Commuters face chaos on trains

PUBLISHED: 14:12 05 February 2008 | UPDATED: 10:01 04 May 2010

RUSH-HOUR commuters faced chaos on Tuesday morning when over-running engineering work on the railway line caused disruption between Ely and Cambridge. Trains were cancelled and delayed and rail operators struggled to lay on buses for commuters. The proble

RUSH-HOUR commuters faced chaos on Tuesday morning when over-running engineering work on the railway line caused disruption between Ely and Cambridge.

Trains were cancelled and delayed and rail operators struggled to lay on buses for commuters.

The problems arose after overhead power cables were damaged when routine engineering work was being carried out near Waterbeach.

Network Rail alerted train operators to the problem at 5am with assurances that the line between Ely and Cambridge would be operational by 7am.

Train operators struggled to organise replacement bus services but faced problems because many of the buses were committed to morning school runs.

When repair work on the line over-ran by two and a half hours commuters were left angry and frustrated.

One commuter told the Ely Standard: "It was absolute chaos. There were hundreds of people waiting on the platforms and outside the station."

A spokesman for First Capital Connect, which runs services between Ely and Cambridge, said: "If we had known the problems were going to go on longer than anticipated we would have cast the net wider to find replacement buses.

"This situation was incredibly frustrating not only for us but for our customers and there are some lessons to be learnt for our colleagues at Network Rail.

"It was regrettable that commuters suffered and those who rely on us to provide a decent service and we would like to apologise."

He added that travellers who experienced delays of more than 30 minutes would be entitled to compensation.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: "Engineering works taking place between Ely and Cambridge over-ran into operational hours on Tuesday morning due to complications encountered while carrying out the works.

"Network Rail worked safely to get the line re-opened as soon as possible and normal running resumed at 9.32am.

"Network Rail would like to apologise for any disruption caused to passengers.

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