Fury as same train breaks down again

By Mark HeathA COMMUTER has criticised rail operator One after an ageing locomotive broke down twice in the space of a few hours.Michael West, who has been commuting to London from his Coddenham home since 1969, described the situation as “galling”.

By Mark Heath

A COMMUTER has criticised rail operator One after an ageing locomotive broke down twice in the space of a few hours.

Michael West, who has been commuting to London from his Coddenham home since 1969, described the situation as “galling”.

But One said the train had been repaired after the initial breakdown and called the second incident “unfortunate”.


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The locomotive first had problems on Thursday night between Diss and Stowmarket, but was repaired - only to break down again yesterday morning.

Passengers were delayed for about 45 minutes when the train, the 6.55am from Norwich, was terminated at Shenfield.

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Mr West said: “These are old trains that are simply being worked too hard. They say it's a coincidence and how can one prove otherwise - but it's not the first time it's happened.

“I'm afraid the regular passengers who have travelled on the line for years simply do not believe it was a coincidence. I don't know what hope there is of anything ever being done about it.”

Peter Meades, a spokesman for One, said the train involved - a class 86 locomotive - was one of its older trains, which were all due to be phased out by the autumn.

He added yesterday: “The locomotive concerned did have a problem last evening. It was delayed between Diss and Stowmarket for 15 minutes because of a problem with one of the traction motors.

“That particular problem was fixed and rectified at our maintenance depot overnight and it was fine.

“The locomotive then failed this morning as the 6.55am from Norwich. The reports that we have had from the driver is that there was a burning smell from the locomotive itself.

“He hasn't yet been able to ascertain whether it was related to the previous problem.”

Mr Meades said the two breakdowns were “an unfortunate coincidence more than anything else”.

He added: “We will never knowingly put a locomotive into service with a defect that would cause it to fail in service.

“If it was a related problem which has resulted from anything concerning the locomotive the previous night, then obviously we will have to investigate, find out what happened and stop it from happening again.

“The last thing we would want to do is clog up a mainline in the morning when it's at its busiest.”

mark.heath@eadt.co.uk

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