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Travellers hit by engineering work

PUBLISHED: 10:00 07 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:08 03 March 2010

PASSENGERS and rail bosses were left fuming today after late-running engineering work threw East Anglia's trains into chaos.

The main line between Ipswich and Norwich was closed at Stowmarket yesterday to allow Railtrack to repair the track.

PASSENGERS and rail bosses were left fuming today after late-running engineering work threw East Anglia's trains into chaos.

The main line between Ipswich and Norwich was closed at Stowmarket yesterday to allow Railtrack to repair the track.

However the work over-ran, and the line remained closed into this morning's rush-hour.

To add insult to injury, today is the day that Anglia Railways' fares increased for season-ticket holders and people buying tickets on the day.

"This is the last thing we needed," said Anglia Railways' Jonathan Denby. "The track should have been cleared hours ago. The southbound line has been re-opened, but the northbound line won't be open until mid-morning."

Anglia trains were being delayed by between 30 and 60 minutes.

"We shall certainly be contacting Railtrack about this. It is very frustrating," said Mr Denby.

Angry businessman, Michael West, was likely to be more than an hour late for his job in the City.

He said: "I own my firm but the people who expect me to earn fees for them will be disappointed.

"I have been using trains for 32 years and it never gets any better."

By around 9am most of the backlog of commuters had been cleared as three trains came along in quick succession.

Anglia is expected to claim compensation from Railtrack and pass this on to its passengers.

Anglia has come under fire because its first-class fares are increasing by as much as 17 per cent today – the highest increase in the country.

Meanwhile passengers in southern England and in Scotland were having to cope with strikes which led to the cancellation of hundreds of services.

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