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Railhub Archive
2000-12-14 ANG-001
Anglia Railways


A message to customers

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Anglia Railways
Great Eastern Main Line

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Anglia Railways

A message to customers

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14 December 2000
source Anglia Railways
type Press release

We have been working to try and ensure the temporary timetable operates as reliably as possible, and taken actions to improve on-board standards of service. In addition, we have already stepped-up our marketing activity to win back passengers who have not been making train journeys over recent weeks.

Actions to improve our service

We have also recruited extra cleaners and maintenance staff to ensure the presentation and on-train quality of the trains improves, as the provision of a revised timetable actually requires more trains and staff to operate what is in effect a less-intensive service. In the early weeks of operating a revised timetable, this resulted in some deterioration of on-train quality such as cleaning and some non-essential maintenance. The extra staff are helping to ease this problem.

Because of the changes to the Norwich, Ipswich – London mainline service, some of the usual connections for Anglia Railways’ local services have altered. Local services have been running normally, and wherever possible, alternative arrangements are being made for customers, including additional special bus services from Ipswich to the East Suffolk line stations of Woodbridge, Melton and Saxmundham, connecting with the 17.30 and 19.00 departures from London.

As you will be aware, we have put together a package of compensation for season ticket, Commuter Club and other ticket-holders.

As mentioned above, marketing and promotional work has already been stepped-up to help win back passengers, activity includes a new TV commercial currently being aired on regional television and press advertisements for 2 for 1 Christmas shopping travel offers. We hope to bring forward more offers as the timetable improves.

We have also launched a new information line for customers to obtain current details of the temporary timetable. The number to call for the timetable hotline is: 08456 50 21 60. Information can also be obtained from a special timetable leaflet at stations, and this website by clicking here.

Not surprisingly, during this difficult period, we have received many more telephone calls, emails, letters and customer comments forms than usual. We have attempted, once again with extra staff to answer individual letters, but it is not always possible to respond to each and every question posed. One of the key requests has been for details of the speed restrictions and the actual work that Railtrack are carrying out. This has been a moving target as Railtrack continues a programme of inspection, re-inspection and re-railing. I am listing some details here and we will endeavour to update further on our website.

Christmas / New Year services

Details of changes to services over the Christmas / New Year period have been announced, and a special leaflet will be available at stations soon. Although track work will mean that journeys on Christmas Eve (24 December) and the following weekend (30 December – 1 January) will include a replacement coach service between Ingatestone (near Chelmsford) and London Liverpool Street, we will be working with Railtrack to minimise any disruption to passengers’ journeys over this period.

What work is Railtrack doing over Christmas / New Year?

o Immediately following Hatfield, 44 speed restrictions were in place on the London to Norwich mainline, with most of these between London and Colchester. Restrictions have been gradually eased and the number reduced to 36, and further improvements are expected soon.

o Railtrack engineers will be installing 33 miles of new rail between Liverpool Street and Shenfield over the Christmas and New Year period. This will allow for the removal of many of the precautionary speed restrictions that have been imposed since Hatfield.

o To maximise the access opportunity to the network during the holiday period, Railtrack contractors will also be carrying out other essential track maintenance and work in the Liverpool Street to Shenfield area.

o Railtrack are telling us that the majority of rail replacement work is expected to be completed by the New Year, however, some more complex layouts involving specially manufactured sets of points and crossings may not be complete until the spring.

Next moves

We expect to operate the current revised temporary timetable between Norwich, Ipswich and London until 14 January 2001. A further temporary timetable will be published from 15 January. The schedule is expected to offer significant improvements in journey times and an increase in the frequency of trains. Details will be made available as soon as possible.

In the meantime, there are clear timetables in place, with information readily available on the details. These schedules do work and enable passengers to plan their journeys in confidence. Although mainline journey times are still 30 minutes longer than normal (until 14 January), 80% of mainline services are running (which still means 25 trains on weekdays from Norwich to London).

You have my assurance that everyone in the Anglia Railways team is continuing to focus on the provision of a consistent and reliable temporary timetable over the next few weeks, as we approach the time when we can make significant further improvements, prior to the restoration of our full service.

Thank you for your understanding

As I mentioned in my previous letter, I would like to sincerely thank you for your understanding and continued custom over recent weeks. I am confident that the outlook in the New Year is much brighter, and that from mid-January we will be offering significantly improved journey times and a more frequent service, which will be much closer to our normal full service, and I hope that the restoration of the advertised full mainline service is also not too far away.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity of wishing you all the compliments of the season and a prosperous New Year.

Yours faithfully,

Tim Clarke
Managing Director
Anglia Railways

Railhub Archive ::: 2000-12-14 ANG-001


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