2/1/02Chaos even before trains started running. On Christmas Eve Stagecoach notified its stations that the advertised normal service would be replaced by a modified Saturday service. Posters on some stations showed normal service; those on others had "normal service" changed to "special Saturday service", or had "special Saturday service" blanked out. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late; 16.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 17.05, and 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth at 17.58. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late at Southampton, with tropical heating in the fourth coach.
3/1/02 Strike day. Most stations served only by SWT were closed. Hourly Waterloo-Southampton shuttle formed of ancient Mark I carriages. 07.00 from Southampton and 16.55 from Waterloo 5 minutes late. Many standing on latter. Wry smiles from those standing in the front of the train when it was announced that seats were available there. 17.55 from Waterloo 10 minutes late. Scant regard paid to possible connections. Whistle blew for 07.00 to leave Southampton just as a SouthCentral train arrived from Sussex, and Virgin train to Bournemouth left Basingstoke just as the 16.55 from Waterloo arrived. When the latter train reached Southampton, SouthCentral trains in both directions were immediately available, but no announcement about the stations they served given at the platform at which the train from London arrived. Indeed, passengers for Fareham were told to wait half an hour for an SWT service.
4/1/02 Strike day. Most stations served only by SWT were closed. Hourly Waterloo-Southampton shuttle formed of ancient Mark I carriages. 07.00 from Southampton 10 minutes late and16.55 from Waterloo 5 minutes late. Much of the latter train was completely without heating, and doors at end of some carriages would not stay shut.
7/1/02 Strike day. Most stations served only by SWT were closed. Hourly Waterloo-Southampton shuttle formed of ancient Mark I carriages. An additional 06.12 Bournenouth -Waterloo introduced (and 17.25 return). As there was no previous advice, many passengers drove from Bournemouth to Southampton for a train and were less than happy that they had wasted their time and petrol. Train was 7 minutes late into London. 16.55 from Waterloo much more overcrowded than during the previous week. Nearly 15 minutes late at Southampton. Some carriages blazing hot, others freezing cold.
8/1/02 Strike day. Most stations served only by SWT were closed. Hourly Waterloo-Southampton shuttle formed of ancient Mark I carriages. 06.12 additional train from Bournemouth 10 minutes late by Waterloo. At Basingstoke, it was announced that the train would call at Woking, then – with apologies – that it would not, then – just as the doors closed - that it would. Nobody on the platform to board it at Woking. 07.00 from Southampton appeared to be severely disabled even before departure; rear unit unlit and with a locomotive attached. 16.55 from Waterloo grossly overcrowded and some carriages freezing cold.
9/1/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 7 minutes late. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late due to a "signalling irregularity" in the area of the Clapham disaster. Many stood from Winchester. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth grossly overcrowded. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late at Southampton.
10/1/02 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth half length – severe overcrowding. Front unit of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at 17.22; departed at 17.31; 22 minutes late by Totton. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth over 10 minutes late. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late at Southampton; 16.34 and 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo expected nearly 10 minutes late at Southampton.
11/1/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth nearly 15 minutes late by Totton.
15/1/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late by Southampton. At 17.35 passengers on the 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth were told the stock would not form the 17.45. Once off, they pressed for information and were told the train was the 17.45 but the rear unit was duff and could not be used. Scramble for seats and dreadful overcrowding. Many preferred to wait for a later train. Service ran about 10 minutes late. At Southampton passengers for intermediate stations for Bournemouth were thrown off and had to wait another 10 minutes for an alternative service. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late.
16/1/02 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late due to driver shortage. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late.
17/1/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late from Southampton. 06.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late from Southampton after having to reverse due to duff points.
18/1/02 Passengers boarding the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth were surprised to see the new information screens advertising it as the 00.27 empty stock to Clapham Yard. Serious overcrowding when correct display eventually achieved.
21/1/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late from Southampton. The brakes locked on a train (believed to be from the Hampton Court line) arriving at Waterloo at about 09.45. Two carriages left outside the platform and hundreds of passengers locked on board for 10 minutes.
22/1/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late; horde of revenue protection officers to delay passengers at the Waterloo barrier even though there had been a full inspection on the train. Part of 18.05 Waterloo-Poole freezing cold.
