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‘Like a jumbo jet taking off’: families’ fury over faulty new trains

PUBLISHED: 10:48 22 July 2020 | UPDATED: 21:12 22 July 2020

New Street residentsThelma Hill and Lauren Fincher, who say faulty new trains sound 'like a jumbo jet taking off'.
Photo: KAREN BETHELL

New Street residentsThelma Hill and Lauren Fincher, who say faulty new trains sound 'like a jumbo jet taking off'. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

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Families whose homes back on to a seaside railway station have complained that their lives are being constantly disrupted by faulty new trains that sound “like a jumbo jet taking off”.

One of Greater Anglia's new bi-mode trains on the Norwich-Sheringham Bittern line.
Photo: STUART ANDERSONOne of Greater Anglia's new bi-mode trains on the Norwich-Sheringham Bittern line. Photo: STUART ANDERSON

The bi-mode trains, which were introduced on the Bittern Line between Norwich and Sheringham by rail operator Greater Anglia last year, were hailed as a faster, more reliable and better equipped alternative to their diesel predecessors.

However, residents in New Street, Sheringham, said the trains, which run hourly between 6am and 11.45pm, with a later train at weekends, were making their lives a misery.

Lauren Fincher, who has lived in New Street with her husband WIlliam and their two children since 2017, said she and her family were regularly woken up by the sound of the trains, and that, even in hot weather, she was forced to keep her windows closed to shut out the noise.

“During the day, it‘s not as bad, but, sometimes, you’ll get a train coming in at 6am and leaving its engine running for up to 30 minutes, then another coming along 15 minutes after that one leaves, so it’s more or less continuous noise, and all before 7am,” she said.

Mrs Fincher, who regularly travels by train to commute to work and visit family in London, has written a string of emails to Greater Anglia to complain about the noise – and the environmental impact of leaving trains running for long periods.

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But she said while she had received numerous promises that the matter would be looked into, the company has yet to take action.

She said: “I must have asked 10 times over the past year and they’ve done nothing.”

Thelma Hill, who lives opposite Mrs Fincher, said she had also complained, and was told the excessive noise was due to a fault.

“It’s horrendous, we can’t sit in the garden or hear the television,” she added. “I complained to one of the drivers, but it was so loud he could hardly hear me. We are just sick of it and I don’t think we should have to put up with it.”

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said engineers were working to resolve the issue, which was caused by a problem with the fans of a small number of bi-mode trains, adding that drivers’ managers would be asked to speak to their staff about turning train engines off when standing at stations for long periods.


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