Passengers on trains to and from Uckfield have this morning (Thursday) received an apology from rail operator Southern for the “below standard” service in the last few weeks.
A letter from David Scorey, company performance director, said Southern had experienced two issues.
Carriage shortages were caused by an overhaul to the diesel trains used on the line, with the spare unit normally used to cover routine maintenance, was unavailable.
The situation was made worse when a train was badly damaged after hitting a tree.
Leaf fall has contaminated the rails affecting track circuits which detect where the train is on the route.
Mr Scorey said the two-car trains on the Uckfield line were especially susceptible to this problem.
He said in his letter: “As a precaution we have been asked not to run two-car trains on their own on the route at this time. Because of this we have had to move our train fleet around so that the trains that were previously two cars are now at least four cars – this has meant that some longer trains have temporarily been shortened.”
He said Network Rail was trying to resolve the problem and that Southern was hopeful of returning to a normal operation soon. [We have been told that a two-car train has been seen today operating on the line].
The letter finished with an apology from Mr Scorey.