23/1/02 05.42 and 06.19 Poole-Waterloo both about 7 minutes late.
25/1/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late and 17.45 15 minutes late.
26/1/02 15.45 Waterloo-Poole started from Southampton because of engineering works; passengers for stations like Ashurst had to use the 16.00 Waterloo-Wareham to connect. The latter was formed of ancient rolling stock, and arrived at Southampton about 15 minutes late. Connection not held. Delays of 2 hours. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late by Southampton.
28/1/02 Strike day. Most stations served only by SWT were closed. Hourly Waterloo-Southampton shuttle formed of ancient Mark I carriages, plus a couple of additional services. 06.40 from Southampton 5 minutes late leaving, and 24 minutes late by Waterloo. Filthy windows and many standing from Basingstoke. Presumably chaos was general on incoming trains, as the arrivals screen at Waterloo was completely blank whilst the departures screens were working normally. Dreadful overcrowding on the 17.00 Waterloo-Southampton – last seat had been taken by 16.50. Revenue Protection Officers at Southampton delayed passengers by making them go through the ticket gates and using a mastercard (The unsatisfactory Stagecoach computer program, which controlled the gates for about a year before upgrading, did not recognise tickets valid for break of journey; this proved a real problem as many passengers were having to alight at Southampton and continue their journeys by other means). Emergency bus services doubled journey times and in many cases started too late for commuters. The Southampton-Brockenhurst services were scheduled to pass Ashurst station without stopping.
29/1/02 Strike day. Most stations served only by SWT were closed. Hourly Waterloo-Southampton shuttle formed of ancient Mark I carriages. Passengers commented that the 06.40 from Southampton was the filthiest train they had travelled on. Some used paper towelling from the toilets to scrape the gunge off the seat backs; obvious health hazard. With passengers crammed like sardines through the corridors, the manager who was replacing the guard announced that there was a refreshment trolley in the middle guard’s van, causing raucous mockery. An extra 16.35 Waterloo-Southampton ran with loads of empty seats because commuters had not been told about it in advance. Emergency bus services doubled journey times and in many cases started too late for commuters. The Southampton-Brockenhurst services were scheduled to pass Ashurst station without stopping.
MASSIVE OVERCROWDING FOR THE REST OF THE WEEK
30/1/02 Commuters who had managed to struggle to work on the strike days considered that the first strike-free day was even worse. No lights at Ashurst station in the morning. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 19 minutes by Southampton, and 30 minutes late at Waterloo, where it arrived at 08.31 to form the 08.30 to Weymouth. Later trains, such as the 06.19 from Poole also severely delayed. Around 11.00, trains from Southampton were generally running about 15 minutes late. Further huge delays when a train failed in the Clapham Junction area. 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth advertised as 57 minutes late. Waterloo-Alton trains being terminated at Farnham and passengers thrown off. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed by a 5-minute stop at Winchester because of non-operating doors. Passenger taken ill on the overcrowded 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth. Train 15 minutes late from Basingstoke and 30 minutes late by Totton.
31/1/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. Double safety hazard. Train stopped at Waterloo with two coaches outside the platform. Doors opened and passengers started to alight. Doors then shut in their faces so that train could pull up. One passenger almost trapped, and had to struggle free.
1/2/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Eastleigh 13 minutes late. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 9 minutes late at Totton and nearly 20 minutes late by Waterloo. Overcrowding exacerbated by cancellation of the 07.00 Eastleigh-Waterloo.
4/2/02 Another safety hazard. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 8 minutes late. Passengers had just started to alight when the doors on the rear unit were closed in their faces. Some had to leave via the manual door in the guard’s van; others managed to apply force to one automatic door, which eventually stopped trying to close on them. Train departed 10 minutes late. 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo 10 minutes late at Southampton.
5/2/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 17.20 "due to unexpected shunt movement of rolling stock at other platforms". Train was held outside Basingstoke for 15 minutes "due to late running of a Salisbury service". It arrived at Winchester 25 minutes late, and at Southampton 23 minutes late. Rear portion was held at Millbrook for a SouthCentral train to pass and was 30 minutes late by Ashurst. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 5 minutes late.
6/2/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 14.45 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late by Southampton.
7/2/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 5 minutes late. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 15 minutes late at Southampton.
