Train services back on track

TRAIN services were today gradually getting back to normal following a day of chaos.Commuters were faced with cancellations and severe delays yesterday when Network Rail's engineering works overran, meaning Liverpool Street station remained closed throughout the day.

TRAIN services were today gradually getting back to normal following a day of chaos.

Commuters were faced with cancellations and severe delays yesterday when Network Rail's engineering works overran, meaning Liverpool Street station remained closed throughout the day.

Today rail operator one is promising to hold urgent meetings with Network Rail and follow the matter up with the Office of the Rail Regulator.

A spokeswoman for the company added: “All services are running to London but there are some delays and cancellations around the Southend and Shenfield area as Liverpool Street station only opened at 6.30am. This has meant some timetables have been altered slightly.”

All trains were expected to be running on time by tonight.

A spokesman for Network Rail added: “The works that were not completed on time for the start of yesterday's service were completed overnight.

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“Liverpool Street station fully opened at 6.30am this morning. Services are now back to normal as they should have been yesterday.”

The misery of commuters who did turn up for early morning trains yesterday was compounded by the annual price-hikes which saw the cost of an open return from Ipswich to London Liverpool rise to a staggering £53.

Sunday rail users will also face ongoing frustration as engineering works mean trains will be replaced by buses for parts of the journey between Ipswich and Liverpool Street on January 6 and 13.

Barry Moore, secretary of the Ipswich and Suffolk branch of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “I am saddened because railway engineers have always had a reputation for being able to time work almost to the minute.

“It seems likely that in this case, here and in Rugby, they have come unstuck.”

Rail users on the other side of the country faced similar problems on the same day, when work on the £415 remodelling of Rugby railway station also overran, throwing west coast services into chaos.

Mr Moore said: “These days, there is a much greater use of contractors to carry out this kind of work, and that could have something to do with it.

“However it is important to realise that what they have been doing at Liverpool Street is a massive job, the scale of the project is vast and involves a lot of heavy work.

“Putting in a new viaduct is a huge job, but it is unfortunate that we in this region will not be the ones to benefit, as it will mainly be used by Londoners.

“I am saddened because this is not the standard we expect.”

Were you caught up in the chaos? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk