Greater Anglia pledges to sort East Suffolk line travel chaos
PUBLISHED: 19:00 15 January 2020
After a third day of chaos on the East Suffolk line between Lowestoft and Ipswich, Greater Anglia has pledged to get its services back on track.
Passengers found two more peak-time trains on the line cancelled on Wednesday morning - the 7.27 and 9.07 from Lowestoft. The first of those is usually one of the busiest trains on the route, picking up workers and students from stations along the line to get into Ipswich shortly before 9am.
This came after two days of multiple rush-hour cancellations on the line which prompted furious passengers to warn that they had lost faith in the rail company.
Greater Anglia has now said it is working with train makers Stadler to try to identify the problems that have developed - and to ensure the trains are able to provide a reliable service.
A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said: "We are very sorry for the disruption and cancellations customers on our local lines in Suffolk have experienced in recent days. We are implementing a number of actions to improve train service performance. These include :
"■ Additional work to overcome teething issues with the new trains as quickly as possible
"■ Work to speed up the completion of all the testing, commissioning and training associated with the introduction of the new trains
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"■ Action to help enable smooth overnight operations at Norwich Crown Point depot.
"■ Work to review and revise contingency plans for when problems do occur."We believe these initiatives will result in a progressively improving service in the weeks ahead, so we can then consistently provide the high quality service customers rightly expect and we intend to deliver.
"We are passionate about the providing the best possible train service for customers and communities across the county and we are confident that the new trains will ultimately deliver a transformation in train services - with better performance, many more seats, a nicer travelling environment and much improved accessibility."
The problems also extend to trains on the line from Lowestoft to Norwich - and the line to Greater Yarmouth.
Today there were early problems on the Marks Tey to Sudbury branch line after a train hit a tree that had blown down across the track near Marks Tey station on Tuesday night.
No-one was hurt in the collision, but the diesel train involved had to be taken to Norwich for a check before it could return to work.
Early trains on the line were replaced by buses - the first rail service ran at 7.37am from Marks Tey and by 9am a normal service was operating.
There were problems in London where a Network Rail signalling problem meant that the two Liverpool Street platforms usually used by Intercity trains were out of action for much of the rush-hour which caused some delays for passengers.
A Greater Anglia spokeswoman said, "We are very sorry for any inconvenience caused. We provided taxis and buses where possible to get people to their destinations and would advise anyone affected to contact us for compensation through our Delay Repay scheme."