The Chairman of Chiltern Railways Adrian Shooter has apologised for overrunning engineering works on Monday 14 March:
“On Monday morning our weekend upgrade works were due to be completed by 05:00. Unfortunately, the final hours of testing ran late with the technicians not completing their works until 06:00.
We had expected at this point – despite it being one hour late – to be able to commence normal service. However, it immediately became apparent that there was a fault with the new signalling. The only immediate solution to allow the railway to open was to implement a manual, alternative signalling method on the section of the railway affected.
We knew in doing this that we would severely restrict our ability to run as many trains as normal and that journey times would be longer, but the alternative would have been to leave the railway closed and to run buses which we considered unacceptable.
On reflection it is clear that we were not adequately prepared for such an eventuality, most importantly in our ability to communicate the issues and what we were doing about it.
I am very sorry for that and I can assure you that we are reviewing the events and will learn and implement the lessons.
During the day the technical issue was identified but the solution required the signalling system to be reprogrammed with updated software. It was not possible to do this during the day without shutting the railway, but was achieved successfully overnight last night.
You are still feeling the consequences today as many of our trains were out of place after the disruption, and due to the software upgrades we were unable to move them around overnight.
This caused further overcrowding on Tuesday morning despite the fact that we managed to run a full service. Please be assured that we are doing everything possible to get this situation improved for this evening and subsequent days.
Once again I am very sorry for the significant disruption to your day. We will do better.”