Recovery of the train crash in Salisbury on Sunday 31st October has begun today (4th November 2021) with the accident site being handed back to National Rail. Get the latest updates as it happens here.
1.50pm: Salisbury Police have announced that a community information session for local residents impacted by the recovery work at Fisherton Tunnel will be held between 4.30pm and 6.30pm at St Mark’s Church this afternoon.
There will be a chance to ask questions about the ongoing disruption.
A Wiltshire Police spokesperson added, “The road will be closed to both pedestrians and we estimate it will reopen at the end of the weekend. Signage will be in place and we’re planning to operate a bus service at either end of the road closures. Thank you for your patience and continued cooperation”.
1.45pm: The first carriage has successfully been lifted from the tracks. The diesel from the train will now be drained before it is loaded onto a lorry to be taken to Long Marsden in Warwickshire.
Network Rail reportedly hope to bring up one more carriage today and three more tomorrow.
11.30 am In a joint statement with Great Western Railway and South Western Railway, Network Rail said, “Investigators have now handed back the accident site and we will begin the process of removing the trains, assessing the damage and planning repairs”.
They added, “While it is too early to determine how long the works will take, we can confirm the railway around Salisbury will be closed until at least Monday 15th November”.
A large crane has become part of the Salisbury skyline as National Rail work to recover the site.
According to National Rail, the front vehicles from the incident were able to leave Fisherton Tunnel on their own wheels. Cranes and lorries were then brought to the site to lift and carry away the remaining carriages.
“We hope to have at least one carriage lifted today,” Tweeted Network Rail.
While the lifting operation is underway, London Road is still closed over the bridge, including to pedestrians. However, there is access on either side of the bridge for residents.
Network Rail expect this work to go on for a couple of days, plus an additional day to remove the crane. It is then expected that London Road and the allotments will be returned to the public.
After the crane has removed the trains, Network Rail plan to carry out a “heavy refurbishment” on the site of the accident, which is said to be “one stop short of a complete replacement”.
Network Rail added, “Thank you so much to all our customers, neighbours, emergency services, local authorities and the wonderful St Mark’s Church community for your support, patience and calmness under pressure”.