Commuters find railway station locked up

COMMUTERS who found themselves locked out of a railway station ended up risking their lives by crossing tracks to board trains, it was claimed last night.

Laurence Cawley

COMMUTERS who found themselves locked out of a railway station ended up risking their lives by crossing tracks to board trains, it was claimed last night.

Rail operator National Express has apologised to passengers who arrived at Bury St Edmunds railway station yesterday morning only to find the gates locked after one of its staff was late for work.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing a number of people - including businessmen carrying briefcases - crossing the railway line to board their trains after gaining entry to the station through a side entrance.


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Their actions were criticised by National Express last night because of the dangers involved.

The bizarre scenes happened after early morning rail passengers arrived at the station to find the doors locked but trains coming and leaving as normal.

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Eyewitnesses said the first passengers to arrive at the station tried to call a National Express helpline using a phone outside the station, but nobody answered the call.

One passenger told how, soon after the call was made, another passenger tried the helpline and was advised to use a side entrance to the station.

It is believed some passengers used the side entrance, with a number who had arrived for the 5.49am train to Cambridge walking off the end of the platform and across the tracks to board a train already in the station.

One passenger, who arrived at the station to catch the 5.36am train to Ipswich and found the doors locked, said: “A while after I got there three other people turned up to catch the 5.49am train to Cambridge and one of them tried the phone and was told there was a side entrance to the station.

“Unbelievably they then had to walk across the tracks to get to the train. There were businessmen carrying briefcases walking across the tracks.”

Ross Taylor, secretary of the Mid Anglian Rail Passengers Association, said it was the second such incident of its type in recent months.

“I thought there was something odd going on when I arrived at 7am and the booking office was only just opening up.

“We are not happy about it because it is not the service we want and we will be taking this up with them.”

Rail operator National Express today apologised for the station being locked but urged passengers not to cross the tracks under any circumstances.

A spokesman for the company said: “I can confirm that the station wasn't open. I understand that the member of staff was late for work. We hold our hands up and apologise the station wasn't open.

“There may have been some incidences of people walking across the track, which we take very seriously. We highlight it time and again that it is very serious.”

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