Colchester rail disruption: Abellio Greater Anglia apologises

Railway disruption in East Anglia
Image caption Early morning commuters had to battle through the disruption

A railway operator has apologised to customers after overrunning engineering works caused severe disruption to commuters in three counties on Monday.

Lines blocked at Colchester in the rush-hour forced the cancellation of many trains between Norwich and London.

Operator Abellio Greater Anglia said problems during excavation and reinstatement of the track with the on-site machinery caused the delay.

Services are now running normally, the company confirmed.

The £7m upgrade of the ageing infrastructure around Colchester station, which caused the problems, began at the weekend and is due to take place every weekend until 6 July.

'Clearly unacceptable'

Commuters heading south from east Norfolk and Suffolk on Monday morning were diverted to Cambridge.

Image caption Stations along the Norwich to London route, including Chelmsford, were packed with commuters

The delays worsened after a person struck by a train between Chadwell Heath and Romford at 13:30 BST. British Transport Police said the incident was not suspicious.

Jamie Burles, managing director of Abellio Greater Anglia, said the company made "every effort" to restore a normal service after the early delays and a review was being carried out to avoid any repetition of the difficulties in future.

He said Monday's tickets would remain valid or people could apply for refunds.

Richard Schofield, Network Rail route managing director, previously said the disruption was "clearly unacceptable" and the company would be reviewing what went wrong.

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