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Travellers hope for return to normal trains after week of chaos

PUBLISHED: 18:54 15 December 2019 | UPDATED: 08:01 16 December 2019

Swathes of train delays and cancellations caused travel chaos last week. Picture: Sonya Duncan

Swathes of train delays and cancellations caused travel chaos last week. Picture: Sonya Duncan

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Passengers are hoping for a much more reliable train service from Monday after widespread delays and cancellations last week caused chaos for travellers.

Passengers are hoping for a much more reliable service this week. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme.Passengers are hoping for a much more reliable service this week. Picture: Kate Wolstenholme.

More than 80 services were cancelled every day in Norfolk and Suffolk as Greater Anglia blamed signal failures and the weather for the issues.

Thousands of passengers had journeys affected, but the train company have said that they hope services will be back to normal on Monday, December 16.

Mark Budden, Network Rail Anglia route director and Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: "We are very sorry for the disruption customers on our rural routes have experienced this week. We know how frustrating poor service is and we're working hard to restore them. Today we have been able to put in more services and from Monday we aim to restore a full service on all routes except Norwich to Sheringham and Ipswich to Peterborough.

"We are running a series of rigorous tests to identify the root cause of the problems, including examining the impact of leaf contamination, the level crossing mechanisms and how trains' wheels connect with the track signalling system.

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"We're very sorry for letting our passengers down and promise them we are determined to restore the good service they deserve as quickly as we can."

New train timetables came into effect on Sunday, December 15, which sees changes to some Greater Anglia services. Picture: Mike Page.New train timetables came into effect on Sunday, December 15, which sees changes to some Greater Anglia services. Picture: Mike Page.

The Norwich to Sheringham service will run as normal but with a bus between Cromer and Sheringham, they said.

One thing that will certainly change for many passengers this week is the timing of their journeys - the bi-annual timetable change came into effect on Sunday, December 15, and includes alterations to services between King's Lynn and London and the Norwich to London mainline.

These timetable changes are not always without incident - services in parts of the country were heavily affected after a new timetable was introduced in May 2018.

Passengers will hope that things run much more smoothly this time, or timetable problems could compound any lingering issues with Greater Anglia services.

The Rail Delivery Group's director of nations and regions Robert Nisbet urged travellers to check journey times, adding: "Train operators and Network Rail will be working together to run a reliable service and respond quickly to any teething problems as people get used to the change."

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