Rain-away train leaves passengers soaked

PASSENGERS were left with soaking clothes and needing to use umbrellas inside as their train was battered by the storm as it travelled from Ipswich to Cambridge.

PASSENGERS were left with soaking clothes and needing to use umbrellas inside as their train was battered by the storm as it travelled from Ipswich to Cambridge.

The high winds and driving rain forced its way through the windows, forcing some passengers to abandon their seats towards the end of the journey.

The guard had to leap out at every station and grab handfuls of tissues from the toilets to mop up the water and to try to staunch the gaps that opened up in the windows.

Regular passenger Ian Coxall from Warren Heath in Ipswich said Tuesday's journey had been a real nightmare.

He said: “I make that journey two or three times a week, and the train is usually crowded but this time people weren't standing just because there was no room - all the seats and tables were wet.

“It wasn't just one window that was leaking, none of them would close properly - it was like being in the outside, people were putting up umbrellas.

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“Everytime we stopped at a station the guard leapt out to try to get some tissue from the toilets to mop up the tables and stuff the paper in the windows to try to staunch the flow a bit.

“I go all the way to Cambridge and it was a very difficult journey - even worse than usual.”

A spokesman for National Express East Anglia said managers had not been aware of any problem with the train, but engineers checked its windows overnight at the depot.

“The weather was quite exceptional on Tuesday - but we will be looking to see if anything can be done about the windows,” he said.

Mr Coxall was not impressed by his journey: “The one-coach trains that they use on that line just aren't up to the job really, passengers call them 'scuds', and after this we could see why!” He added.

Was your journey affected by this week's storms? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk