Engineering delay causes train chaos

Ian McGuinness at Swindon railway station

Ian McGuinness at Swindon railway station

First published in News by

COMMUTERS returning to work after the Christmas break suffered travel misery yesterday as rail services were hit by delays and cancellations.

First Great Western lines between Reading and London Paddington ground to a halt in the morning due to over-running engineering work in the Maidenhead area.

The disruption continued until 11am, with passengers advised not to travel unless journeys were essential – but for many the warning came too late.

Tickets valid for travel on the First Great Western network yesterday are being accepted for travel today.

The network had already been hit by major disruption over the festive period with passengers urged not to travel in parts of south west England due to problems caused by heavy rain.

Services had been cancelled due to flooding and landslips.

At Swindon station, passengers told of their frustration at being hit by another round of chaos.

Beth Webb, 24, of Cricklade, was travelling back to work in London after Christmas and got caught up in the chaos after boarding her 7am train. She is angry that no one was told of the delays until the train was moving.

“The communication was terrible,” she said. “We should have been told at Swindon station. We stopped at Didcot and were told we would have to change, and then hopefully get a train to Reading. “We were then put on a train at Reading to Waterloo. I was sitting on my suitcase in the aisle. It was chaos.”

Tom Shearer and his partner Jessica Ost, of Clapham Junction, were stranded with their luggage on their way from Bath to visit his parents in Cambridge. Tom, an accountant, and Jessica, an NHS manager, had been trying to travel via Reading when their service terminated in the town at 10am.

Tom, 25, said: “The train was originally taking us to Reading but it stopped at Swindon.

“The platforms were packed with people in the same position. We’re going to write a letter asking for a refund. We have had to rent a car, which will cost us £100 so it’s not ideal.”

Ian McGuinness, 39, was delayed on his way to work in London after a connecting service was cancelled. The office manager, of East London, had also had to contend with a crowded train on the first leg of his route from Cheltenham. “We got put on a small train with only two carriages, it was an absolute nightmare with people even standing in the guard’s carriage,” he said. “It was exactly the same last year. Lauren Joell, of Bermuda, encountered a scramble at Reading train station at services heading in the direction of Swindon were cancelled or switched to different platforms.

The 37-year-old writer said: “Other than a little sprint at the last second it wasn’t too bad and I got to Swindon 10 minutes early. I think some of the other passengers missed the train though.”

Passengers turned to Twitter to vent their fury about the chaos, with @acaseofmatt writing: “You're the worst train operator I have ever travelled with, every journey I have taken has been cancelled/oversold/delayed.”

Services returned to normal at 11am, with Network Rail only working on relief lines which did not affect scheduled services.

A spokeswoman for First Great Western apologised for the disruption.

“Network Rail are doing work on the track and signals over Christmas between Paddington and Slough,” she said. “They discovered a major electrical fault between Hayes and West Drayton in West London. That meant no trains ran between Paddington and Slough before 11am.”

She said First Great Western had done all it could to make commuters aware of the problem, including going on the radio and posting announcements on its website and on Twitter.

Comments (14)

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11:59am Fri 28 Dec 12

MrAngry says...

Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient. MrAngry
  • Score: 0

3:43pm Fri 28 Dec 12

PJC says...

MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
Well not if you're commuting to London. Maybe other towns if there is parking & you have a car- sharing arrangement. This doesn't change the fact that our railways are a shambles and FGW offer terrible service at an exorbitant cost!
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]Well not if you're commuting to London. Maybe other towns if there is parking & you have a car- sharing arrangement. This doesn't change the fact that our railways are a shambles and FGW offer terrible service at an exorbitant cost! PJC
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Fri 28 Dec 12

adsinibiza says...

MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
not everyone has a car.....
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]not everyone has a car..... adsinibiza
  • Score: 0

6:53pm Fri 28 Dec 12

MrAngry says...

PJC wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
Well not if you're commuting to London. Maybe other towns if there is parking & you have a car- sharing arrangement. This doesn't change the fact that our railways are a shambles and FGW offer terrible service at an exorbitant cost!
Mine was a facetious/flippant comment as was not meant to be taken seriously.

I am not pro-car, but while public transport is expensive, inconvenient and unreliable there isn't really a sensible alternative to the car.

I agree that commuting to London by car isn't a sensible thing to do but it my opinion living in Swindon and commuting to London by train isn't very sensible either.
[quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]Well not if you're commuting to London. Maybe other towns if there is parking & you have a car- sharing arrangement. This doesn't change the fact that our railways are a shambles and FGW offer terrible service at an exorbitant cost![/p][/quote]Mine was a facetious/flippant comment as was not meant to be taken seriously. I am not pro-car, but while public transport is expensive, inconvenient and unreliable there isn't really a sensible alternative to the car. I agree that commuting to London by car isn't a sensible thing to do but it my opinion living in Swindon and commuting to London by train isn't very sensible either. MrAngry
  • Score: 0

7:01pm Fri 28 Dec 12

MrAngry says...

adsinibiza wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
not everyone has a car.....
For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient.

