A woman has described how she first became aware that a train had derailed, blocking her access to the main road at Church Fenton.
Bethan Vincent lives on Rose Lane in the village south west of York. It is one of a number of properties accessible by car only via a level crossing across the busy York to Leeds railway line.
In the early hours this morning, a freight train derailed on that stretch of track.
Bethan says she was in bed and heard a grinding noise coming from outside. “It’s not that unusual to be honest,” she told YorkMix. “Living by the railway means we are used to a number of different sounds each day.”
When she got up she noticed a locomotive at a standstill outside the window. “We went up onto the footbridge and we could see that train had derailed.
“We are currently trapped on our side of the level crossing. For the moment we can only leave on foot over the bridge. Network Rail says they will help us out if we need to go anywhere”
The crossing on Rose Lane used to be what’s known as User Worked, with residents operating the gates.
As the line became much busier with traffic across the Pennines, a crossing keeper was placed on duty 24 hours a day.
Set to reopen
The line is set to reopen Wednesday afternoon (5 May), Network Rail said this evening.
Work to recover the derailed engineering train and repair damage to the track and signalling equipment will continue overnight, with services expected to resume tomorrow afternoon.
Network Rail teams have now rerailed the wagons and removed them from the site, meaning repairs to the track, points and signalling equipment can take place overnight, so that services can resume safely as soon as possible.
Once the work is complete, the line between Church Fenton and Micklefield is expected to reopen Wednesday afternoon, meaning journeys between Leeds and York can resume.
Until then passengers who need to travel tomorrow morning are strongly advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
Network Rail’s Matt Rice said: “I’d like to thank all those whose journeys have taken longer than usual today for their patience, and to thank those living near the railway in Church Fenton for their understanding and support.
“We’re continuing to do all we can to get a normal service up and running again as safely and quickly as possible, and I encourage passengers to continue to check their journeys in advance if travelling between Leeds and York.”