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Girl, 16, faints on train amid 'disgusting' overcrowding

PUBLISHED: 09:32 12 September 2019 | UPDATED: 14:31 12 September 2019

Ellie Branston-Tilley, who fainted on an overcrowded Bittern Line train from Sheringham to Norwich on the morning of Wednesday, September 11. Picture: Supplied by Jodie Branston-Tilley

Ellie Branston-Tilley, who fainted on an overcrowded Bittern Line train from Sheringham to Norwich on the morning of Wednesday, September 11. Picture: Supplied by Jodie Branston-Tilley

Archant

Parents have hit out at a rail company after a 16-year-old girl collapsed on a crowded and hot single-carriage train.

Student Ellie Branston-Tilley fainted on the journey from Cromer to Norwich on Wednesday after she and others were forced to stand on the service.

Greater Anglia, which runs the trains, has apologised, but parents say it is not enough.

Ellie's mum, Jodie Branston-Tilley, said: "She was standing where the luggage racks were because there was nowhere else to stand.

"When she felt unwell her legs came out from under her and no-one could get to her.

This was the scene on an overcrowded train from Sheringham to Norwich on the morning of Wednesday, September 11. Picture: Supplied by Finoa CraskeThis was the scene on an overcrowded train from Sheringham to Norwich on the morning of Wednesday, September 11. Picture: Supplied by Finoa Craske

"One carriage is not sufficient for the number of people who travel into Norwich. I'm just shocked."

Also on the train were a school friend of Ellie's called George and his mum, Vikki Wright, 36, from Southrepps.

Ms Wright said it was hot and crowded on the train, with more people getting on at each stop, before Ellie collapsed between Worstead and Wroxham stations.

She said: "I managed to get her up. The conductor did shout out 'is there anything we can do?' Somebody asked for water, but there were so many people in front of him there was no way he could manoeuvre himself down the train.

An overcrowded Bittern Line train from Sheringham to Norwich on the morning of Thursday, September 12. It was just as crowded as the previous day when Ellie Branston-Tilley colapsed. Picture: Supplied by Jodie Branston-TilleyAn overcrowded Bittern Line train from Sheringham to Norwich on the morning of Thursday, September 12. It was just as crowded as the previous day when Ellie Branston-Tilley colapsed. Picture: Supplied by Jodie Branston-Tilley

"The amount of people on the train was just ridiculous. Because of where Ellie was standing near the racks she could have quite easily suffered a concussion."

After getting to Norwich Ellie was able to continue on to college. But further services on the Bittern Line between Norwich and Sheringham both yesterday afternoon and when Ellie got on this morning have also been overcrowded single-carriage trains, which Mrs Branston-Tilley and Mrs Wright say is unacceptable.

Mrs Branston-Tilley said: "It's not fair on people who have paid £12 for a ticket to get into Norwich. They're not providing a decent service - it's disgusting."

A Greater Anglia spokesperson said: "We are sorry to hear a passenger became unwell during their journey on the 07.16am Sheringham to Norwich service. The conductor on the train supplied some bottled water and checked on the passenger's welfare at Wroxham, where he was advised that they felt able to continue with their journey.

An overcrowded Bittern Line train from Sheringham to Norwich on the morning of Thursday, September 12.  It was just as crowded as the previous day when Ellie Branston-Tilley colapsed. Picture: Supplied by Jodie Branston-TilleyAn overcrowded Bittern Line train from Sheringham to Norwich on the morning of Thursday, September 12. It was just as crowded as the previous day when Ellie Branston-Tilley colapsed. Picture: Supplied by Jodie Branston-Tilley

"The train was formed of one carriage. Although we try not to run one-carriage trains during busy periods, sometimes this is unavoidable due to operational reasons, and we would rather run a train with one carriage than cancel the service altogether. This autumn we will start to introduce our brand new longer state-of-the-art trains on this route."

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