“Performance has been well below the standards you rightly expect” - Rail bosses apologise for poor service over the summer

Friday, August 15, 2014
4:19 PM

Rail bosses in East Anglia have apologised for the poor performance of rail services across the region over recent weeks.

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Network Rail managing director for the region Richard Schofield and Abellio Greater Anglia’s Jamie Burles have signed the letter that is being put up on stations across the region.

It is also posted on Abellio Greater Anglia’s website.

They say: “We are genuinely sorry for the problems that have affected train services in recent weeks. Performance has been well below the standards you rightly expect and we intend to deliver.

“As you may be aware there have been a variety of causes, ranging from infrastructure failures (e.g. with track, signalling and overhead line equipment) and engineering work problems to train faults, fatalities, flooding and road vehicles striking bridges.

“We are acutely aware of the frustration and inconvenience felt by our passengers when things go wrong.”

They say they are taking action to try to ease problems – including quicker reactions when problems occur and upgrading infrastructure.

There is also a pledge to plan engineering better in an effort to prevent engineering over-runs that have affected Network Rail projects on the Great Eastern main line nine times in the last six years – most recently last Monday.

There is no engineering work planned in Ipswich this weekend, but next weekend the line will be closed on Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday to allow more signalling work to be undertaken.

The message also points out there have been problems caused by issues outside their control such as people being hit by trains and vehicles hitting bridges.

They conclude: “Please accept our apologies for the recent problems. We are under no illusion as to the impact these problems have had on passengers and we are anxious to put things right.

“We believe that this targeted programme of initiatives will help restore the more consistent service we all want to see. Everyone in our teams is working as hard as possible to deliver real improvements over the coming weeks.”

8 comments

  • You know what gets me? When branch line services are timetabled to arrive in Norwich five minutes after a main service out departs.Timetables used to work. And I agree with Canuk- in the 70s I regularly travelled substantial distances by train mainly to and in the Midlands and North, but I can't remember any of this coach instead of train business nor cancellations on the scale the papers have reported this summer on the London line. How can anyone plan for an onward journey or an appointment when using the Norwich to London line? If I had to do it regularly I would sacrifice speed for reliability of service. Members of the family who use long haul flights pay through the nose to fly out of Norwich to Schiphol rather than attempt to take a train to one of the London airports and wait hours in a train outside some fiddling Essex station.

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    Daisy Roots

    Saturday, August 16, 2014

  • Whatever the causes of individual problems, the bigger picture is that despite great strides made in some areas, the infrastructure nationwide remains in places outdated and overloaded, and improvements are constrained by Government funding of Netword Rail determined years in advance. Norwich in 90, never mind a consistent service, is never going to be realistic so long as the Ipswich - London section , plus its many branches, is so heavily used by services competing for paths and highly susceptible to knock-on delays. Yesterday's 08:30 from Norwich made its nonstop run from Colchester into LST with hardly a single signal check, more than recovering early delays, but this is and will always be the exception. Recent runs via Cambridge lead me to support previous postings that suggest improving the Norwich - Ely line and making better use of the route via Cambridge. By the way, can we have a change, please, from the same "this is a what a train looks like" photo every time in favour of some relevant pictures with a bit of context?

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    MGNdweller

    Saturday, August 16, 2014

  • Parsnip and JuanneG.. It is not competition or faster service that is the problem, it is the fact that when you computerize and centralize, you lose if something goes wrong. When I worked for the old B R back in the sixties, I do not remember the cancellations, delays ever being this frequent. The yard always had a DRC or diesel electric loco on standby, and going back even further there was always a steam loco available with steam up. Yes, I know times have changed, and today it is a business and is profit driven, but if you are running a service, it maybe mindful that your patron will desert you for a cheaper or more reliable way of transport..

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    canuk

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • Not same trains. 30yrs ago they where Mk2s with class 47 diesels then cl86 electrics after electrification 1985-87. The current fleet of Mk3s with cl90 locos arrived from Virgin West Coast from 20034. A refresh with at seat power points will happen early next year.

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    JuanneG

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • It may be improved media coverage but there seems to be far more signal problems since they got rid of the manwomen in the signal box. Modernisation needs to improve service not convinced in this instance it has.

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    jennifer jane

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • I thought they were the same trains as 30 years ago, it's time to get this service up to standard as we pay enough.

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    parkeg1

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • Whilst they are no faster than 30 years ago there are many many more trains now. Frequency has improved no end. Whilst a faster service would be welcome Norwich is not the only & definitely not the most important station on the GEML.

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    JuanneG

    Friday, August 15, 2014

  • Until there is more competition nothing will change. The trains to London are no faster than 30 years ago.

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    Parsnip

    Friday, August 15, 2014

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

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