Greater Anglia defends record as broken trains spark compensation claims
Greater Anglia faces a raft of compensation claims from delayed passengers after four of its trains broke down on Thursday evening.
There were electrical faults on two trains on the Norwich to London line, while another train broke down at Colchester, delaying the Norwich service.
A fourth train had a fault between Sudbury and Marks Tey and the earlier breakdowns meant the 7.30pm service to London was cancelled.
Yesterday the company, which took over the running of the service from National Express in February, defended its record.
A Greater Anglia spokesman apologised for the delays, but said the four faults were not connected and did not show their trains were unreliable.
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The spokesman said: 'Generally we operate a very reliable service. It is just unfortunate we had these issues all on the same day. We will get problems from time to time.
'We are all working together to improve the line and get that investment, but in the meantime we have to ensure we do everything we can to operate the most reliable service and generally we achieve that.
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'We would like to reassure all of our customers that we will continue to make every effort to operate reliable and improving train services.'
Greater Anglia – a branch of Dutch train firm Abellio – apologised in March for delays caused by problems with overhead power cables.
Their first set of punctuality figures fell below the performance of National Express from the same time last year with 91.8pc of its trains arriving on time.
The electric locomotives running the line, Class 90, were built in the late eighties, but new trains have been ruled out until after a new 15-year franchise is awarded when Greater Anglia's 29-month contract runs out.
People travelling from the capital to Norwich on Thursday night were first delayed at 5pm when their train broke down with an electric fault. They got on the 5.02pm which was late arriving at Liverpool Street Station because one of the tracks was blocked. The train left at 5.30pm but broke down before Shenfield, also with an electric fault. At Shenfield passengers got on the 5.30pm train from London.
But when that train reached Colchester it was delayed because a train ahead of them, heading towards Clacton broke down. That train was fixed and moved on.
Guy Dangerfield, manager of campaign group Passenger Focus, said: 'Passengers tell us they want train companies to recognise their plight and treat them with greater respect when things go wrong.'
If delayed for between 30 minutes and an hour passengers can claim a 50pc refund or a full refund if more than an hour.