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Rail Boss: Driving Home From Cornwall Was "Easier" Than Getting A Train

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2:02pm 30th December 2014

The man in charge of the UK's railways admits he drove home from Cornwall - because it was easier than getting a train.

Mark Carne is the head of Network Rail and has been under fire after spending Christmas near Falmouth, while thousands of passengers were stuck in rail chaos because engineering work over-ran.

He said: "I drove back last night with three kids and two dogs - it was an easier way to make it, actually.

"I always travel by train when I am travelling around the country but when you've got pets and things over the Christmas period it's sometimes easier to take the car.

"I was in full contact. In this modern day and age with telephone and email and so on, I was in full contact.

"I totally agree it would have been better if I had been there on the day, but I wasn't and that's life.

"We've had a really difficult period over Christmas. Thousands of passengers were disrupted and it was a totally unacceptable performance. That's why I have instructed there should be a full review of what happened, not just into those particular problems but more broadly about the timing of the sort of work we had planned over Christmas and Boxing Day period.

"In order to keep the railway safe and to improve its reliability, we have to do this work."

The Office of Rail Regulation has launched an investigation into what went wrong, while the Department for Transport said it was "extremely disappointed" and had requested an explanation.

Some commuters were left to queue for two or three hours in order to catch a train while Kings Cross and Paddington were shut for several hours.

Passengers at Finsbury Park, where some services were diverted, complained of being "locked in"  at the station due to overcrowding.

"Apparently we can't leave the station because too many people are trying to get in to get on the train we just got off! Mexican standoff!" wrote Dean Pugh on Twitter.

Mr Carne has issued an apology for the chaos and says an internal investigation has been launched.

2:02pm 30th December 2014

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