Rail misery shows no sign of improving

COMMUTERS are still facing misery on the platforms today as the rail chaos shows no sign of improving - and more furious passengers have spoken of their anger.

Neil Puffett

COMMUTERS are still facing misery on the platforms today as the rail chaos shows no sign of improving - and more furious passengers have spoken of their anger.

Thousands of commuters experienced severe delays after problems on the line between Shenfield and Chelmsford struck at about 6pm yesterday.

Engineers were today battling to fix the damage and a “limited service” was running on a single track through the affected area although rail bosses conceded services may not be back to normal until tomorrow.


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All services between Shenfield and Colchester were suspended after the drama just before 6pm yesterday, leaving thousands of commuters with no way home.

Garry McDonald, of Diss, said his train was stuck on the platform at Shenfield between 5.30pm and 9.15pm.

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He said: “I left London at about 5pm and didn't get home until 10.45pm.

“I understand these things can happen but it did seem that the people on the train didn't know what was going on.

“There were different messages coming through every so often and it was a very confusing picture.

Damian Serrar, of Brandeston, said he had been due to leave on the 6.20pm train from London Liverpool Street yesterday but the service did not depart until 9.20pm.

“We kept being told we were going one minute and then nothing happened. It seemed as if nobody knew what was going on.”

A spokesman for National Express East Anglia said a “shuttle service” was running between Norwich and Ipswich today while a limited service was ferrying passengers between Ipswich and London.

The spokesman said: “We are doing everything we can to put through as many trains as possible.

“We will get trains through to London but they will be severely reduced in terms of numbers.

“We are very much in the hands of the engineers as to how quickly they can proceed with work.”

He added that passengers travelling from Ipswich could also get to London via Cambridge.

A spokesman for Network Rail said engineers from three depots were working to repair the line.

A speed limit of 40mph was imposed on the stretch affected and an investigation was under way into how the problem occurred.

“It could be vandalism, it could be the heat causing equipment to expand and sag, a problem with the overhead power line or even a

problem with the train,” the spokesman said.

National Express East Anglia is likely to have to pay out thousands in compensation to those affected by the delays.

A spokesman said anyone affected by the problems is entitled to claim a refund up to the full cost of the ticket depending on how badly their journey was delayed.

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