Monday 8 September 2014

GA Delays 8/9/14


Points failure at Witham leads to multiple cancellations and delays, including buses bteween Witham/Braintree and Marks Tey/Sudbury


Signal failure at Stratford means morning peak chaotic. These were the cancellations listed as of 0830 with only the 0624 ex Norwich being a train fault so presumably the 1810 ex London will be caped too yet again.

Delays mid PM at Chelmsford due to another signal fault 
Track circuit failure at Manea causing delays between Ely and Ipswich

1810 LON - NOR not caped but Class 321 operated


Signal fault at Stowmarket causing delays of 10 mins on main line and cancellations on Bury line

0920 Ipswich - Cambridge terminated at Stowmarket
PM services severely disrupted due to person hit by train at Forest Gate. Many cancellations and delays of over an hour.

Safety inspection of track between Maryland - Forest Gate means slow runing and 10min delays

1330 Nor - Liv St terminated at Ipswich due to train fault. 1600 return journey caped.

A bus became wedged under a bridgeat Battlebridge closing the Wickford - Soiuthminster branch for several hours

2028 Felixstowe - Ips cancelled due to level crossing barrier probs


1900 Lon - Nor forced to shunt out and back into Ipswich due to a signal fault

1930 Nor - Lon delayed at Stowmarket due to train fault on Class 321's (dragging brakes)


Trespass incident at Wood St means services to and via Chingford delayed, diverted and cancelled for several hours


Signal fault at Witham delays trains by up to 20 mins

Acle bridge has weight restriction placed on it meaning no loco hauled services through Acle to Great Yarnouth for up to 6 weeks

Observers will note that once again the huge majority of delays were the responsibility of Network Rail, although not even they can control bus decapitations or suicides.


  1. Hmm. So where's this leading? Do we run fewer trains, so less knock-on effects and/or close branch lines, so freeing up resources and lowering costs, taxes and fares into the bargain? Perhaps Beeching was right after all, too big a railway network for what we can afford to run efficiently. After all isn't the point of sustainability that we all have less need to travel and gobble up the earth's resources? Less rail, more buses; perhaps? A better use of limited subsidy? And more efficient (other than main inter city and linear commuter lines) for after all it uses the shared road network (usually)?

  2. And of course freight, which has to travel partially by road anyway. Some of the savings could be put into a better trunk road network. You, of course, realise I'm playing devil's advocate here. But too often I think we want everything, aren't wiling to pay for it, so we end up doing nothing and just muddling along, complaining bitterly as we go. Perhaps things should change, more than just wishful thinking.

    1. We have the highest train fares in Europe, the highest road taxes in Europe and one of the highest fuel prices in the world. In this area we also have ridiculously high bus fares. i think it can be safely said we DO pay for it. The question is do we get value for money?

    2. Um. Leave aside the bonuses for a mo because they wouldn't solve all the issues. Who is not pulling their weight then: the train drivers and guards (where they remain), rail staff, the network engineers or the linemen and signallers, even the nebulous "managers" (who are just another bunch of the workers)? I actually think they're all doing their best, often in difficult circumstances. For comparison, what bit of Britain is perfect? And please don't say Tesco! Have you been there recently? We just don't like change, and never have.

    3. The result of course is that doing anything in this country takes twice as long and costs twice as much.

  3. Why these weight restrictions?

    1. Clearly a problem with the bridge. I don't know what specifically, but it is going to take 4 - 6 weeks to repair

  4. No doubt that those Twitter accounts like Delayed Again have blamed all of this on Greater Anglia, without even bothering to check the facts. I wouldn't be surprised if they start blaming AGA for global warming, Ebola, and ISIS. :P :L

    1. Precisely, Laine. I was a guard on Southeastern for 5 years and as such know pretty well who is responsible for what. Yes of course there are things that are out of Network Rail's hands, but the alarming amount of infrastructure faults seems to be increasing on a weekly basis, and only this morning engineering works have overrun at Bury. I have a solution - hand the management of our railways lock stock and barrel to the Japanese. If something needs to be done in that country - nuclear power stations excepted - it gets done. Here it can take a couple of years to get permission to paint your window sills a different colour! We need do-ers to sort out our railways, not the same old ditherers who drive to work to run the railways.

    2. Even Japan has problems: it's economy has been in the doldrums for decades, and ever heard of Fukoshima? A great example of efficiency and how (not) to do things. Blame bureaucracy: yes, but the trouble is that we all love it when it stops what we don't want, and hate it when it holds up what we do want. So nothing ever changes because everything is mired in the endless tug o'war. NR can't chop the trees to solve the leaves on the line 'cause that spoils our view, can't make a noise at night 'cause it interferes with our sleep, can't interfere with our trains when we want to use them, and can't modernise those parts of the infrastructure which we deem part of our historic legacy. And no-one can ever be blamed for being stupid or selfish - well, not whilst driving a vehicle. The difficult bit must sometimes be sorting out what they can do. And we all know about modern electronics - great when they work and the bugg*r when they don't. Or you've just been lucky. I actually don't consider ten minutes or a quarter of an hour delay to be the world's biggest disaster. But then no-one else ever heard of time management.

    3. Should have gone to Specsavers Smurf my boy!! Read my comment again and you'll see I said nuclear power stations excepted when talking about Japan. I agree with most of your points, and think it is the whole British culture that is largely to blame more than individual companies. That's why I suggested brining in the Japanese. isin't it ironic though that the two of the most efficient countries in the world when it comes to Railways are Japan and Germany..............