Travel chaos as flooding causes severe disruptions to rail services in the region
PUBLISHED: 09:41 24 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:41 24 June 2016
Floods have greatly affected trains travelling between the region and London, with several trains cancelled already this morning.
Four services from Norwich to London Liverpool Street have been cancelled already, including the 7.40am.
In the other direction, the 7.55am and the 9am from London Liverpool to Norwich has also been cancelled.
There are also delays of up to an hour to services travelling through Brandon, Diss, Downham Market, Eccles Road, Harling Road, Lakenheath, Littleport, Salhouse, Shippea Hall, Spooner Road, Thetford, Watlington and Wymondham.
A statement from Abellio Greater Anglia read: “Signalling equipment between Seven Kings was damaged yesterday due to heavy rain flooding the railway.
“Train services running through these stations may be cancelled, delayed by up to 60 minutes, or revised. Disruption expected until 12pm 24/06.
“Please do not travel unless necessary.”
Services were either cancelled or delayed for 18 hours yesterday because of torrential downpours which flooded the tracks at Manor Park in east London.
Joe Moody, from Long Stratton, gave up on his attempt to get from Diss to London by train this morning because of cancelled services.
He said the delays represented a: “Shocking lack of contingency from Abellio”.
Fred Dustin, from Norwich, was waiting around for hours yesterday for his wife, whose train from London was cancelled.
He said: “There’s nothing anybody can do about the weather. You’ve just got to be patient.”
Tina Bowling, from Norwich, was waiting at the city’s station for her daughter.
She said: “Her train should have gone at 10am-11am and it didn’t end up going until 1pm. But in the end there’s not a lot you can do about the weather.
Joe Zhou, who is visiting from China, said: “My train from Ipswich this morning was cancelled.
“In my country, trains are never cancelled for heavy rain, at least not in my experience.”
Hundreds of people took to social media to vent their frustration and, at one point, Abellio Greater Anglia reported they were receiving up to 27 messages a minute about the problems.
One Twitter user, Ben Rumble, criticised Abellio’s advice, saying: “Pointless telling commuter crowd to only travel if necessary. It’s called work. Considered necessary by most.”
User Joe Moody tweeted Abellio: “Drains were invented over 2000 years ago you know.”
Steve Hooker, Network Rail area director for Anglia said he apologised for the delays. He said: “Unfortunately the flash flooding and sheer amount of rain has overwhelmed the drainage systems and water levels rose above the rails which meant it was unsafe to run trains.”
The first train of the day to run from Liverpool Street to Norwich left at 4.30pm and limited journeys continued until late in the evening.
The A12 and A13 had problems with flooding and heavy congestion, hindering bus replacement services.