September 21 2014 Latest news:
Annabelle Dickson, Political Editor
Saturday, August 30, 2014
Network Rail has pledged to “take every step” to avoid a repeat of the long delays and cancellations which hit rail commuters this week as it confirmed it would go ahead with planned engineering work in Ipswich this weekend,
Network Rail’s regional boss has pledged to “take every step” to avoid a repeat of the long delays and cancellations which hit rail commuters this week, as he confirmed planned engineering work in Ipswich will go ahead this weekend,
Bosses have spent days weighing up whether or not to proceed with Sunday’s proposed railway closure in Suffolk after travellers from Norfolk to London were hit by major hold-ups on Tuesday morning.
Network Rail area director Andy Boyle said this week that he would only allow the work to go ahead if he was certain that it would be completed on schedule.
Norwich to London mainline services will be affected by the work which is taking place in the Ipswich area from the start of service on Sunday until 3.30pm.
Ipswich to Lowestoft and Felixstowe services are affected by the work all day on Sunday.
On Tuesday the line re-opened seven-and-half hours late after engineers struggled to connect new signals to existing signalling equipment in the station area.
Steve Cassidy, Network Rail area director, said: “Passengers suffered as a result of our mistake and I’d like to again apologise to all those affected by Tuesday’s engineering overrun. We will take every step to avoid a repeat of what happened this week.”
“This is a vital £25m project to deliver a better, more reliable train service in this part of the country and forms part of our wider £2.2bn investment to improve the railway in the east of England over the coming years to benefit thousands of passengers.”
Following the delays, an East Anglian MP has said Network Rail directors should get no bonuses next year after this summer’s chaos on East Anglia’s main rail line.
In a statement Network Rail said a “thorough review” of the cause of Tuesday’s disruption had uncovered faults with the design of the new signalling system being installed at Ipswich.
It said: “Following a series of high level meetings between Network Rail and Abellio Greater Anglia, both parties have agreed that the work should proceed after a new team was brought in to oversee the work on the ground.”
An Abellio Greater Anglia spokesperson said: “Following a further thorough review of the planned engineering works proposed to take place in the Ipswich area this Sunday, agreement has been reached for Network Rail to proceed with the work which will be overseen by a new team. The progress of the works will be closely monitored throughout and Network Rail has given assurances that every step will be taken to avoid any overrun of the work.
Rail passengers can obtain details of the service alterations while the work takes place, from stations and the Abellio Greater Anglia and National Rail websites.”
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