Rail bosses warned over line faults

RAIL bosses were last night warned they will be “brought to book” if promised improvements to the running of the region's services fail to materialise.

RAIL bosses were last night warned they will be “brought to book” if promised improvements to the running of the region's services fail to materialise.

Network Rail and train operator One have been urged to ensure there is no repeat of a series of faults that have caused misery for commuters in recent weeks.

At a meeting of Suffolk's Rail Policy Group yesterday, One gave a series of reassurances that the situation was being addressed and lessons had been learned.

Tim Marks, one of the county councillors who sits on the group, which monitors the running of the network, said: “We're satisfied One is taking the matter seriously and acting together with Network Rail to solve the problem.

“We're also satisfied the chances of this happening again are fairly remote. There were three incidents in fairly quick succession which were not related.

“One has said it is going to improve its incident management, which I'm pleased to see. The passengers will be kept better informed and alternative transport will be provided for them.”

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But Mr Marks warned the group expects to see an improved service for commuters after they suffered three lengthy delays in a week.

He said: “These are very unfortunate incidents and something we can well do without. If you're trying to encourage people to use the railway, you need to have a satisfactory service. Three incidents in a week was not acceptable.

“One made a number of assurances that the situation is being looked at and they will be brought to book if they don't. We expect them to fulfil these promises but I felt they were being taken seriously.”

Since the week of travel chaos on the railways, between August 30 and September 5, One and Network Rail have issued a joint pledge to improve services to and from London.

This will see independent experts examine overhead line equipment, one of the major causes of the problems, and a special monitoring train used for frequently to identify faults.

Peter Meades, spokesman for One, said yesterday's meeting had been very positive.

“It was an early opportunity to say that we are taking the issue seriously,” he said.

“We recognise it has been a difficult time for rail users over the past couple of weeks or so. We were able to give the group the reassurances they were seeking.”

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