8/2/02 Homegoing commuters found that the station lights at Ashurst had failed yet again.
11/2/02 Passengers in the second coach of the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo had to leave via the rear of the coach as an internal sliding door had failed.
12/2/02 Fitters had to attend the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth before departure. It took over 10 minutes to split the train at Southampton, causing departure of both portions to be several minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late from London and 30 minutes late by Southampton.
14/2/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 10 minutes late. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
15/2/02 As the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo approached Basingstoke at speed there was a loud crunching sound. Some commuters initially thought that the train had jumped the track, as did an SWT service from the Salisbury line some months ago. The second coach then started to fill with a pungent smell of burning and smoke was seen coming from underneath. A commuter activated the alarm and passengers had to grab their clothes, drinks, laptops etc. etc. and file out of the carriage as best they could. The driver managed to stop the train in Basingstoke station. It was some time before the doors were released. The train was then evacuated and taken out of service. For the next 15 minutes there were no station announcements. Some people crowded on to the ancient, Clapham-crash type stopping service to London. Others compacted themselves into the corridors of the ancient Clapham-crash type 07.27 fast service, which left 15 minutes late and eventually got them to London 45 minutes after their proper arrival time. Horrific overcrowding on the 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth which left at 18.42. One young woman was close to fainting and had to keep going into a toilet to sit down for a few minutes. Train left Southampton 18 minutes late. At Southampton a late-running Virgin service was shown on the platform 2 monitors as the 18.50 Waterloo-Poole with the result that, when the latter arrived 18 minutes late, there was hardly anyone to board. We wonder how many people sailed through their stations on the faster Virgin service. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late.
18/2/02 06.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. Derailment at Farnham; most Southampton line evening peak services called additionally at Woking and suffered severe overcrowding. Poole portion of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth started from Southampton. Dreadful overcrowding, with many standing, on the 5 coaches which ran from Waterloo.
19/2/02 The 8-coach 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo failed at Eastleigh. Passengers herded into a replacement 4-coach train.
20/2/02 New customer information system at Totton failed on sixth day of operation; at 06.25 it was still advertising the punctual 05.45 to London as the next departure. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole departed at 16.15. Doors on the advertised 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth still locked at 17.05; passengers had to board via the manual doors in the guard’s vans
21/2/02 With Totton ticket office closed all this week, a passenger couldn’t renew his season. 17.00 Waterloo-Yeovil Junction failed at the end of the platform; passengers locked in pending eventual departure at 17.15. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed behind; 10 minutes late by Winchester. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole lost 10 minutes between Winchester and Totton.
22/2/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late by Southampton and 20 minutes late by Waterloo. New customer information system at Totton failed again; 18.38 to Poole was announced as a semi-fast to London.
25/2/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 06.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late by Southampton and 30 minutes late by Waterloo due to a failed train in the Wimbledon area. Morning peak services from the Hedge End line collapsed with delays of an hour; reason unclear as the screens at Eastleigh failed. Poole portion of the 17.15 from Waterloo stopped short at Totton; guard asked young woman whether she wanted to jump.
26/2/02 New information system at Totton failed again. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late. Passenger who called at Southampton Central enquiry office at 16.05 to ask for a leaflet found only one person on duty and a notice explaining that management had imposed cuts because of the strikes. He was eventually attended at 16.38.
28/2/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 14.10 Poole-Waterloo and 14.34 Wareham-Waterloo both about 15 minutes late.
1/3/02 A business traveller who arrived at Southampton Central at 09.35 to catch the 09.45 to Waterloo found 30 people in the ticket queue. He asked the revenue protection officer at the barriers for a ticket and was told curtly that he should exercise better time management.
4/3/02 Although hundreds of SWT commuters stand to London, the 06.00 Southampton-Poole stopping train was formed of 10 coaches, and running 22 minutes late. 06.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late by Southampton and 30 minutes late by London. 14.57, 15.09 and 15.20 from Portsmouth Harbour to London all about 15 minutes late; 15.50 cancelled. 16.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 17.10. 17.15 and 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth both about 10 minutes late by Southamton.
