Normality due to return on rail lines

RAIL services on the main route to and from London were expected to run normally today after commuters endured a “hellish” start to the week.There was severe disruption yesterday when overhead power lines were damaged at Kelvedon and commuters were left standing at Liverpool Street station in London waiting to use a restricted service.

RAIL services on the main route to and from London were expected to run normally today after commuters endured a “hellish” start to the week.

There was severe disruption yesterday when overhead power lines were damaged at Kelvedon and commuters were left standing at Liverpool Street station in London waiting to use a restricted service.

Many trains were cancelled from lunchtime onwards and rail users travelling between Ipswich and Norwich also suffered long delays.

It was not until late evening that the service improved.

David Bigg, chairman of Witham and Braintree Rail Users' Association, said travellers had described the service as “hellish”.

“A lot of people did not know what was happening and we were not sure when the trains were going to come,” he added.

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“I gather that at Liverpool Street the boards were flashing red with cancellations and delays, and there was a very limited service.

“Thousands of people were milling around wondering what was happening and they were just grateful to get on a train and get home.”

Mr Bigg added the much-needed improvements to the overhead power lines were long overdue.

But he said: “The good news is that they are going to be renewed, but how many times will they fail before that happens?”

A spokeswoman for train operator One said: “We do not know the cause of the damage at the moment.

“There was damage to an overhead line but it is more confusing than that because it was underneath a bridge, so that is causing problems for Network Rail.”

She said passengers were advised to delay their journeys home because it was becoming crowded at Liverpool Street station.

“We have been running four trains an hour - it is normally 12 - and there have been considerable delays and cancellations so we are really, really sorry for the inconvenience caused,” she added.

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