Trains cancelled due to ‘very large’ tortoise on tracks in Norfolk

Injured reptile disrupts multiple trains running between Norwich and Cambridge

Andy Gregory
Monday 01 August 2022 22:08 BST

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A huge tortoise has caused “chaos” for rail passengers after finding its way onto train tracks in eastern England.

The injured reptile was discovered in Norfolk at around midday on Monday, near Harling Road station.

The tortoise forced trains to stop haring along the Breckland line, the region’s secondary railway route, which runs between Norwich and Cambridge.

Two trains were terminated early and one was delayed, according to rail operator Greater Anglia, which said services resumed shortly before 1:30pm.

One passenger travelling to Norwich, named Diane Akers, shared a photograph of the animal to Twitter just after midday and said the animal was “still alive but in a bad way”.

The image appeared to show a large crack through the middle of its shell.

Another passenger, Anna Debenham, tweeted that an announcement had been made to passengers apologising for a lengthy delay due to a “tortoise on the tracks”, later adding: “Amazingly, I did not mishear that. There is indeed a tortoise on the tracks that is causing chaos.”

Apologising for the disruption to passengers, a Greater Anglia spokesperson said in a statement: “This was due to a very large, injured tortoise on the line near Harling Road. Network Rail attended and helped the animal. Services were able to run from 13.25.

“Two trains were terminated early and one service started 20 minutes late. Anyone who has been delayed for more than 15 minutes can claim delay repay.”

It is not currently clear how the tortoise found its way onto the tracks.

A Network Rail spokesperson told The Independent on Monday evening that the tortoise had been taken to a local vets, but was unable to provide an update on the animal’s health.

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