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Update: Bird strike on Bittern Line train will lead to cancellations tomorrow - likely to affect services between Norwich, Sheringham, Yarmouth and Lowestoft

11:30 09 March 2014

The Bittern Line, approaching Cromer Station.

The Bittern Line, approaching Cromer Station.

Rail operators Abellio Greater Anglia are expected to publish a list this evening of tomorrow’s train cancellations caused by a bird strike which has put a train out of action.


Spokesman Geraint Hughes said rail officials had held a conference call this morning to discuss the situation.

“There will be some cancellations and they are now working on a definitive list,” he added.

Chiefs would take into consideration services which were well used, for example by passengers heading for work and school, and would try to avoid affecting them if possible.

Yesterday saw a string of cancellations between Norwich and Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft following the bird strike, which damaged the windscreen of the 5.40am Bittern Line train from Norwich to Sheringham.

The train had to be taken out of service straight away, creating a critical shortage of engines which had a ricochet effect on services further afield.

There are no train cancellations affecting Norfolk or Suffolk today. Sunday’s “lower-level” service had been helpful, according to Mr Hughes.

Planned engineering work, which is due to finish at 2am tomorrow, is taking place today between Ipswich and Norwich and those services are being replaced by buses.

Mr Hughes said there was an overall shortage of diesel trains and the latest setback came at a time when another was out-of-service for repairs following a recent fatality in the Stowmarket area.

Greater Anglia was carrying out two refurbishment programmes which meant individual trains were routinely out of use for periods of time.

“In broad terms we are five or six trains short of our full complement. Normally we have about three or four spare in any one day but these latest incidents mean that we are now right on the limit of availability,” he added.

■ Check Greater Anglia’s website for updates:



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