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2 November 2016, 12:19
The Transport Secretary has been urged to ``get out of his bunker'' and try to help resolve continuing problems on Southern Railway after the latest scenes of chaos affecting hundreds of thousands of passengers. PICTURE FROM BRADLEY REES
Services on the busy Brighton to London main line were cancelled or delayed on Tuesday evening because of a damaged track, leading commuters to warn of dangerously overcrowded trains and platforms.
Trains will be disrupted again on Friday and Saturday because of the latest strike by the Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) union in the long-running dispute over changes to the role of conductors.
On Wednesday, the union called on Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to intervene, and questioned why a recently announced #20 million fund to improve Southern services seemed to be making no difference to daily delays and disruption.
RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ``It's all very well Southern trying to blame Network Rail for the chaos last night but the fact remains that, if the company wasn't hoarding #100 million in profits, that cash could be invested in renewals and maintenance, easing the intolerable pressure on our rail infrastructure.
``Passengers will also be rightly demanding to know whatever happened to Chris Grayling's #20 million Southern rail taskforce stunt.
``It is time for the minister to get out of his bunker, stop patronising staff and the public and get round the table with the unions and the company to sort the deep-seated problems wrecking services and safety on Southern.''
Southern said the track was damaged near Wivelsfield on the Brighton line after an electrical fault burned a hole in the rail.
Rail replacement buses were operating.