Aug 26, 2014

Major rail delays on Norwich to London line

Over-running engineering work has delayed train services between Norwich and London. Photo: Bill Smith

Rush hour rail commuters are facing major delays yet again this morning because of over-running engineering works at Ipswich – two weeks after Network Rail bosses pledged the issue would not be repeated.

A signalling equipment fault between Ipswich and Manningtree and a broken down train between Colchester and Manningtree have added to this morning’s train problems.

According to Greater Anglia, there are currently delays of up to 60 minutes and the line through Ipswich is not expected to reopen until 8.15am. The disruption is expected to last until 9.30am.

Commuters wanting to travel from Norwich to London are being advised to travel from Norwich via Ely and Cambridge to Liverpool Street or King’s Cross - or delay their journeys.

The news has come just hours after Network Rail bosses said they were confident the work would be completed on time and trains would be running as normal between London and the region following the two-day track closure at Ipswich.

It is the 10th time in six years the company has been unable to complete work on schedule on the Great Eastern Main Line.

Speaking after the last set of delays, a Network Rail spokeswoman said: “We are acutely aware of the frustration and inconvenience passengers experience when our work causes disruption rather than delivering better journeys.

“We work hard to ensure our plans are robust and that work can be completed within the time we have available, and we successfully carry out improvements across the region almost every night of the year without encountering problems.”


Stagecoach 12-weeks UK Rail Like-for-like Revenue Up 4.9% - Quick Facts

Stagecoach Group PLC (SGC.L) Tuesday said for the 12 weeks ended July 20, 2014, its like-for-like revenue for the UK Rail business grew 4.9 percent year-over-year. The company's UK Bus (London) business reported 14.4 percent growth in sales on a like-for-like basis.

Looking ahead, the company said it is on track to meet its expectations for the year ending April 30, 2015.
Source..rtt news

Unions warn rail dispute could escalate further

Three days of strikes planned for next month

Clean-up at Connolly station in Dublin yesterday. Siptu does not yet have a mandate for an all-out strike. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

With three further days of strikes planned for next month, unions yesterday warned that the dispute over pay cuts at Iarnród Éireann, which brought the country’s rail network to a standstill for the last two days, could escalate even further in the weeks ahead.

Members of the National Bus and Railworkers Union (NBRU) and Siptu yesterday placed pickets at rail stations and depots around the country in protest at the unilateral decision by management at Iarnród Éireann to introduce temporary pay cuts for staff ranging from 1.6 per cent to 6 per cent. The cuts came into effect on Sunday and are scheduled to run for 28 months.

The strike yesterday affected about 100,000 people.

InterveneSources close to some of the parties in the dispute have indicated privately that they expected some form of intervention, possibly towards the end of the week or early next week, in a bid to head off the next round of strikes at the State-owned rail operator, which are planned for September 7th and 8th.

However, as of now, there is no indication of new talks being convened.

Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe has declined to intervene personally in the dispute. He said last Friday that the State’s industrial relations machinery was monitoring the situation and would engage at the appropriate time.

The executive of the NBRU will meet on September 23rd to consider what further action to take if there is no resolution by that stage. The union’s general secretary, Dermot O’Leary, said yesterday that it already had a mandate from members for action up to an all-out strike, if necessary.

Other potential options in the future could include light

ning strikes to last for several hours.

Siptu does not have a mandate for an all-out strike and would have to ballot members again.

Some informed sources said yesterday that Siptu could hold another ballot of members if circumstances changed materially, for example, if plans for compulsory redundancies were announced.

Speaking next to the picket line at Dublin’s Connolly Station yesterday Siptu organiserPaul Cullen said further strike days were arranged for September 7th, 8th and 21st.

“If management [of Iarnród Éireann] continues to persist with this, this dispute will be escalated beyond that,” he said.

In a later statement he said: “Our members do not believe that the cuts they are being asked to take will be the last they will be expected to endure. Due to the cuts in funding to the rail service the company is operating with a deficit of approximately €60 million. There is no indication that the National Transport Authority or Department of Transport have any plans on how to offset this deficit other than expecting Irish Rail staff to endure further cuts.

“The solution to this dispute rests with management reversing its decision to cut our members’ wages and entering into serious talks with workers’ representatives on the future of Irish Rail. If this does not happen Siptu members in Iarnród Éireann will conduct a further 48- hour work stoppage on Sunday, 7th September, and a 24- hour work stoppage on Sunday, 21st September.”

Iarnród Éireann said it would run out of money by the middle of next year if cost savings were not put in place. It said it had no choice but to unilaterally introduce the temporary pay cuts.

Iarnród Éireann spokesman Barry Kenny said the pay bill accounted for 60 per cent of the company’s costs. He said there was no way of bridging the funding gap facing the company without getting some savings from pay. He said the company believed its proposals for temporary pay cuts were modest. times

London rail commuters face delays into King's Cross

Delays between Peterborough and King's Cross are expected to last throughout the morning rush hour
Rail commuters heading to London on the east coast mainline face severe delays because of overhead wire problems.

Engineers worked throughout the night to repair the damage and minimise disruption to services heading into King's Cross.

The problem developed just after 18:00 BST on Monday between Peterborough and Stevenage, causing huge delays for travellers caught up in the problem.

Train operators have warned of further long set backs and cancellations.

Those affected by the problem are East Coast, First Capital Connect, First Hull Trains and Grand Central.

People who were caught up in the lengthy delays on Monday night took to Twitter to vent their frustrations.

Jack Harrison tweeted: "Massively overcrowded @eastcoastuk train.. People stood for hours not knowing what was going on. #Peterborough."

Gemma Chandler said: "I've been sitting on a stationary train at Peterborough for 1hr45mins & we haven't had an announcement update for 55mins."

Amy Firth posted: "It's carnage here at Peterborough with masses still attempting to get on this train. any updates??"

An East Coast spokesman said: "Due to severe overhead line damage last evening between Peterborough and Stevenage, significant disruption is anticipated at the start of today's East Coast services.

"East Coast trains are expected to be severely restricted, and cancellations are likely throughout the day.

"Customers are advised to defer travel until later in the day, or alternatively, to travel tomorrow if possible.

"Tickets dated for travel on Monday or Tuesday will be valid for travel on Wednesday and customers are advised to try to travel as close as possible to their original booked time.

The spokesman said the line was blocked because of an overhead wire problem, about five miles from Peterborough.

According to the company, the main problems were with passengers heading south rather than out of the capital.

On Monday night, First Capital Connect services between Peterborough and King's Cross were running between Huntingdon and London King's Cross only and the problems also affected First Hull Trains services.

First Hull Trains advised its passengers: "Owing to overhead wire problems between Grantham and London King's Cross all lines are blocked.

"Train services running to and from these stations may be cancelled or delayed at short notice."





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