Update: Bird strike on Bittern Line train will lead to cancellations tomorrow - likely to affect services between Norwich, Sheringham, Yarmouth and Lowestoft

The Bittern Line, approaching Cromer Station. The Bittern Line, approaching Cromer Station.

Sunday, March 9, 2014
11:30 AM

Rail operators Abellio Greater Anglia are expected to publish a list this evening of tomorrow’s train cancellations caused by a bird strike which has put a train out of action.

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Spokesman Geraint Hughes said rail officials had held a conference call this morning to discuss the situation.

“There will be some cancellations and they are now working on a definitive list,” he added.

Chiefs would take into consideration services which were well used, for example by passengers heading for work and school, and would try to avoid affecting them if possible.

Yesterday saw a string of cancellations between Norwich and Sheringham, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft following the bird strike, which damaged the windscreen of the 5.40am Bittern Line train from Norwich to Sheringham.

The train had to be taken out of service straight away, creating a critical shortage of engines which had a ricochet effect on services further afield.

There are no train cancellations affecting Norfolk or Suffolk today. Sunday’s “lower-level” service had been helpful, according to Mr Hughes.

Planned engineering work, which is due to finish at 2am tomorrow, is taking place today between Ipswich and Norwich and those services are being replaced by buses.

Mr Hughes said there was an overall shortage of diesel trains and the latest setback came at a time when another was out-of-service for repairs following a recent fatality in the Stowmarket area.

Greater Anglia was carrying out two refurbishment programmes which meant individual trains were routinely out of use for periods of time.

“In broad terms we are five or six trains short of our full complement. Normally we have about three or four spare in any one day but these latest incidents mean that we are now right on the limit of availability,” he added.

■ Check Greater Anglia’s website for updates: http://www.abelliogreateranglia.co.uk/

31 comments

  • Bird strikes in the broadland area whatever next .Oh the glories of privatisation,cut cost keep up profits,surely a few spare parts in stock would not hurt the share holders pocket to much.

    Report this comment

    Cynical Bob

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Yes. Loco realise what you meant didn't express myself very well .

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • "A dawn bird strike"........ makes a change from the usual Bob CROW strike!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • phaha... a bird strike, on a TRAIN?? i can understand when birds get sucked into plane jet engines etc, even then they disable the engine and carry on with the others - but a starling hitting the windscreen of a train, putting it out of service for days on end... dumb.

    Report this comment

    Vale Hernandez

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • Bring back steam locomotives - at least there'd be a fire to cook the bird on. Seriously though - what a shambolic bunch Greater Anglia are. Still that's what happens when you let foreigners 'operate' railways.

    Report this comment

    Tractorboy

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • Should have called Autoglass; be "back on track" in no time!

    Report this comment

    Dictate

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • They can't take a windscreen out of a diesel being repaired to replace damaged one ? Loco NNR doing a great job this weekend why should they help network rail who let them down so badly over the Sir Nigel ? Great day there yesterday.

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • To replace a flat piece of glass on a loco cannot take more than an hour at the worst! Staggering lack of a contingency plan!

    Report this comment

    Levi Stubbs

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • It looks like the Which? Survey saying 42% of GA customers being 'satisfied' with GA Abysmallio may have been an over-estimate. More like 25% from my experiences. How can you run a railway service without trains??

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • No spare windscreens? Something for the government to add to the next francise contract. Keeping spare parts!

    Report this comment

    Watton Warrior

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Wrong rain,wrong leaves,no spares, you always have an excuse

    Report this comment

    Reader

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • You cannot just remove a screen from another unit! These are bonded screens and take time to fit and cure and the Turbostar units have a composite cab structure that may also have been damaged. There is already a short set of loco hauled stock in use due to a shortage of units and EMT have leant Abellio a 158 unit in the past to cover in the mornings but they also have diagrams to fulfil and units do not grow on trees unfortunately!

    Report this comment

    Martin Jennings

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • There is a worrying lack of trains and rolling stock - hampered by the fact that the Government isn't giving operators like Abellio a long enough franchise to be able to invest in new trains and rolling stock. They told Councillors at Yarmouth that there wouldn't be any new trains any time soon. We'd have to wait for Northern trains to replace theirs and us get their cast-offs to cannibalise. Sad but true - we are always last I. The queue for road and rail improvements.

