A FIRE by a railway track is causing major disruption to train services through Colchester.

The blaze broke out near the line close to Colchester North Station at around 12pm.

All lines are currently blocked while firefighters deal with the blaze.

Crews reported the flames engulfed a 50 metre section of embankment, close to the station.

Delays, cancellations and disruptions are expected until around 3pm.

A Network Rail spokesman said: "The signalling system was switched off by the fire brigade.
"It had to be switched off while they hosed down the fire.

"That will be going back on once they have finished clearing the site.

"As soon as the all-clear is given this will happen." 

Services are now expected to run as normal from 3pm.

A Greater Anglia spokesman said:  “Trains are currently delayed on the mainline due to a fire close to the line between Colchester and Ipswich.

“Fire crews and Network Rail engineers are on site.

"We anticipate services to run as normal from 3pm.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused.

"Passengers who are delayed for more than 30 minutes can claim delay repay compensation at www.greateranglia.co.uk/delayrepay”.

A spokesman for Essex Fire Service said: "Crews reported on arrival that around 50 metres of the embankment close to Colchester Station was alight.

"Firefighters are using dry powder extinguishers to prevent the fire spreading further.

"Trains have been isolated between Colchester and Ipswich while firefighting takes place."

Officers with British Transport Police arrived on scene to help passengers on a train stuck near Colchester Station.

 A spokesman said: "We were called at 1.12pm to the line close to St Dominic Road, in Colchester.

"There were reports of a lineside fire and a train trapped because of the delays on the line.
"We were called to assist with passengers on board, making sure everybody is fine and evacuating the passengers safely so they can use another service."