A COLLISION between a train and a fallen tree has left the trainline between Clarbeston Road and Fishguard Harbour closed for a week as repair and maintenance work takes place.

Last Thursday evening, October 17, the Gloucester to Fishguard Harbour service truck a large tree shortly after exiting Spittal Tunnel at around 6.35pm.

"Fortunately all customers and traincrew were unhurt, though our driver was left shaken and the front of the train with significant damage," said Transport for Wales customer experience director, Colin Lea.

"We were able to move the train back to Clarbeston Road where a minibus was arranged to take the 13 passengers to their onward destinations.

"The incident led to a number of service amendments throughout the evening, with replacement road transport to and from Fishguard.

"We are working closely with our partners in Network Rail to minimise the impact on our customers."

Network Rail confirmed that the stretch of track remained closed, saying the incident was caused by a tree on land owned by a third party coming down and landing on the tracks.

"The tree subsequently damaged a Transport for Wales (TfW) train, which will require repair work for some time. No passengers or TfW staff sustained any injuries," said a Network Rail spokesman.

He added that, following an inspection of the site, several other trees that require removal were identified.

Network Rail decided to close the line with immediate effect to deliver the work safely and TfW has been operating a rail replacement bus service for passengers.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said:

"We currently have a specialist team working in the area and the line will remain closed until their work is complete. This work must take place while this stretch of track is completely closed due to the large amounts of machinery and staff required.

"We are sorry for the impact on passengers who rely on the line and are working hard to reopen the line as soon as it is safe to do so."