LETTER: Network Rail, not Southern...

I was disappointed that yet again one of your readers has been unable to grasp the difference between a train operating company (TCO), in this case Southern Railway, and the infrastructure company, Network Rail.

The former operate trains over the latter’s rail network.

Hence, if a rail breaks, the TOC cannot safely operate its services, so must wait until an infrastructure team with all their equipment arrives on site to put matters right.

So, often the blame for trains delayed by such infrastructure malfunctions is laid at the door of the operator. If people bothered to do their homework they would find out how the railway works and begin to understand the complexities of running a safety critical operation.

The fact that the fracture was spotted, trains were stopped and replacement bus services procured whilst staff were sent to carry out repairs is testament to efficient teamwork in the Regional Operations Centre at Three Bridges. How your reader can say, then, that Southern Railway had ‘disappointed many commuters again’ is quite bizarre as they were acting in the best interests of those commuters!

Phil Hamerton

Cissbury Way

Shoreham

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