Rebecca Huitson was clipped by a speeding Edinburgh to London train at a level crossing just north of Newcastle.  

Her arm was severed from her body during the incident but was found nearby. Both limb and girl, who was still conscious, were rushed to Newcastle’s Royal Infirmary where the surgeons reattached the severed limb.

“We were able to replant the arm, although there is still a small risk that it may fail,” the hospital’s consultant plastic surgeon Michael Schenker said. 

“The patient will need further surgery. It is impossible to say at present what the final outcome will be but we are working hard for her to have an arm with useful function in the end.”

A British Transport Police spokesperson said: “Shortly before 6.30pm on Monday, the driver of the 5pm Edinburgh to London King’s Cross service reported striking a person near Killingworth level crossing. 

“British Transport Police and Northumbria Police attended and a 12-year old local girl was found injured at the scene.

“There do not appear to be any suspicious circumstances surrounding this incident. Police investigations continue, but this appears to be a tragic accident.”

Rebecca will have a second operation on Friday.