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Last Updated: Wednesday, 2 January 2008, 17:47 GMT
Tales of train travel misery
Train travellers have been contacting the BBC News website with their experiences following over-running engineering work.

Thousands of people have been disrupted on the East Coast Mainline after work was not completed in time and London's Liverpool Street Station is also closed.

RODGER, LONDON

I got to Liverpool Street at 6:30am this morning having been told the station was open only to find all the trains were cancelled.

I was re-directed to Stratford and assured the trains were running normally. Upon arriving there, with no signs or directions we were put on, and then taken off, three different trains before one finally left for Norwich.

Absolutely clueless and to top it off the fare had gone up by 3, it just doesn't add up. I am off to York from King's Cross tomorrow and cannot believe that GNER, the only company to offer a half-decent service have lost their operating licence.

RUSSELL DIXON, LONDON

Yesterday I travelled back to London on the train. The train was delayed 45 minutes at Motherwell and then delayed a further 45 minutes at Preston whilst a driver for the train was found.

This occurred before we arrived at Birmingham and as such is the fault of Virgin Trains' poor organisation.

After the rail replacement service we arrived in Euston at 1am having left Lancaster at 6.30pm.

This situation was compounded by complete lack of communication from staff both at the stations and on the trains.

To make things worse when I tried to get into work this morning I find two trains have been cancelled due to yet more overrunning engineering work at Liverpool Street.

CHERYL ROBERTS, LONDON

I would like to thank Network Rail for ruining my family's Christmas break. We had travelled up to Liverpool for Christmas, returning on 28 December.

After taking one of the alternative routes suggested, we were forced to take three separate trains which proved especially difficult for my disabled mother.

An apology for all the inconvenience caused, not an excuse, would be welcome particularly as Christmas is one of the times when a lot of people do travel.

CHRIS WEST, NEWCASTLE

My train was cancelled and it cost me 20 to get to work via taxi this morning. No information was given on the website and no alternatives suggested when I asked where the train was. It's inspired me to pass my driving test though!

AMY, WREXHAM, WALES

I went down to Brentford in south west London for New Year. It took seven hours to get back to Whitchurch, Shropshire on 1 January. And the really crazy thing is, I knew this when I booked my ticket.

My complaint would be the seemingly small number of cars on some of the Virgin trains even though it was New Year's day and a lot of people were travelling. I had to stand for a long time at one point and with a hangover it wasn't very pretty.

JUSTIN, RUGBY

I think it's disgusting that these so called "planned" engineering works have run over.

I arrived at Rugby station this morning not only to be confronted by the fact that there were no trains running and my journey would be extended by an hour, but to also find out that my ticket had gone up by 30 a week.

It's very well being told not to travel but being self-employed means that if I don't turn up for work, I don't get paid! Who covers this cost? Oh me, the commuter once again.

ANDREW ADLEY, CHELMSFORD, ESSEX
One Railway are totally useless, not only do we have to suffer delays every day, they plan projects at the same time as Liverpool Street being out of action.

People are paying 3,000 to 4,000 for a ticket and have to get a train followed by a bus then a Tube to get to work.

My normal 40 minute journey from Chelmsford to Liverpool Street took three hours on 27 December.

Due to their incompetence they also managed to knock down overhead power lines up by Shenfield on the Friday which meant another hour wait on a packed platform in Stratford on 28 December. Surely after over a century of railways they can sort it out and plan properly for these things!

FIONA LANCASTER, BRAINTREE, ESSEX

Unfortunately, 'One' cancelled my early morning branch line train from Braintree (yet again) this morning.

Due to the lack of information provided I was led to believe that I would be able to travel in from Witham. Foolishly, I followed this advice and drove to Witham (paying a fortune for a parking space) and found myself having to 'fight' to get on a train which then terminated at Stratford.

The crowd situation was frightening and had to be controlled by the police. The London Underground was unable to cope with the vast numbers of commuters trying to use the Central Line.

The service provided by 'One' and Network Rail is an absolute disgrace and the huge increases in fares only serves to frustrate and aggravate passengers.

MATTHEW, LONDON

I had to come into London this morning on the Stansted Express. The train took about an hour longer than usual, then stopped at Tottenham Hale and disgorged hundreds of passengers from the airport onto the platform with their luggage.

At this point we found that the escalator up from the platform was out of order and passengers had to carry their luggage up the stairs.

Having made our way onto the underground platform, which was crowded, we were told that the Victoria line was suspended due to some technical fault or other. This left hundreds of passengers stranded at Tottenham Hale.

This is completely unacceptable. Network Rail do not care one jot for the passengers who use the lines and appear to be completely unable to carry out these works without over-running.

Do they not have contingency planning? It is simply not good enough to make feeble apologies after causing such a mess. Get rid of these fools and get someone who can do the job.

SEE ALSO
Urgent inquiry into rail delays
02 Jan 08 |  England

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