THE driver of a Virgin freight train derailed at Bletchley station in the early hours of this morning was the only person on board at the time of the incident.
A statement from rail operator Network Rail confirmed the train had left the tracks at around 2.20am. The locomotive was not carrying any carriages and the driver escaped with minor injuries.
The derailed unit is currently blocking the lines and has caused significant damage to the infrastructure in the area.
Investigators have completed their initial work on the line and it is hoped that two of the four lines will be open by the early afternoon.
Network Rail engineers are currently on site carrying out repairs to the track and overhead lines.
It is unlikely that repairs to the remaining lines will be completed today owing to the scale of the damage.
Passengers are advised to consult National Rail Enquiries before they travel as services on the West Coast Main Line are subject to significant disruption. Currently, much reduced services are operating between London Euston and Tring with bus connections to Milton Keynes for services northwards.
Robin Gisby, Network Rail managing director, network operations, said: “Unfortunately there is quite substantial damage to the tracks and overhead lines following this morning’s incident.
“Our engineers have been on site since the small hours to assist investigators and are now carrying out repairs to the tracks and overhead lines which have been damaged.
“We hope to have two of the four lines open by the early afternoon, though it is likely that severe disruption will continue for the remainder of the day as we work to repair the more significant damage.”
Virgin Trains and Network Rail are working with RAIB as they continue their investigation.