5/3/02 05.42 from Poole stopped prematurely at Waterloo due to defective safety braking system; passengers trapped for 5 minutes waiting for the train to pull up and the doors to be released. With the 07.42 Weymouth- Waterloo delayed about 45 minutes by defective doors, the Southampton portion ran as a 5-car train with severe overcrowding. Several coaches of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth unheated; serious problems dividing the train at Southampton.
6/3/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late; the train stopped prematurely at Waterloo due to defective safety braking system; passengers trapped for a further 5 minutes waiting for the train to pull up and the doors to be released. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth grossly overcrowded.
7/3/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
9/3/02 14.30 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of ancient rolling stock and passed Basingstoke about 6 minutes late.
8/3/02 Banging noise underneath 17.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth. After 10 minutes delay at Petersfield this was attributed to something broken under a carriage, but not presenting a danger, and the train continued.
9/3/02 14.30 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of ancient rolling stock and passed Basingstoke about 6 minutes late.
11/3/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late – no explanation. Front of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth freezing cold.
12/3/02 Doors failed on the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth before departure, leading to frantic action by the fitters. Signalling delay at Basingstoke and difficulty uncoupling the units at Southampton: train 5 minutes late by Totton.
13/3/02 Seat collapsed under a passenger on the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo. The new customer information display at Eastleigh erroneously warned passengers to stand clear as the train was not stopping. Sharp braking near Waterloo threw standing passengers forward.
14/3/02 06.16 Alton-Waterloo failed at Earlsfield: morning peak service collapsed. 05.42 from Poole, 06.19 from Poole and 06.03 from Weymouth all about 25 minutes late. Commuters off the 05.42 from Poole were delayed by a ticket check, even though passengers for its departure as the 08.30 to Weymouth were pushing through the barrier in the opposite direction. 14.15 Waterloo-Southampton left at 14.30. Three evening arrivals at Waterloo from the Portsmouth line, starting with the 16.56, were all around 20 minutes late.
Ides/3/02 New customer information system at Totton failed yet again. 05.42 from Poole delayed in the Woking area, apparently by a failed train, as a 12-coach set was in the siding and hundreds of people on the platform.
17/3/02 Sunday on SWT. Usual ancient stock on the Waterloo-Bournemouth services. Doubtful whether the windows on the 10.55 Bournemouth-Waterloo had been cleaned since the second millennium. Passengers at Totton and Southampton stations told this train would make 7 additional stops, but it was advertised at Eastleigh as running normally. No refreshments available on these trains, and none at Southampton Airport Parkway or Eastleigh stations . Toilets at Eastleigh locked out of use. A passenger who had telephoned the national rail enquiry service on Friday was told Winchester-Eastleigh trains would run normally. Actually, they were re-timed to run 22 minutes later. His train, the 10.23 from Waterloo, lost another 10 minutes due to a locomotive having to be attached to keep it moving. He was therefore very late for a lunch booking. 13.50 Waterloo-Weymouth was advertised at Parkway as 35 minutes late, and then as on time. At Southampton Central it was advertised as 15 minutes late, which was about right.
18/3/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. The connecting service from the Hedge End line, due at Eastleigh at 06.47, hadn’t appeared 10 minutes after that time and the connection was lost. An American businessman who asked at the Waterloo concourse enquiry desk for a Winchfield train was directed to the 17.15 to Weymouth, first stop Winchester. He was incensed when his train roared through Winchfield. 19.50 Waterloo-Poole 7 minutes late.
19/3/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester slam-door train delayed 3 minutes at Totton because nobody had bothered to unlock the doors. 05.35 Waterloo-Poole was an ancient 4-coach outer-suburban unit. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 8 minutes late.
20/3/02 Passengers at Totton had to board the 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester slam-door train via the guard’s van because nobody had bothered to unlock the doors.
21/3/02 Fatality at Surbiton. Huge delays all afternoon. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 16.58. Connection at Southampton with the last all-stations service of the day to Brockenhurst not held. Passengers for Totton and Ashurst had to await the 17.15 from Waterloo. The latter reached Southampton Central on time. It was then announced as a Weymouth train, with no mention made of the stopping portion to Poole. Passengers in what should have been the Poole portion made enquiries and found that they had to cross to another train on the far side of the station. Some were having drinks, using computers etc. and were furious about the lack of prior information. When passengers reached the replacement train, they discovered that it had been waiting some time, so clearly there was no excuse for the lack of prior information. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth about 20 minutes late.
