Rail travellers between Leicester and London are being warned to expect some disruption to their journeys after a freight train derailed.
Network Rail is urging passengers planning on travelling on routes to, from or through Sheffield over the coming days to check before travelling as work to recover a derailed freight train is ongoing.
The incident, involving a train carrying cement, happened at 2.45am yesterday to the north of the South Yorkshire city.
East Midlands Railway (EMR), which operates intercity services between Leicester Railway Station and the capital, said some services from Yorkshire, which travel via Derby and East Midlands Parkway, could be delayed or changed due to the incident.
A spokeswoman for the train operator said: “There has been a low speed derailment involving a freight train at Sheffield station. This is disrupting trains on our Intercity Sheffield/London route.
“Network Rail are working hard to recover the damaged train so they can assess the track and carry out repairs. This is expected to take several days.
“The damage means there is limited access to the station platforms so instead of the usual eight there will only be access to four of them.”
She added: “Whilst the recovery of the damaged train and the repairs to the track takes place, we will be operating an amended timetable between Sheffield, Chesterfield and London St Pancras.
“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our passengers.”
Services between Nottingham and London St Pancras – stopping at Loughborough, Leicester and Market Harborough – should not be affected by the disruption.
There is, however, an hourly service that visits Derby en-route to Leicester and London.
Network Rail said its engineers have been working around the clock since the crash to try and clear the line, with investigators from the Rail Accident and Investigation Branch (RAIB) also at the scene.
A spokesperson said: “The incident has caused significant damage to both the tracks and the signalling system and substantial repairs need to take place.
“However, before these repairs take place, the derailed train needs to be removed.”
Passengers travelling from stations in Leicestershire are advised to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with East Midlands Railway.
Network Rail is due to make an announcement later this week about when repairs are expected to complete and all platforms are able to reopen.
Matt Rice, route director for its north and east route, said: “This is a significant incident, so it’s only right that we take time to find out all of the facts and understand what has caused this.
“Once it is safe to do so, we will start work to remove the train, better assess the extent of the damage and make a plan for repairs.”
“This process is taking some time and we are sorry for the disruption which this is causing.”
He added: “We urge anyone planning to travel to, from or via Sheffield to check before travelling.”
For up to date information on the disruption to services click here.