Calls to improve line between Littleport and Downham Market after train hits swan

PUBLISHED: 10:45 15 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:45 15 March 2016

Picture. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Picture. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Calls have been made to make the line between Littleport and Downham Market two track after a collision between a train and a swan caused delays for rail passengers.

Some 71 people on board were walked 100 yards down the track near Littleport to a level crossing where they were collected by bus following the incident yesterday.

One councillor has said passengers “deserve better” and said the disruption was another reason why the line should be improved.

A spokesman for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) said the collision happened at 2.25pm between Littleport and Downham Market, which was a single-track line.He added all services were stopped at Ely station and buses ran between King’s Lynn and Ely.

The damaged train was taken to a depot where it underwent an inspection.

West Norfolk councillor Thomas Smith said: “It’s just yet another day where you are stood there as a commuter on a cold, miserable platform being given a ridiculous excuse for the fact the rail service is not suitable for west Norfolk. We deserve better. We are not going to get a good service until that line is double all the way through.”

But a spokesman for Network Rail has said they worked hard to minimise disruption for customers and double-tracking rail lines was very costly.

He added: “While we fence off the railway from public land, it can be very difficult to prevent some animals and birds from accessing the railway.”

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