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Power failure which stopped signals working was the cause of this morning’s rail misery

PUBLISHED: 14:55 18 December 2014 | UPDATED: 16:22 18 December 2014

Red signals. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Red signals. Photo: David Cheskin/PA Wire

Frustrated commuters suffered at the hands of the regions railways again today as signal failures led to more than five hours of delays.

The problem with equipment between Stowmarket and Ipswich and meant trains could not run in either direction on either line between the two towns.

Passengers were forced to wait for replacement bus services to be set up or face the prospect of finding an alternative route to their destination.

Even when the problem was resolved delays lasted until 1pm while operator Greater Anglia tried to recover the service.

Signals and other railway infrastructure is the responsibility of Network Rail which charges operating companies to use its property.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We apologise to passengers for the disruption this morning caused by a signalling problem, which meant that trains were unable to run between Ipswich and Stowmarket.”

It is believed a power failure was the source of the problem somewhere between the two stations.

When there is a power supply problem which involves signals they automatically return to red, or danger, as a fail safe device.

Between the time the problem occurred and Network Rail engineers fixing the issue a temporary system of manual signalling, involving staff using the railway’s own mobile network, was used to get some trains moving.

An Abellio Greater Anglia spokesperson said: “Train services between Norwich and London and Ipswich and Cambridge were disrupted today due to signalling problems between Stowmarket and Ipswich.

“Network Rail engineers worked to restore services as quickly as possible, with lines reopening at 11:00.

“A bus replacement service was in operation to convey passengers between Stowmarket and Ipswich and Ipswich and Colchester.

“We apologise to customers for the inconvenience caused.”

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