Rail chaos delays should be over

A MONTH after East Anglia's rail network was thrown into chaos by a series of problems on the main line to London, bosses of train operator 'one' and Network Rail hope they have got on top of the problems.

A MONTH after East Anglia's rail network was thrown into chaos by a series of problems on the main line to London, bosses of train operator 'one' and Network Rail hope they have got on top of the problems.

They have held a series of meetings to try to identify the problems - and establish new working practices to deal with any problems.

Three serious problems over five days at the beginning of September caused serious delays on the rail line to London.

Thousands of commuters and daytrippers were caught up in the chaos as trains were delayed for up to four hours - and passengers were sent to Stansted airport to catch buses which did not exist.


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On all three occasions the problems were caused by faults on the overhead wires in Essex, which are maintained by Network Rail.

However 'one' came under fire from passengers for giving unclear and contradictory information about the problems - and for failing to deal with them fast enough.

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By the time the third delays happened - caused by the repairs to the problem of two days earlier - bosses at 'one' were having great difficulty in hiding their frustration with Network Rail.

The companies then set up a series of meetings to try to identify the problems and solve them before they caused major headaches for travellers.

Peter Meades from 'one' said the meetings had been constructive and were helping to iron out problems before they became too serious.

But he was anxious not to tempt fate: “I don't want to say that all our problems have been solved but we are having a good dialogue and we know what led to at least two of the problems.

“Network Rail has been carrying out regular checks on the line, and over the last four weeks things have been reasonably smooth. Now we have to work together to maintain that.”

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said the meetings had been worthwhile - and its managers and engineers were holding more meetings today to review how the line was operating.

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