Rail misery as engineering works over-run

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The Independent Travel

Over-running festive engineering work led to travel misery for rail passengers today.

Failure to complete the work resulted in delays of up to 60 minutes for passengers in and out of London's Liverpool Street station during the morning rush hour.

The work, affecting the Stansted Express and services run by National Express East Anglia, was part of a large programme of engineering projects undertaken over Christmas the new year by Network Rail (NR).

NR was fined a record £14 million by the Office of Rail Regulation for not completing 2007-08 festive engineering work on time.

Work involving services at Liverpool Street was part of that overrun, with the biggest disruption to passengers being caused by the overrun on the West Coast Main Line.



By late morning Liverpool Street services were back to normal. A Network Rail (NR) spokesman said: "We were doing final tests at the end of the engineering work when we discovered a problem which we had to correct.

"It was this that led to the delays this morning."

NR said that over the rail network about 75 per cent of trains were running on time today, compared with recent punctuality figures of about 90 per cent.

The spokesman went on: "The weather has played its part today. We've had some faulty trains and the continuing driver shortage on First Capital Connect routes."



Today, passengers were also hit by poor weather in Scotland which led to delays to services between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

There were also delays due to a broken down train on the London Overground line in north and east London while passengers on Merseyrail services faced delays of up to 30 minutes.

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