Buses back to replace trains

AFTER a week of unplanned disruption on the region's railways, passengers heading to the capital this weekend were once again facing bus journeys for part of their journey.

AFTER a week of unplanned disruption on the region's railways, passengers heading to the capital this weekend were once again facing bus journeys for part of their journey.

But the disruption today and tomorrow was planned - and the buses operating between Ipswich and Colchester should not prompt any additional chaos.

Trains returned to normal by yesterday lunchtime after travellers faced major hold-ups after Thursday's freight train derailment at Marks Tey, not to mention the manic Monday caused by overhead lines coming down.

National Express East Anglia apologised for the five days of disruption.

Andrew Goodrum, Mainline Business Director, said: “We are grateful to our customers for their patience and cooperation, and apologise for the disruption to services. We are working to restore the full timetable as quickly as possible and to minimise any consequential delays to services.”

Limited services had been in place from Monday night when a train brought down a mile of overhead electricity lines, causing chaos on the commuter line from Norwich to London Liverpool Street.

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Then on Wednesday afternoon passengers faced more delays as two Network Rail engineers were injured while repairing overhead cables in Essex.

Trains were running smoothly in and out of Ipswich by lunchtime yesterday, but because of the nature of the disturbances, there was no telling how long a full scheduled service would operate.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: “Lines were reopened in both directions by 8.15am on the morning after Thursday's derailment, which is still being investigated. Nobody could have predicted such an unexpected incident.

“Network Rail is investing £150m to improve the main line, parts of which have not been updated since 1948. With more trains on the track, we have to do our best to upgrade the infrastructure but some things are beyond our control.

“A lot of engineering work goes unnoticed because it takes place overnight and doesn't affect passengers but we understand their frustrations when it does.”