Large tortoise on the track stops Norwich to Stansted trains

Large tortoise on the track stops Norwich to Stansted trains

Animal that halted services for more than an hour had a damaged shell and was apparently escaped from local wildlife centre

An injured giant tortoise is seen on the line past Eccles Road going away from Norwich.

A large tortoise on the track caused trains to come to a halt in south-eastern England, a rail company informed travellers on Monday.

Greater Anglia rail tweeted that trains between Norwich and Stansted airport were stopped for more than an hour due to a “giant tortoise”.

The operator first announced the line was blocked by “animals on the railway” early on Monday afternoon.

One passenger on a train to Norwich, Diane Akers, posted a photo of the tortoise standing on the track just after noon, reporting to the train company: “It’s still alive but injured.”

The tortoise’s shell appeared to have a large gash on top.

“I couldn’t believe my eyes to be honest!” Akers wrote.

A Greater Anglia customer adviser called Georgie later wrote that the tortoise was injured and had been taken to a specialist team for treatment. “We have been informed that he will make a full recovery,” the adviser updated.

One passenger, Lydia Jane White, tweeted: “‘Train delayed because of a giant tortoise, too heavy to lift, stuck on the train tracks after having escaped from a local wildlife centre’ is not something I thought I’d ever hear from a train driver!”

The railway line reopened around an hour and a half later, while knock-on delays were predicted.

The delay came as UK passengers have experienced several days of train strikes this summer as railway employees’ trade unions demand pay rises reflective of inflation.