    Report this comment

    Mick Castle

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • Of course there are spare windscreens. It takes time to get the train to the depot & then after fitting the glass for it to set. Trains & speed need toughned & extra safe screens. Some people say very silly things sometimes.

    Report this comment

    JuanneG

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Those seeking to blame this on privatisation are talking nonsense. East Anglia has always been last in line for rolling stock including the time it was British Rail. And government - in all its forms - want to encourage the public to use public transport! we should turn over the Norwich to Cromer and Great Yarmouth routes to steam preservation which would would do wonders for tourism and no doubt be very profitable too due to increased traffic as long as we keep the Network Rail away from everything.

    Report this comment

    andy

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • Privatisation works better on other franchises e.g. The Virgin Rail Group and most others. It really depends on how much a TOC is prepared to spend on leasing and then have suitable contingency plans in place for events like this. Abysmallio have definitely got it wrong somewhere, the DMU outages for upgrades have been planned for years. Perhaps DRS can step in with some 47s and 37s to provide a proper service? We had DRS shorts a while back and they were brilliant! We were able to Experience sensations like Rapid Acceleration ! without the usual noisy straining of 153s and 156s diesel thrash, yes, bring back DRS please!

    Report this comment

    Dave01

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • Reader;; You must start reading comments properly. I was suggesting that NNR hire out the trains to get people to the event who would have been unable to attend because of the lack of normal trains thus making more money for the NNR to carry on the great work they do in keeping our railway heritage alive. I myself have also had a couple of wonderful days yet again and I do go there at least once a month winter and summer.

    Report this comment

    loco

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • @Dave01 - if 42% of people questioned said they were satisfied with Not-Greater-Than-Anything Anglia, then I think 42% of their customers must have extremely low expectations or are an extremely charitable bunch!

    Report this comment

    Norfolk and Good

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Trains don't travel "at speed" on the Bittern line. Bird strike? BITTERN line?? LOL

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    Lord Elf

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Does nobody care about what happened to the bird?

    Report this comment

    expat

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Absolutely ludicrous! No wonder the railways in East Anglia are rated so poorly. As the man said "That's a hell of a way to run a railroad!".

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Andy, it's you that's talking nonsense as you clearly have no idea of the economics of running a railway.

    Report this comment

    Richard Kelham

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • was the birdie OK ? Thank the lord that the car is king..and always will be in little ole Norfolk

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • This is a situation you really can blame on privatisation. British Rail owned (and mostly built) their own rolling stock, the cost of which was amortised over time. This meant that having spare units to cover emergencies was only a marginal cost. The Privateers have to lease their trains at vast expense from the RoSCos so keep the number of units to the barest minimum – with predictable results when something goes wrong.

    Report this comment

    Richard Kelham

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • I can partially understand that they don't have a spare train, but surely to goodness they have some spare windscreens - even the worst days of British Rail were better than this Greater (than what?) Anglia shower!

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    Edward Millionaireband

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • What happened to all the previous comments, just wiped out?

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    Derek McDonald

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • Perhaps they should have got in touch with North Norfolk Railway, it is their Steam Gala this week-end and I am sure the service would have still been able to run from Norwich to Sheringham and got people there on time. Then I remembered it would have to be the god's at Network Rail who would then put that plan out of the window.

    Report this comment

    loco

    Saturday, March 8, 2014

  • can't Abelio hire another train from a different part of the country and bring it to Norfolk over the weekend? what a second rate outfit, they know all about how to impress the treasury, but nowt about running a service and cooperating with other operators, no wonder integration is a fancy dream to them.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • The North Norfolk Railway can certainly put on a good show at running a railway let them have a go at running to Cromer and perhaps Norwich. Oh silly me, Network "Fail" is unable to maintain in good order the bridges and track on that line. Greater Anglia and Network "Fail" are certainly destroying the public support and goodwill towards using the railway network these days.

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    Port Watcher

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • No doubt the bird was a RMT member called Bob the Crow.

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    CllrJohnCowan

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

  • They DID have spare windscreens. Once fitted they take time to set & cannot go into service until this occurs. Windscreens can only be fitted at a depot as unless anyone has noticed is rather higher from the ground than a mere motor car.

    Report this comment

    JuanneG

    Sunday, March 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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