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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 September 2006, 11:01 GMT 12:01 UK
Travel 'chaos' after line damage
A One train
Overhead line damage caused severe delays to services
A rail passenger has spoken of the "chaos" experienced by hundreds of commuters who were delayed following overhead line faults.

One Railway company advised about 1,000 people to travel to Stansted on Friday evening after the lines were damaged between Ingatestone and Chelmsford.

Commuter Richard Attoe said it was "truly chaotic", passengers were "literally screaming" at staff.

The firm apologised for any inconvenience caused to passengers.

The line failure affected services from London Liverpool Street to Norwich, Ipswich, Clacton and Braintree.

One member of staff swore at me. They just didn't want to know and they really didn't care
Richard Attoe

Mr Attoe, who was travelling from London to Norwich, said: "It was absolutely dreadful. Every train was cancelled. We were told to get on one train, but when we got on there was no driver.

"We were then shunted off to Shenfield to catch buses which weren't there, when they did arrive there weren't enough of them."

Police were called in at Liverpool Street to keep order, because rail staff found it difficult to deal with the situation, he added.

Mr Attoe said: "The staff had no clue what was going on.

"We were arriving at stations and passengers who had been delayed for the best part of five to six hours were literally screaming at the one member of staff that they could find demanding taxis.

"The staff were saying 'no' they were ignorant and arrogant. One member of staff swore at me. They just didn't want to know and they really didn't care."

'Alternative travel'

A spokesman for One Railway said: "We can't speculate on the cause but we do take this opportunity to apologise to all our customers who have been caught up in this disruption.

"Basically what's happened is a section of the overhead power line between Chelmsford and Shenfield has come down, which has caused major problems.

"On top of that there was a points failure on the track at Shenfield which is basically meant that we are having to run a bus shuttle service... that's caused huge delays.

"We will be meeting with senior figures at Network Rail to find out why the problem happened and to ensure they don't happen again."

He said repairs were being carried out to damaged overhead lines near Chelmsford.

Normal weekend service was expected to resume after 1600 BST.

One passengers experienced delays on the same route on Wednesday night when power cables came down at Hatfield Peverel in Essex.

Last week there major delays after a small landslide near Manningtree in Essex.

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