More rail misery in region

RAIL users from across East Anglia faced more rush hour misery after signal failures at Liverpool Street led to service cancellations and delayed other journeys for up to an hour.

RAIL users from across East Anglia faced more rush hour misery after signal failures at Liverpool Street led to service cancellations and delayed other journeys for up to an hour.

The chaos came to a head yesterday morning when signals between the London terminus and Bethnal Green station failed - dramatically reducing the number of trains that could reach the capital.

This meant that the region's rail operator One could only run services as far as Stratford and passengers had to take underground services into London.

Other services were cancelled completely, including the 2pm and 3pm from Liverpool Street to Norwich, and passengers were warned that they could face delays of an hour on the trains that were running.


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In Ipswich only one train could reach London every hour during the morning rush - normally there are four trains an hour at this time.

Greg Launchbury, of Ipswich, was one of those left stranded on a platform at the town's station waiting for a London train.

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He said: “I've been waiting here for an hour already and need the next train to leave on time or I'll be late. It's really important for me to be on time today as I have an interview. I am quickly losing my faith in the trains.”

It was not just Ipswich commuters who were suffering. Paul Hale, who travels to London every day from Colchester, said that he was fed up with the same problems happening over and over again.

“It's just not good enough,” he said. “I'm sick and tired of all the same excuses - if it's not signal failures it's overhead lines or broken down freight trains.

“You pay £3,000 for a yearly ticket and this is what you get in return. It's unacceptable for that sort of money and not what you would expect.”

Yesterday's problems came just 24 hours after chaos on the mainline when overhead wires were brought down between Chelmsford and Ingatestone, leaving only one track available.

Meanwhile the 6.30pm service from Norwich to London failed just south of Diss and passengers were stranded at Diss station until 10.30pm because the train sent to rescue them also broke down.

That in turn had followed early morning delays after a suspected suicide late on Wednesday night at Manor Park on the outskirts of London.

A spokesperson for One said: “We have issued an apology to all our customers but unfortunately the failures yesterday were outside our control and in the hands of Network Rail because they are responsible for infrastructure.

“We have been rigorously challenging them to reduce the current levels of infrastructure failure because they obviously have an enormous impact on our services.”

A spokesman for Network Rail, said: “The delays yesterday were due to a cable fault that was reported late Thursday night. As a result there was a loss of signalling and delays up the line,” he added.

“Engineers were on site all night rectifying the problems but we had to manually signal trains through the area, which meant they were getting through a lot slower. We apologise for any inconvenience.”

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