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Update: Day of misery for London to Norwich rail commuters

Archant

Rail commuters endured a frustrating day of disruption between Norwich and London today (Tuesday) after damaged overhead power lines caused delays and cancellations.

The cable problems at Bethnal Green in London had affected National Express East Anglia (NXEA) services to and from Liverpool Street station since about 5am.

The altered timetables meant many morning commuters were late arriving for work in the capital and by the evening rush hour an hourly service was running back to Norfolk as workers battled to repair the damage.

This evening, Network Rail engineers had repaired most of the broken power lines, with the remaining work due to be completed overnight and full services due to be restored tomorrow morning (Wednesday).

An NXEA spokesman said: “Network Rail engineers worked throughout the day to restore services, opening five out of the six lines that serve Liverpool Street, with further repairs to be completed overnight.

“We apologise to passengers for the delays and disruption to their journeys and the inconvenience caused. We hope to operate a full service on the morning of Wednesday 19 October.”

Gavin Carpenter, 31, from Costessey, is a weekly commuter from Norwich to London and was left frustrated by the problems which began during his journey on the 4.55am service.

“The first I knew of any problems was when the train was suddenly terminated without warning at Shenfield,” he said. “We were told to get the first available service to London from there. Everyone on this train proceeded to board a service from Southend Victoria to Liverpool Street which was soon extremely overcrowded. I was carrying luggage and my standing position was extremely uncomfortable.

“We departed Shenfield, but were soon halted somewhere near Ilford, where we remained for around 25 minutes. No information was given to us. In all, I was around 45 minutes late to the office.”

A Network Rail spokesman said an investigation had been launched into the cause of the cable damage, and also apologised to passengers for the problems.

During the delays, NXEA ticket-holders were accepted on routes served by other train companies, as well as London Underground trains and buses.

NXEA’s Passenger’s Charter entitles any customer delayed by 30 minutes or more to compensation. For more information or to download a “Delay Repay” form, visit www.nationalexpresseastanglia.com.

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