PUBLISHED: 19:00 04 December 2019
Greater Anglia has run out of trains operating on its rural services across the region – forcing the cancellation of direct services between Ipswich and Peterborough for the time being.
The company has had to hand back two thirds of its fleet of diesel trains at the end of their lease in November – but has so far only commissioned half of its fleet of new Stadler “bimode” trains.
And one of the new trains it has commissioned has been sent back to the works for repairs after damaging its pantograph – the device that picks up electric power from overhead wires.
The company has had to return 17 of its 26-strong fleet of diesel trains to their leasing company to be leased on to other train operators in Wales, Scotland, and the north of England.
So far 18 of its 38-strong fleet of Stadler bimode trains have entered service – but one is back at the works for repairs.
And the new trains are not yet cleared to operate on services from Ipswich to Peterborough or from Sudbury to Marks Tey so the company does not have the flexibility it needs.
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This has forced the cancellation of direct services to Peterborough – the gateway for services to the north and midlands – with passengers having to change at Cambridge, adding up to an hour to their journeys.
A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said the problem had been caused by a fault to one of the remaining older trains – and there was currently not enough trains to operate all the services.
She said: spokesperson said, “We are very sorry for the inconvenience caused to passengers on the Ipswich – Peterborough line because of a train fault.
“As we continue to increase the number of new trains in service, we will have a wider pool of back-up trains should faults occur.
“As we bring more of our new trains into service onto other lines, we hope to free up another train so we can reinstate this service in the very near future.
“We will ensure that passengers can still complete their journeys, although it may take a little longer. Anyone who has been delayed by 15 minutes or more may be eligible for delay repay compensation.”
There is still no date yet for the new trains to be passed for the Peterborough route – although testing on that line is expected to be underway before too long.