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Engineers rush to repair collision-hit Norfolk rail line

Engineers were this morning racing to complete repairs to a railway track and overhead cables in Norfolk following a collision yesterday, to ensure the single line stretch of railway could re-open in time for the evening rush.

The line between King’s Lynn and Ely has been closed since yesterday morning, when the 10.10am service from King’s Lynn to King’s Cross collided with a tractor on a farm crossing, at around 10:30am. The tractor was dragged underneath the train for some distance, causing damage to the tracks and the train itself.

Posts holding up overhead cables were brought down in the collision, causing damage to cables that left the electrified train unable to move. Engineers completed repairs to the cables this morning and the train has subsequently been moved. Engineers are now assessing and repairing track damage, and tamping the line - a process in which ballast is packed beneath sleepers to ensure the tracks are fixed in the correct position. A Network Rail spokesman said the track damage is thought to be “fairly superficial”.

Around 40 passengers were on the train at the time of collision and were unhurt, but the tractor driver suffered non-life-threatening injuries. A First Capital Connect spokesman said the train will need major repairs. It is hoped that the line will re-open this afternoon.

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