Enquires open after 75mph train crash in Norwich
PUBLISHED: 17:46 14 June 2019 | UPDATED: 11:24 15 June 2019
A government agency is looking into an incident which saw a Greater Anglia train, travelling at 75mph, hit a tree.
The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is making enquiries into the incident which happened between Norwich and Wymondham at around 6.25pm on Thursday.
The 5.10pm Cambridge to Norwich train had its windows smashed in the incident which caused disruptions and delays throughout the evening.
A spokesperson from RAIB said: "The RAIB is aware of the incident involving a Class 156 unit striking a tree between Hethersett and Trowse Junction yesterday evening at around 6.25pm, and is making enquiries about the damage to the train."
"From what information is available so far, it is unlikely that the RAIB will undertake an investigation."
The RAIB is a British government agency that independently investigates rail accidents in the United Kingdom and the Channel Tunnel in order to find a cause, not to lay blame.
Train services between Norwich and Great Yarmouth were cancelled on Friday, Greater Anglia said: "One of our trains was damaged yesterday after hitting a tree between Wymondham and Norwich, as a result there are cancellations."
Chris Spalton, a computer software designer from Norwich who works in Cambridge and was on the train, said: "Everyone was just minding their own business when all of a sudden there was a huge bang and some debris flew past the window and people were going 'what was that'?
"Everyone on board was fine and remained calm, there was no panic or hysteria. The train conductor handled it pretty well."
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Farida Susanty, 28, who was visiting Norwich from Nottingham said: "There was a lot of confusion and waiting in the station. They tried to call taxis but only a few showed up.
"The staff who were available were nice and helpful, considering the stressful situation, but there was not really anybody in charge who could tell us what happened and control the situation.
"I was waiting until around 10.20pm when they found a taxi, it was paid for.
"I was pretty relieved I could go home at all, I got back at 2am."
A spokesperson from Greater Anglia said: "The driver was shocked but after a short while was able to drive the train to Norwich.
"We apologise to any customers that were delayed by this incident, we remind them they can claim delay repay."
A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Managing vegetation along the railway is hugely important to prevent unnecessary delays and cancellations. If left unchecked, overgrown trees and leaves can get blown onto the tracks posing a serious risk to the running of a safe and reliable railway, causing major disruption to passengers.
"We investigated last night's incident when a train hit tree branches that fell onto the track between Hethersett and Trowse Junction. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
"As the tree was not on our land, we'll be contacting the landowner as a result of the incident to ensure we minimise any further risk to the railway. We do write to railway neighbours who have trees close to the railway to remind them of their responsibilities.
"If any of our lineside neighbours are concerned about trees on their land near the railway, they should contact our national helpline on 0345 711 4141 for advice."