I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.
[quote][p][bold]adsinibiza[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]not everyone has a car.....[/p][/quote]For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient. I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi. MrAngry
  • Score: 0

7:38pm Fri 28 Dec 12

timt1964 says...

people have been moaning about public transport since god knows when.theres always works going on over xmas but the passengers still whinge and whine.the railways in this country are rubbish and way too expensive so get used to it.if poland is so brilliant why is half the country in swindon?! rose tinted specs methinks.
people have been moaning about public transport since god knows when.theres always works going on over xmas but the passengers still whinge and whine.the railways in this country are rubbish and way too expensive so get used to it.if poland is so brilliant why is half the country in swindon?! rose tinted specs methinks. timt1964
  • Score: 0

8:08pm Fri 28 Dec 12

SAM2WIN says...

Get a life.
We've had constant rain & floods over the last few weeks, How are the engineers supposed to maintain the tracks in these conditions? Anyone with an ounce of common sense would anticipate delays & allow extra time for their journey.
We seem to have turnrd into a nation of whingers, perhaps if we retuned to Churchills "bulldog breed" this country might start to be a
roll -model ,rather than a joke in the eyes of the world
Get a life. We've had constant rain & floods over the last few weeks, How are the engineers supposed to maintain the tracks in these conditions? Anyone with an ounce of common sense would anticipate delays & allow extra time for their journey. We seem to have turnrd into a nation of whingers, perhaps if we retuned to Churchills "bulldog breed" this country might start to be a roll -model ,rather than a joke in the eyes of the world SAM2WIN
  • Score: 0

8:41pm Fri 28 Dec 12

Empty Car Park says...

A roll model?
A roll model? Empty Car Park
  • Score: 0

9:49pm Fri 28 Dec 12

PJC says...

MrAngry wrote:
PJC wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
Well not if you're commuting to London. Maybe other towns if there is parking & you have a car- sharing arrangement. This doesn't change the fact that our railways are a shambles and FGW offer terrible service at an exorbitant cost!
Mine was a facetious/flippant comment as was not meant to be taken seriously.

I am not pro-car, but while public transport is expensive, inconvenient and unreliable there isn't really a sensible alternative to the car.

I agree that commuting to London by car isn't a sensible thing to do but it my opinion living in Swindon and commuting to London by train isn't very sensible either.
Fair enough, but it would be nice to have even a half-decent, cost-almost-effectiv
e public transport system! ;-)
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]PJC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]Well not if you're commuting to London. Maybe other towns if there is parking & you have a car- sharing arrangement. This doesn't change the fact that our railways are a shambles and FGW offer terrible service at an exorbitant cost![/p][/quote]Mine was a facetious/flippant comment as was not meant to be taken seriously. I am not pro-car, but while public transport is expensive, inconvenient and unreliable there isn't really a sensible alternative to the car. I agree that commuting to London by car isn't a sensible thing to do but it my opinion living in Swindon and commuting to London by train isn't very sensible either.[/p][/quote]Fair enough, but it would be nice to have even a half-decent, cost-almost-effectiv e public transport system! ;-) PJC
  • Score: 0

8:03am Sat 29 Dec 12

Phantom Poster says...

MrAngry wrote:
adsinibiza wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
not everyone has a car.....
For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient.

I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.
I visit friends in town and can catch a bus back home at 11:30pm
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]adsinibiza[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]not everyone has a car.....[/p][/quote]For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient. I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.[/p][/quote]I visit friends in town and can catch a bus back home at 11:30pm Phantom Poster
  • Score: 0

8:09am Sat 29 Dec 12

Phantom Poster says...

MrAngry wrote:
adsinibiza wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
not everyone has a car.....
For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient.

I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.
If you live in a large city in the UK then buses also run frequently and throughout the night.
[quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]adsinibiza[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]not everyone has a car.....[/p][/quote]For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient. I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.[/p][/quote]If you live in a large city in the UK then buses also run frequently and throughout the night. Phantom Poster
  • Score: 0

9:05am Sat 29 Dec 12

Always Grumpy says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
adsinibiza wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
not everyone has a car.....
For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient.

I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.
If you live in a large city in the UK then buses also run frequently and throughout the night.
Not the number 24 route though!
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]adsinibiza[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]not everyone has a car.....[/p][/quote]For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient. I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.[/p][/quote]If you live in a large city in the UK then buses also run frequently and throughout the night.[/p][/quote]Not the number 24 route though! Always Grumpy
  • Score: 0

4:29pm Sat 29 Dec 12

purplerose says...

or the number 71 once we are up here we,re stuck after 6pm
or the number 71 once we are up here we,re stuck after 6pm purplerose
  • Score: 0

12:48pm Sun 30 Dec 12

adsinibiza says...

Phantom Poster wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
adsinibiza wrote:
MrAngry wrote:
Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.
not everyone has a car.....
For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient.

I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.
If you live in a large city in the UK then buses also run frequently and throughout the night.
Bristol for example - a much better bus service
[quote][p][bold]Phantom Poster[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]adsinibiza[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MrAngry[/bold] wrote: Haven't these people heard of cars. Far more convenient.[/p][/quote]not everyone has a car.....[/p][/quote]For many people there is no alternative to the car as the public transport service is just not convenient. I was talking to a Polish taxi driver the other day. Compared with Poland, buses are infrequent and stop running too early. If you want to visit a friend in the evening and return after 9pm, you will need to drive or get a taxi.[/p][/quote]If you live in a large city in the UK then buses also run frequently and throughout the night.[/p][/quote]Bristol for example - a much better bus service adsinibiza
  • Score: 0

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