Rail passengers using the East Coast Main Line are facing delays today after a cow was struck by a train.
All services on the main North East to London route had to be halted for safety reasons after the incident, which happened shortly after 11am.
London North Eastern Railway (LNER), which operates the route, said: "We have reports that a train has struck a cow between Durham and Darlington, and as a result all lines are blocked.
"Train services running through these stations may be delayed by up to 30 minutes. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may cause."
The animals were removed from the track by just after 12pm, allowing all lines to reopen.
But LNER warned that services between Durham and Darlington may continue to be delayed by up to 45 minutes whilst the service returns to normal.
A spokesman added: "We anticipate a good service will be operating by 15:00."