RAIL passengers were hit with delays after two freight train failures in three days clogged up the c2c line.

On Saturday, a freight train derailed meaning Ensignbus had to be drafted in to run a replacement service on Sunday while cranes were brought in from the West Midlands to clear the line.

Then on Monday, a freight train broke down at around 10am causing delays, diversions and cancellations to c2c trains between Pitsea and Grays via Tilbury.

On its Twitter, c2c said: “Due to a failed train at Tilbury Town, services via Tilbury will be subject to delay and cancellation.”

A locomotive was sent from Dagenham to rescue the stranded train, but that took more than three hours.

One Twitter user pointed out the problem will only get worse when London Gateway opens its superport later this year and the number of freight trains increases.

A spokesman for Network Rail said: “Although c2c is the main train passenger operator on the line from Fenchurch Street to Shoebury, it always has been a “mixed-use railway” used by both passenger and freight trains.

“Port of Tilbury has long been one of the busiest ports in the country and many freight trains travel on this line each day.

“As our railway gets busier we need to provide for growing numbers of passengers while also supporting the economy through better freight services.”