C2C rail network blames sun on delays as light forces drivers to check passengers have boarded 

A rail network is facing scorn after delays to services over the past couple of weeks have been blamed on the awkward angle of the sun.

Drivers operating C2C trains, a network which operates between London and Essex, have been forced to walk through their trains because they were not able to see whether passengers had boarded safely.

The low autumn sun has been dazzling drivers’ eyes and has been bouncing off the monitors they use to check passengers have safely boarded – leading them to walk as much as 240m to check manually.

A C2C commuter train coming into Pitsea Station in Basildon, Essex. The network operates between London and Essex

A spokesman for C2C told The Times: ‘Our drivers must be certain the train is safe to leave the platform before they depart, and when the sun is low in the sky this means the strong glare can cause occasional disruption.’

Passengers have been left stunned by this recent reason for delays to their journeys and have been taking to Twitter to complain. 

One user wrote: ‘Please can you advise if my train will be stopping at Upminster tomorrow. I need to make plans to get to work. It has been cancelled every day this week and I expect the sun will be shining again tomorrow.’

While another, called Lisa Martin, wrote: ‘In all my 30 odd years travelling on this line this is the first time I have heard this excuse.

‘I mean seriously how come now the sun is a problem, it wasn’t an issue during the heatwave.’

Commuters have been taking to Twitter (above and below) to comment on the excuse given by C2C for the delayed trains

Commuters have been taking to Twitter (above and below) to comment on the excuse given by C2C for the delayed trains

C2C is said to have delayed 70 trains as a result of the sun this past year and that issues have been having knock-on effects on other services.

Dozens have been sharing their thoughts on the delays.

Writing on Twitter,  Jay Parry said: ‘The drivers can’t see the monitors because the sun is glaring off them. At least that excuse will segue nicely into the leaves on the track and then the wrong type of snow.’

While Dan D said: ‘Just a heads up. The sun is due to rise again tomorrow morning.’

C2C has since said it will invest in new camera equipment and monitors to sort the situation. 

Speaking to The Times, the spokesman said: ‘Despite this [issue], we still run London’s most punctual commuter service and we are investing in new technology.

‘When our customers do get delayed, we offer the UK rail industry’s most generous compensation scheme with payments starting after just two minutes of delay.’

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk