An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

East Anglia: Rail bosses launch inquest after night of misery on line

Paul Geater paul.geater@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
3.35 PM

Bosses from both Abellio Greater Anglia and Network Rail are trying to learn lessons after a night of misery for passengers heading back to the region from London.

Services from London Liverpool Street were thrown into chaos at about 4.30pm on Tuesday when overhead cables were damaged at Hatfield Peverel, just north of Chelmsford.

The electrical connection on the train running under the line was damaged – and it was not until 6.50pm that another train was able to pick it up and continue its journey to Norwich.

Both lines were shut for nearly two and a half hours, and when one was re-opened there was a backlog of trains behind. Some journeys were delayed by up to six hours – and there were further minor delays yesterday morning because of a signalling problem near Liverpool Street.

Passengers complained about not being given enough information about Tuesday’s problems – with some not arriving home until the early hours.

One passenger said his train that was due to stop at Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich was changed en route to only stop at Ipswich and Norwich with passengers for Colchester told to travel on to Suffolk and catch another train back.

However in the event the train did stop at Colchester station platform – but passengers were unable to get out because the doors remained locked and the guard said he did not have the authority to open them.

Peter Meades from Abellio Greater Anglia did not know the specific issues with that service, but accepted there had been serious problems on Tuesday night.

Managers of the train company and Network Rail were meeting to work out what had caused the problem – and what lessons they could learn about the way they dealt with it.

He said: “We apologise to customers for the delays and disruption that affected our mainline services between London, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich yesterday evening.

“We will be holding a full investigation into the incident with our colleagues from Network Rail to help avoid any repeat of this problem and the disruption that was caused.

“Under the terms of our Passenger’s Charter, customers are entitled to reimbursement up to the cost of the affected journey. Details of our delay repay scheme can be obtained from our stations and website.”