Rail passengers get hot under collar

PASSENGERS travelling on Anglia Railways' InterCity services between London and East Anglia have been left sweltering on some carriages again during the current heatwave.

By Paul Geater

PASSENGERS travelling on Anglia Railways' InterCity services between London and East Anglia have been left sweltering on some carriages again during the current heatwave.

Air conditioning units in some coaches has difficulty in coping in high temperatures – which has left passengers steaming.

But bosses at Anglia say the situation is better this year than it has been in previous summers after months of work on the carriages.

"I know it isn't much of a consolation to people who are stuck on a hot carriage, but things are better this year than in recent years," said Peter Meades of Anglia.

"The air conditioning failure rate at present is about 10 per cent of carriages – we have brought it down after a great deal of engineering attention to them since the winter."

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Air conditioning units in Anglia's carriages have often struggled in hot weather, when the temperature gets into the high 20s.

"Basically this is 1970s technology, and it isn't as effective as modern systems," said Mr Meades.

"We're having no problems on the Turbostars (new diesel units), but we are trying to make life easier for passengers affected.

"Our staff on the trains will offer to move them to carriages where the air conditioning is working – or they are being offered cold drinks."

One passenger affected by the problems is Steve Andrews, who pays £3,800 a year to travel from Ipswich to London.

"I have commuted to London daily for over two years and I have to say the journeys I endured on Friday night and again on Monday were the worst I have had," he said.

"The air conditioning in the carriages was not working on either occasion.

"True the guard offered us a bottle of water which is little use or consolation,

"Never mind a bottle of water, are Anglia Railways going to pay for my suits to be dry cleaned after they are covered with sweat?"

Mr Andrews said it was not realistic to talk about moving to carriages which had air conditioning working because peak-time trains were so full there was no room anywhere else on them.

Weblink: www.angliarailways.co.uk

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