Freight trains cause cancellation mayhem

FREIGHT trains are causing delays for travellers on the Felixstowe to Ipswich line - and passenger trains have had to be cancelled, it has been revealed today.

FREIGHT trains are causing delays for travellers on the Felixstowe to Ipswich line - and passenger trains have had to be cancelled, it has been revealed today.

Rail users say the problems are increasing and are worried what will happen as the number of cargo services rise in the years ahead.

The 25 each-way services are already causing disruption and any delay on the line hits the hourly passenger service.

Many people have been late for work or missed appointments, and buses have not been sent as replacements.


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Former councillor Jane Bignell, of Garrison Lane, Felixstowe, has complained officially after she and more than 30 other passengers were left stranded when the 8.56am failed to turn up on November 7 because of freight trains and were told to wait an hour.

She said: “I used the help phone on the platform and spoke to customer services who said that the train had been turned back from Westerfield as there were so many freight trains on the line that the passenger train could not get a clear route through the stations.

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“This is not the first time it has been cancelled due to delays caused by freight trains as we are regularly delayed by up to ten minutes by them, but to my knowledge it is the first time it has actually had to turn back.

“I think this is an appalling state of affairs and do not understand how this can happen when the passenger train is scheduled and network rail know when it is due to be passing through the stations.”

Last week there was a similar incident on an afternoon service.

A group of teenage schoolgirls and boys, who travel from Felixstowe to Copleston High in Ipswich every day, have also been left stranded at Derby Road twice in the past three weeks on a Monday.

Bryan Frost, of the Felixstowe East Suffolk Travellers' Association, said it was a concern, and ESTA had been pressing for buses to be used as substitutes on important services - especially those busy ones bringing regular users home from work in Ipswich to Felixstowe at peak times.

One communications manager Nick Jarrold said buses were not normally put on to replace a cancelled service - especially as this would often take longer than the wait for the next train with the line having an hourly service.

He said: “However should there be specific demand, such as peak times in the morning or evening or a succession of services being cancelled then buses may very well be utilised.”

WEBLINK: www.onerailway.com

Have you been left stranded by a cancelled train? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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