Leicester

East Midlands Trains 'near normal' after bridge collapse

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Media captionThe collapse of the bridge in Leicestershire caused chaos on trains between London and the East Midlands

Rail services between the East Midlands and London have returned to "near normal" a day after a bridge collapsed causing widespread chaos.

The bridge crumbled on to the line at Barrow upon Soar in Leicestershire, causing disruption on Tuesday.

Services between London and Nottingham, Leicester, Derby and Sheffield resumed early on Wednesday morning with smaller stations added in the afternoon.

Network Rail said it was investigating the cause of the collapse.

The road bridge collapsed late on Monday night, reportedly moments after workmen were seen drilling in the road.

Trains between the region and the capital were cancelled or limited throughout Tuesday.

Image caption One side of the bridge collapsed onto the railway line taking bricks and rubble with it

But at 5:00 BST, two of the four lines through the Leicestershire village reopened, enabling most rail services to start running again with all four opening from about 11:00.

Paul McKeown, investment director for Network Rail, said an investigation was under way.

"Our team was carrying out investigation work following reports of dips in the road at Grove Lane bridge when the parapet wall partially collapsed," he said.

"Our engineers have worked around the clock to make the area safe, remove debris and repair the tracks below."

Bill Harvey, from the Institution of Structural Engineers, said it was probably a combination of factors that had "caused trouble."

Image caption The collapse of a "spandrel wall" is thankfully very rare, experts said

"It looks as though over recent months or years there's been water leaking from the main - Severn Trent don't think that's the case, but the hollows from the footpath shown in the photographs that I've seen look like that to me.

"So, water would have been washing down... That may then have caused the thing to be that little bit more fragile when they started with a digger - and away it went."

Image copyright Tracey Dagley
Image caption Tracey Dagley took this photograph of the collapsed bridge from on board a train

He added the section of wall that collapsed looked like it had been replaced in the past, potentially weakening the structure and "over it goes... eventually".

Network Rail confirmed all four tracks are now open and East Midlands Trains said it is gradually introducing its full timetable again.

Passengers are still warned to check their trains before travelling.

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