and both lines were left blocked.

No-one was hurt and buses were brought in to take people to other railway stations.

On the roads, high winds led to the new Sheppey Crossing being closed, but the old Kingsferry Bridge remained open.

And on the cross-Channel ferries, P&O and SeaFrance services between Dover and Calais, and Norfolkline services between Dover and Dunkirk, were suffering delays due to adverse weather conditions.


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