Commuters face rail nightmare
COMMUTERS are likely to face further misery today after overhead wire problems plunged rail travel in East Anglia into chaos.Passengers were hit by cancellations and delays of up to two-and-a-half hours after more than a mile of overhead wires became damaged on the main line at Ingatestone at 3.30pm yesterday.
COMMUTERS are likely to face further misery today after overhead wire problems plunged rail travel in East Anglia into chaos.
Passengers were hit by cancellations and delays of up to two-and-a-half hours after more than a mile of overhead wires became damaged on the main line at Ingatestone at 3.30pm yesterday.
The incident happened on the Ipswich-bound track and led to the closure of that line. It is not known how the damage occurred.
Network Rail sent engineers to the scene to work on the problem but they are unlikely to be able to fix it until at least 4pm today.
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All evening services to and from London were severely delayed last night and several trains were cancelled.
And there was more bad news for train passengers after rail operator One confirmed it would be operating a “limited” service until the problem is fixed today.
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It comes just weeks after Network Rail announced a multi-million pound investment scheme to improve the region's network - including £50m on renewing overhead lines between London and Chelmsford.
A spokesman for One said: “The repairs required are extensive and significant and cannot be completed overnight because of the extent of the damage.
“That line is expected to be blocked until 4pm this afternoon as a result of which there will be a reduced service this morning.”
The spokesman said three trains would run per hour from Ipswich to London during this morning's peak period and one train per hour off-peak.
One hopes evening peak services tonight will return to normal.
Weary commuters spoke of their fury last night at the long delays.
Rebecca Miller caught the 5.30pm service from London and did not arrive at Manningtree station until gone 8pm.
“It's absolutely shocking. The trains were packed to capacity. It was like a cattle train with people sitting on the floor,” she said.
“We kept getting up and rotating so people could sit down for half an hour. It was really awful.
“There were lots of extra stops but no-one got off people just got on. To top it all off there was a fault on the train at Marks Tey. I've missed an important appointment in Colchester this evening.
“It's appalling. The infrastructure should be in place. I don't want £10 compensation I want to get home on time.”
A spokeswoman for Network Rail said crews were trying to fix the problem.
“We do have one line open and we are able to get some trains through but it's likely there will be cancellations and delays and we apologise for that,” she said. “We are focused on getting things fixed as quickly as possible.”