I was hoping this post would be a retrospective look at the introduction of the new Stadler Class 755's onto the Ipswich - Cambridge and Lowestoft routes, including arguably the happiest passenger I've ever seen, However all is not well.
There is a crisis. In fact, if you will allow me to quote Blackadder; "This is a crisis. A large crisis. In fact, if you got a moment, it's a twelve-storey crisis with a magnificent entrance hall, carpeting throughout, 24-hour portage, and an enormous sign on the roof, saying 'This Is a Large Crisis'"
It would appear that there is an issue with the new trains having an adverse effect on the track circuits (signals), and rather more worryingly, level crossing sensors. I understand there was a very near miss near Norwich where barriers thought the train had past and raised before it had, causing the train to miss a car by around a quarter of a second. Obviously safety has to take priority over everything else, so draconian speed restrictions have been put in place, along with, I'm told, prohibitions on Stadlers going on several routes until the cause of this has been identified and fixed.
As I type there are no trains running on the Ipswich - Felixstowe/Peterborough routes, a limited service on Ipswich - Cambridge, and there have also been suspensions on the Marks Tey - Sudbury branch. In addition to that there are no trains running Cromer - Sheringham, and less than 50% service on the rest of the route. There are numerous cancellations on Norwich - Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft routes, and all Norwich - Cambridge services are terminating at Ely. Slippery rails are causing issues on the East Suffolk Line. There has been no announcement as to when these measures will end.
Apart from replacement buses there seems to be no contingency whatsoever. You'd have thought the short set would have been rushed back, as it's hardly the height of the charter season, an emergency recall of the 153's, even the 170's yet to be refurbished by Transport for Wales - after all this IS an unforeseen and quite drastic development. But so far nothing, and that does not look good to the customer standing in the freezing cold waiting for, hopefully, a bus to turn up.
So I feel it would be inappropriate to wax lyrical about new introductions on routes that have had them taken away just as quickly! I may go out to see if there are any replacement buses around - I know Ensign have sent a couple to Norwich today - so watch this space for updates.