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London rail chaos after train hits debris fallen from bridge under construction

Rail services into and out of London Liverpool Street are in chaos this morning after a train hit debris fallen from a new bridge being built as part of the East London Line extension.

No services are currently operating into and out of the major London terminus. Network Rail hopes that a reduced service in and out of the station will begin later this morning. In the meantime services are terminating at Stratford, Tottenham Hale, Hackney Downs or Seven Sisters.

Last night at around 7.25pm a driver of a service to Southend reported hitting debris in the vicinity of a bridge recently installed by Transport for London (TfL) contractors over the tracks. Under the supervision of emergency services the electrical current was turned off and passengers were evacuated.

Structural specialists from TfL have been on site to assess the damage to the bridge and to see what needs to be done to fix it. Officials from the Rail Accident Investigation Branch have been in attendance.

The 1,300 tonne bridge had been inched across existing railway tracks using hydraulic rams, as part of the East London Line extension into Shoreditch. Main contractor is a Balfour Beatty/Carillion joint venture.

Electrical current was restored at around 3:35am and the trains trapped have been prepared to move.

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