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Ipswich: ‘Same old story’ – Angry commuters criticise rail bosses as over-running engineering works cause chaos

11:44 11 August 2014

Widespread disruption at Ipswich train station on Monday morning

Widespread disruption at Ipswich train station on Monday morning


Rail travellers in Ipswich have vented their anger after over-running engineering works caused widespread disruption this morning.

Services to London and across the county are now returning to a normal service after engineering works between Ipswich and Stowmarket overrun, train operation Greater Anglia admitted.

London commuter Mark Pearson, 49, of Church Lane, Claydon, said the travelling chaos was the “same old story”.

He said: “I commute every day to London and it is a poor service considering all the investment that has been put in – or not put in.

“Considering the cost of travel, it is a poor show.”

He said delays and cancellations at short notice are frequent, adding: “Last week there was disruption on three days going to London due to power and cable problems in the Ipswich area.

“It is very frustrating as you are trying to get to work and meetings on time.

“There needs to be more investment on this (the Norwich to London) line particularly, and also on the trains themselves. The train now coming in has slam-doors, which are ancient.”

Cheryl Whiting, who travels by rail from Ipswich to Newmarket during the week, said it took her five hours to get home last Wednesday.

“They said there were signalling problems at Stowmarket. I didn’t get home until 11.30pm,” she said.

She added: “It is not just Greater Anglia or British Rail – it is Network Rail as a whole. Engineering works nearly always over-run, especially near London.”

She said the delays and cancellations will cost the local economy as it continues to recover from the recession, adding over-running engineering works are unacceptable.

Meanwhile London commuter Mark Hollingsworth, of Ipswich, a season-ticket holder with Greater Anglia, questioned the train operator’s punctuality.

He said: “I have commuted across the country for 10 years, and for the last six weeks have commuted from Ipswich to London. In my experience, I think they have been running in the morning no more than two-thirds on time.

“For others who have been commuting for a lot longer, if it has only been running on time for two-thirds, then it has not been very good.”

He added: “Last week there was a lot of disruption due to signal problems at Stowmarket and I can only assume that they are trying to fix it, which may have possibly caused the over-run.

“At the moment, all we see is cancelled, cancelled, cancelled. Will we ever leave this train station?”

He also raised concerns over the lack of information being given by staff at the train station, leaving commuters in the dark.

He said: “We are stood here now and there are no announcements. I can live with the unreliability, as long as information is forthcoming, which makes all of it tolerable. Today there is just nothing.”


  • Tom Tomalin - you're talking utter nonsense. Slam doors are not "illegal" on trains. And they don't make rail travel "impossible for wheelchair users", because platform staff will use special ramps and assist in moving wheelchairs on and off trains. Have seen it done many times.

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    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

  • It's semi-privatisation as the train companies still get subsidies, this enables them to make a profit and keep shareholders happy. Profits are privatised, losses nationalised. The thing is they have commuters by the short and curlies, these people have to travel to get to work so have no option but to endure the costs and the unreliability. If there was another option Abellio would be out of business in a heartbeat, but there isn't so they are in a win-win situation and the customers just have to suck it all up.

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    Esco Fiasco

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Hi, one of your people interviewed in the article spoke about seeing and having to use a train with 'slam doors' Is it true that really happened-if so ,yes it IS unacceptable and Actually now illegal, to use them,as it renders travel on such possible trains Impossible for us wheelchair users.

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    Tom Tomalin

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Out of interest, how much is Network Rail going to be fined for not handing the line back in time for the first service this morning? ( I bet it does not come out of some bosses annual productivity bonus fund either).

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    The original Victor Meldrew

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • I used to commute in and out of London from the south coast. It was no better then. We didn't have over running engineering works, but we did have some classic excuses: Umbrella on the line at Leatherlead, someones dog killed on the line ( also at Leatherhead) Pedestrian on the line at London Bridge. Fatality at Three Bridges ( that happened quite often- long platform, fast trains) This was 10+ year ago. The difference is that they now have new trains, and a faster service, the fare is about £2000 per year for a journey of 44 miles, as a pose to £6000 for a jorney of 75 miles. It is no wonder that Ipswich is in the doldrums when what should be a commuter town languishes way below its potential

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    Sentinel Red

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • After travelling by train in other European countries Britain's Rail Network is a national disgrace. Sky high charges for a shambolic service. How come everyone else in Europe can run a reliable, punctual, clean, safe and reasonably priced train system and Britain can't? Our Rail network is something Britain and especially the Government should be totally ashamed of.

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    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • All too frequently the problem is "over running engineering work". Is this because the estimated time to do the work is severely flawed, the workman are too slow or unforeseen problems?

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    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • I used to commute before privatisation through both sides of London & it was no better then believe me. It's Monday, it's going to happen from time-to-time.

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    Chris D

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • I passed Ipswich Station yesterday lunchtime, hundreds of people being loaded on to Ipswich Borough double decker buses, how awful for any journey longer than 30 minutes on these slow buses, no air conditioned coaches, We must have the worst railway system in the uk.not what was promised by Ben Gummer dad. Vote tory for more privatisation ,NHS next.?

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    this is what we pay tax for

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Cmon, is there really never ever anyone who got up late and would have missed their train, but "thanks" to over-running engineering works, they managed to get off for otherwise being unpunctual due to poor time keeping? I am sure no one will admit that. ---------------------- Solution: Get rid of Freightliner, build a decent waiting room on their car park with plenty of seats and available refreshments, big screens with the TV on... make the frequent delays, less of a burden.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Interesting how you are all moaning about Privatisation, Yet in the first comment by R2 it states go further south they are light years ahead. Once again it's the usual Ipswich Star moaners having a pop. Yawn zzzzz

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    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • "Go west young man, or even south." Or even North!!. Both the East and West coast main lines out of London Euston & Kings cross are better than the London to Norwich line. Also I find it staggering that after years and years of engineering works on the signals and overhead lines on this route that there are still frequent problems.

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    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Privatisation is being exposed for the massive con trick that it really is. Who in their right mind could possibly believe that investment will improve and fares will be reduced when there is a load of shareholders creaming money off the top? Nationalise - it's the popular choice.

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    Origami Penguin

    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Agree to re nationalisation but also re nationalise gas electric and water companies as well

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    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • When the Tories privatised our railways they said it would improve the service due to the additional money that it would bring. When are the improvements due?

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    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • One word......NATIONALISATION !

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    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • The railway is run for the benefit of the operating companies' shareholders, not the passengers. Why would they spend out replacing the old slam-door type trains when the money could be paid out to shareholders through company profits? That's privatisation.

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    Monday, August 11, 2014

  • Go west young man, or even south. Approach London from either of those 2 directions and the trains and services are light years ahead of the east.

    Report this comment

    R2 D2

    Monday, August 11, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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