A freight train derailment may lead to weeks of cancellations and delays, Network Rail has warned.

At about 6am on Thursday, January 23 a freight train derailed between Walthamstow Queen’s Road and Leyton Midland Road on the Gospel Oak to Barking overground line.

Work to repair damage caused by a derailed wagon is underway however it remains unclear how long services will be affected for.

Extensive damage was caused over a two-mile stretch of the track which will need replacing before normal service can resume.

Eight bridges were also damaged along with signalling and other essential equipment.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Along the two mile stretch, engineers are working to replace 39 new pieces of rail, 216 metres long each; 5,300 concrete sleepers; and 900 wooden sleepers.

Additionally, 10,000 tonnes of ballast needs to be removed and replaced after the track is relayed.

Network Rail officials say the repairs are expected to take a “number of weeks” but cannot yet provide a complete timeframe.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia said: “I’d like to say sorry to all our passengers whose journeys are disrupted by this incident.

“Our engineers will be working around the clock to get the line open as quickly as possible. I also want to thank our lineside neighbours for their patience while we carry out this important work and we will aim to keep disruption to a minimum.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

Mark Brennan, senior public affairs manager for Network Rail, added: “Engineers are starting to remove the damaged track and equipment, but owing to the extent of the damage, a full schedule of repairs is still being finalised.”

The overground Gospel Oak to Barking service is currently part-suspended from South Tottenham to Barking. Rail replacement buses are running between Walthamstow Central and Barking

Network Rail has launched an investigation into the cause of the derailment.