Posted 3rd August 2016 | No Comments

Inquiry launched after Midland Main Line bridge collapse

TRAIN services between London, Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield are almost back to normal after part of a bridge collapsed near Loughborough.

Network Rail is investigating why part of the roadway on one side of the road bridge over the line at Barrow upon Soar collapsed in the small hours of Tuesday morning, blocking the Midland Main Line with debris.

It has emerged that contractors were working at the site as part of an assessment of the condition of the bridge, which local people had pointed out had been 'sinking' at road level for some time.

A witness who lives nearby told the BBC that he heard workers drilling and then a shout just before the collapse took place, with a roar 'like an earthquake'.

No one was injured in the incident, but a water main was breached and Midland Main Line services were badly disrupted yesterday, with through passengers between London, the East Midlands and South Yorkshire being advised to use alternative routes from London Euston or King's Cross.

Two of the four lines through Barrow were reopened to traffic at 05.00 today (3 August), and most services have returned to normal, although trains are not calling at Loughborough or stations between Loughborough and Leicester, while trains between Lincoln and Leicester are terminating at Nottingham. Replacement buses are running for local passengers between East Midlands Parkway and Leicester.

Network Rail investment director Paul McKeown said: “Our team was carrying out investigation work following reports of dips in the road at Grove Lane bridge when the parapet wall partially collapsed. Our engineers have worked around the clock to make the area safe, remove debris and repair the tracks below.

“We’re working with East Midlands Trains to ensure a near-normal service to London can operate, with two of the four tracks through the area open today.  We’re sorry for any continuing disruption caused to passengers, who are advised to check service details before they travel.

“A full investigation is underway into the cause of the collapse.  We are working on plans to repair the bridge and will provide an update to the local community once we have a robust timeline for this work.”

EMT managing director Jake Kelly added: "There is still more to be done this morning to re-open the line fully, but the work now completed will allow us to start running a near normal service to and from London this morning which is good news for our customers. 

"As we are trying to run as many trains as possible on fewer lines than we normally have, we have made some changes to the timetable and replacement bus services will remain from some stations including Loughborough, Barrow upon Soar, Syston and Sileby."