Steps to improve rail service across Norfolk outlined

Generic Norwich Train Station. Abellio Greater Anglia train. Railway. Commuter. Commuters. Passenger

Generic Norwich Train Station. Abellio Greater Anglia train. Railway. Commuter. Commuters. Passenger. Passengers. Fares. Fare. Platform. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

A series of measures aimed at improving rail punctuality have been revealed in a letter from Abellio Greater Anglia's managing director.

Jamie Burles wrote to Norfolk County Council in response to criticism of the firm's performance last autumn that saw more than 900 services cancelled across the region.

He said the delays were caused by diesel units suffering wheel damage faster than the company could get them repaired and back into service.

In the letter the company outlined several measures which it was looking to overtake to prevent future delays. These included:

· The possibility of providing a tool to repair train wheels in Norwich

· The implementation of a large number of reliability improvement schemes on various train components

· An 'industry-leading' remote train monitoring system that will send engineers warning signals when a component is close to failing

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· A major 'transformational change' of its engineering team to ensure all planned and unplanned fleet work and repairs are carried out in an efficient way

Mr Burles said one of the main issued that needed to be reviewed was Network Rail's railhead treatment programme.

He added: 'Ultimately it's the railhead conditions which caused the wheel damage and the conditions have clearly been far worse than ever before.

'And this suggests the preventative measures taken by Network Rail were not effective enough this year.'

The bulk of the cancellations took place during November last year, with no services operating between Great Yarmouth and Norwich for five consecutive days.

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