Rail chaos after staff no-show

RAIL travel was thrown into chaos today as dozens of services were axed - because staff hadn't shown up for work.

RAIL travel was thrown into chaos today as dozens of services were axed - because staff hadn't shown up for work.

It means National Express East Anglia has been forced to sideline its trains on one of the busiest weekends of the year, placing the beleaguered company under further intense pressure.

The rail operator initially posted on its website that services had been cancelled due to an “operating incident”.

However, a spokeswoman later revealed the crisis was down to the “unavailability of staff”.

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She added: “We are working to arrange cover wherever we can. It is something that happens from time to time.”

When asked why staff had not come to work, she replied: “It may be that someone has called in sick or something like that.”

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She apologised for any inconvenience caused.

Among the services affected are the 9pm Norwich to Ipswich, the 10.10pm Ipswich to Norwich, the 4.28pm and 8.28pm Liverpool Street to Cambridge, and the 6.51pm and 9.51pm Cambridge to Liverpool Street.

There are also several cancellations between Colchester Town and Clacton. Some services have been re-instated.

The disruption comes amid a bitter pay dispute between the unions and bosses at National Express East Anglia which crippled services earlier this month.

Bosses were also left red-faced on August 19 after it took more than six hours for passengers to arrive home in Suffolk on the last train from London.

The 11.30pm service to Norwich broke down twice.

National Express has also announced that it is walking away from its loss-making East Coast rail franchise.

The government has responded by threatening to strip the company of it two other rail franchises - regional operator National Express East Anglia and south Essex commuter route c3c.

The group has also posted interim pre-tax losses of �48.1 million against profits of �52.4 million a year earlier.

The following services have been cancelled:

16:28 Liverpool Street to Cambridge

18:51 Cambridge to Liverpool Street

20:28 Liverpool Street to Cambridge

21:51 Cambridge to Liverpool street

16:12 Liverpool Street to Hertford East

17:09 Hertford East to Liverpool Street

18:12 Liverpool Street to Hertford East

21:28 Liverpool Street to Cambridge(REINSTATED)

22:51 Cambridge to Liverpool Street (REINSTATED)

15:30 Norwich to Ipswich (REINSTATED)

16:42 Ipswich to Norwich (REINSTATED)

21:00 Norwich to Ipswich

22:10 Ipswich to Norwich

19:45 Liverpool Street to Cheshunt

19:55 Chingford to Liverpool Street

20:25 Liverpool Street to Stansted Airport

20:31 Cheshunt to Liverpool Street

21:15 Liverpool Street to Cheshunt

21:18 Chingford to Liverpool Street

22:01 Cheshunt to Liverpool Street

17:38 Clacton to Colchester Town

18:14 Colchester Town to Clacton

18:55 Clacton to Colchester Town

19:39Colchester Town to Clacton

18:04 Thorpe-le-Soken to Walton-on-the-Naze

18:45 Walton-on-the-Naze to Thorpe-le-Soken

18:38 Clacton to Colchester Town

19:14 Colchester Town to Clacton

19:55 Clacton to Colchester Town

20:39 Colchester Town to Clacton

21:38 Clacton to Colchester Town

22:14 Colchester Town to Clacton

23:39 Colchester Town to Clacton

20:38 Clacton to Colchester Town

21:14 Colchester Town to Clacton

21:55 Clacton to Colchester Town

22:39 Colchester Town to Clacton

00:14 Colchester Town to Clacton

22:25 Clacton to Colchester Town

23:14 Colchester Town to Clacton

More information can be found by calling National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50.

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