East Anglia: Rail bosses launch inquest after night of misery on line

An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester An Abellio Greater Anglia train at Colchester

Paul Geater paul.geater@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
3:35 PM

Bosses from both Abellio Greater Anglia and Network Rail are trying to learn lessons after a night of misery for passengers heading back to the region from London.

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Services from London Liverpool Street were thrown into chaos at about 4.30pm on Tuesday when overhead cables were damaged at Hatfield Peverel, just north of Chelmsford.

The electrical connection on the train running under the line was damaged – and it was not until 6.50pm that another train was able to pick it up and continue its journey to Norwich.

Both lines were shut for nearly two and a half hours, and when one was re-opened there was a backlog of trains behind. Some journeys were delayed by up to six hours – and there were further minor delays yesterday morning because of a signalling problem near Liverpool Street.

Passengers complained about not being given enough information about Tuesday’s problems – with some not arriving home until the early hours.

One passenger said his train that was due to stop at Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich was changed en route to only stop at Ipswich and Norwich with passengers for Colchester told to travel on to Suffolk and catch another train back.

However in the event the train did stop at Colchester station platform – but passengers were unable to get out because the doors remained locked and the guard said he did not have the authority to open them.

Peter Meades from Abellio Greater Anglia did not know the specific issues with that service, but accepted there had been serious problems on Tuesday night.

Managers of the train company and Network Rail were meeting to work out what had caused the problem – and what lessons they could learn about the way they dealt with it.

He said: “We apologise to customers for the delays and disruption that affected our mainline services between London, Colchester, Ipswich and Norwich yesterday evening.

“We will be holding a full investigation into the incident with our colleagues from Network Rail to help avoid any repeat of this problem and the disruption that was caused.

“Under the terms of our Passenger’s Charter, customers are entitled to reimbursement up to the cost of the affected journey. Details of our delay repay scheme can be obtained from our stations and website.”

9 comments

  • Based on my experience as an occasional traveller on AGA the shambles of Tuesday evening was no great surprise. I had travelled out of London to Norwich the same morning and experienced the following: * Every seat I tried had a broken recline mechanism * The accessible toilet was out of order * All seat reservations were for the previous Norwich to London journey - none of these were removed, even by the time we reached Norwich - hence my reserved seat wasn't reserved * A catering trolley was provided but only for Standard accommodation - bizarrely those who pay the most are expected to walk to the buffet (not that I would want to deny everyone else a trolley, but it does seem odd that the supposed 'premium' service is rather 'un-premium' - what other service company would do something as bizarre as this?) * No power sockets are provided, but oddly wi-fi is - not much use if your device is low on juice! So if AGA can't get the basic customer facing aspects of their service right, what hope is there when something more fundamental goes wrong?

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    Chris

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • James n. What a ridiculously stupid comment.. You actually think that the people who pay huge sums for the service and use the trains create the problems?!?!

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    C D

    Thursday, June 19, 2014

  • The communication is pretty good between rail bosses and national rail... they just don't think anyone (customers) is worthy of being told whats going on. They are only investigating as of procedure, nothing will change. Its a disgrace.

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    Ipswich Entrepreneur

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • @jamesn . I don't think commuters are 'whinging' as you describe them . Why should they have to ho and live nearer the city ? My husband commutes and if we moved it would mean us living miles away from our families and my job . The service from Greater Anglia abellio is dire & is a very poorly run operation . Commuters living in East Anglia doesn't make it an unpleasant place

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    Debbie Wright

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • If all the whinging commuters payed up and moved closer to wonderful London where they work it would make East Anglia a more pleasant place without them overstretching the rail network and causing multitudes of news stories of their plight and getting the very boring Mr Gummer on his high horse so often. You all want the high wages in the city go and live there. Bye.

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    james n

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • To be fair, I was at Liverpool street when this happened and had regular updates, I was given and took the choice of routing through Cambridge. However the majority of Greater Anglia's fleet is pre privitisation. It is old. There are breakdowns every day. What do we get... new seat covers.

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    trevorwoolnough

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • How is the railway privatisation going? Fares are higher than ever, so all that income plus the private investment must mean things are great, no?

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    IpswichMan

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Last night AGA displayed a shocking level of disrespect for their fee paying customers. It was a combination of mis-information, no information and pure stupidity from their staff. So pathetic it was laughable, but sadly not funny because of the impact on our lives. The promised full investigation is laughable too, as obviously nothing will change as a result of it and next week or month the same thing will occur.

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    Adrian Day

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

  • Every single time they foul up, they hold investigations, have enquiries, make joint Press Statements reverberating with apologies and vow it will never happen again! "Lessons have been learned" - supposedly. Of course it does happen again (all too often) and we get a repeat act. Each Operator promises they have the solutions that have avoided all previous Operators, but of course they haven't. Everybody knows things break and systems can strain, its how the aftermath is dealt with that is important. This pretentious wringing of hands is pathetic and its time individuals were held accountable for their woeful mis-management. Until a professional and reliable service can be consistently provided, fares should be reduced. Hitting the Dutch shareholders may actually achieve something and remove us of Shambellio Greater Anguish once and for all!

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    Disbeliever

    Wednesday, June 18, 2014

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