AN INVESTIGATION has been launched after a train derailed as it pulled away from a railway station.

No trains were able to serve Bognor for more than nine hours after the incident, which happened shortly before 5.30am.

Southern Rail confirmed there had been a "low speed derailment" involving one of its trains and organised rail replacement buses for affected passengers running between Bognor and Barnham.

Network Rail and Rail Accident Investigation Board staff were called to the site and launched enquiries into how the incident had happened.

Network Rail Kent and Sussex posted an update on the incident on social media including images of the derailed train.

A spokesman for the rail company said: "We're really sorry for the disruption to passengers at Bognor this morning after the very front of a Southern Rail UK train came off the tracks.

"Here is what we know, and what the plan is.

"At 5.23am, a Bognor to Littlehampton train derailed as it was leaving platform four.

"No one was hurt and passengers left the train safely within a couple of minutes.

The Argus:

"You can see, only the very front wheels of the train came off (above).

"It’s too early to understand what went wrong, but we are working with the Rail Accident and Investigation Branch (RAIB) who investigate all accidents like this.

"They had two inspectors on site and, once they finished investigating, began the re-railing of the train."

Limited services to and from Bognor were able to resume at about 4.30pm.

The train was returned to the tracks at about 5pm.

The Argus:

Network Rail Kent and Sussex said that normal service will resume at the station tomorrow.

A Southern Rail spokesman said: "One of our services, the 5.05am Bognor to Littlehampton train, partly derailed in the platform at Bognor this morning as it began to leave the station.

"The train was travelling at a very low speed and everyone is safely off with no injuries, but the line was blocked in both directions between Bognor and Barnham.

"An investigation is under way with Network Rail to determine the cause of the incident.

"As is standard procedure, the Rail Accident Investigation Branch has been informed.

"Rail replacement buses ran between Bognor and Barnham.

"Anyone delayed by 15 minutes or more can claim Delay Repay compensation."