Monday, 6 February 2012

A lovely long reply from Mark!

He doesn't want me to be cross. To be fair, I don't want to be cross either.


Thank you for your emails.

The delay on Monday evening was down to congestion at Reading, created by an earlier dispatch issue.

I didn't watch Panorama as I was working until late (I was with Network Rail in fact) but I am aware of the issues discussed throughout the programme. I know, and have my own opinions of, the operational challenges of the rail industry as a whole. I also have a good understanding of the publics general perception of how things are run. I take a keen interest in the contact I receive from our own customers and of course your own feedback has always been given my full and personal attention! So please don't be cross. It wasn't because I was disinterested but simply due to having a busy and 'hand's on' job that leaves little time for TV.

On Tuesday, congestion caused your late arrival into Paddington.

On Wednesday night, the problem was was first reported as a track defect on the 'down mainline' but turned out to be ballast on the line. The disruption was then compounded by a points failure on the 'down relief line'. With problems on both lines, delays were significant. I was caught up in this too and was late home myself.

On Thursday, our 18:51 was waiting for a member of crew who had been delayed on a service that had been caught up in an points failure.

I really am sorry for all the delays last week. I would also like to apologise for the occasions when our 08:06 has been a Turbo train. We've had a couple of our HSTs out of service and have had to make some changes. I know it is never ideal to short form trains, especially on busy commuter services, but our only alternative would have been to cancel services and this is not acceptable either.

I think it is time to update you about what is being done to improve performance on the Oxford - London route. I'll be in touch with this soon.

Kind regards


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