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Train firm admits 'too many problems'

PUBLISHED: 00:32 21 August 2002 | UPDATED: 12:30 03 March 2010

A TRAIN operator has admitted there are "too many problems" on the London mainline rail service.

First Great Eastern made the admission in a letter to the chairman of the Witham and Braintree Rail Users Association, David Bigg.

A TRAIN operator has admitted there are "too many problems" on the London mainline rail service.

First Great Eastern made the admission in a letter to the chairman of the Witham and Braintree Rail Users Association, David Bigg.

Mr Bigg was complaining about train delays during July, which he described as "another poor month for local commuters".

Replying to Mr Bigg's complaint, Theo Steel, sales and marketing director at First Great Eastern, wrote: "So far as performance is concerned we are not happy with the mainline and particularly the morning peak."

He added: "We have too many train problems on the mainline too and we are working on this."

Peter Northfield, a spokesman for First Great Eastern, said: "We have never pretended that the level of performance is as high on the mainline as it is on our other two lines (the Metro and Southend lines), principally because we are the only operator on the others. We don't have freight trains or other operators on them. It's intensively used and requires a high level of maintenance."

He said First Great Eastern would not be happy unless all of its trains were running on time every day.

But Mr Northfield added that the train service is still more reliable in terms of delays than using the A12.

According to First Great Eastern statistics 91.3% of trains were on time in the four weeks up to July 20, although Mr Bigg claimed there 17.9% of the trains were delayed.

First Great Eastern and Anglia Railways are making slight adjustments to the timetable which Mr Northfield said will improve the situation.

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