22/3/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 20 minutes late. Passengers from Southampton suburban stations lost their connection to London.
25/3/02 New customer information system at Totton failed yet again. 15.15 from Waterloo arrived at Southampton 5 minutes late. At 17.15 it was finally announced that its return working to Waterloo at 17.00 was cancelled. Passengers for Waterloo had to race across the footbridge to catch the 17.15 service.
26/3/02 Stagecoach director told a Lymington commuter, waiting on Brockenhurst station, that SWT had launched what quickly became known as its Agenda from Hell: wholesale omission of stops to reduce delays to services, leaving passengers stranded as their trains ran near-empty to London. The commuter was amazed when the 06.40 departure for London disappeared from the departures board and raced through the station. He eventually got to Waterloo 53 minutes late. 05.00 Poole-Waterloo called only at Southampton Central and Waterloo after leaving Bournemouth. Stops at 10 other stations omitted, but service still 24 minutes late. It carried only a few dozen passengers while hundreds of seats remained empty. The passengers left behind had to use the 05.34 from Bournemouth, an 8-coach train of slam-door stock with filthy windows. Many passengers at Winchester unable to squeeze aboard. The train reached Waterloo 45 minutes late. The 05.56 from Bournemouth was 24 minutes late.
27/3/02 Evening chaos because of a train derailment at Farnham. Waterloo-Alton services withdrawn: shuttle train service Woking-Aldershot, and buses from Aldershot to Alton. 16.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth Harbour left at 17.10. 17.15 to Weymouth called additionally at Woking and was about 10 minutes late by Winchester.
28/3/02 17.35 Eastleigh-Brockenhurst delayed awaiting a driver at Southampton Central. Passengers not told until 18.15 that the delay would be ongoing, by which time passengers off the 16.30 from Waterloo wanting Totton and Brockenhurst had missed the 18.12. The delayed train eventually left 40 minutes late.
30/3/02 Ticket machine at Totton out of order and the station unstaffed over the Easter weekend. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late by Southampton: no explanation.
2/4/02 06.37 Weymouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late due to "severe door problems" at Basingstoke. Electrical failure at Ashurst: no lighting or information.
3/4/02 Incoming stock for the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth failed at Clapham. Many other trains arrived late at the terminus. Eventually the stock for the 17.45 was taken over, and left very overcrowded at 17.33. The delay was exacerbated by passengers having to board the rear unit through the manual guard’s van door. The 17.45 was formed of ancient Mark I carriages. Electrical failure at Ashurst: no lighting or information. 18.22 Exeter-Waterloo 25 minutes late at Salisbury.
4/4/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 16.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 17.05. Doors on 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth not opened until 17.07 despite train being advertised for boarding – passengers had to enter through the guard’s van door. Electrical failure at Ashurst: no lighting or information.
5/4/02 06.03 Weymouth-Waterloo delayed 52 minutes by trackside cable fire at Nine Elms – no arrangements made for passengers to alight at Clapham so that they could get to Victoria. Total chaos and no explanation or reliable information at Waterloo during evening peak. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole left at 16.36. At 17.00 the 16.23 to Portsmouth was standing at platform 12 and a Wessex Electric unit at platform 11. Some commuters who asked about the latter were told it should be the 16.50 to Portsmouth; others were told it should be the 17.15 to Weymouth. The former eventually proved correct. Stock for the 17.15 arrived at departure time and left at 17.21, very overcrowded. Despite its being advertised for boarding, passengers had to board via the guard’s manual doors during most of the 6-minute turnround time. 17.55 Southampton – Brockenhurst stopping service was still awaiting a guard at 18.30. Totton and Ashurst passengers were told to switch to the 18.33 departure. Almost as soon as they alighted the 17.55 left. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late by Southampton: no reason given at any time during the journey.
7/4/02 Delays such that 10.30 and 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth only about 10 minutes apart in the Brockenhurst area. 13.50 Waterloo-Bournemouth 10 minutes late in the Southampton area, and 14.50 8 minutes late.
8/4/02 Two train failures during the day. 06.03 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 06.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo over 20 minutes late by Eastleigh. Most mainline morning peak trains arriving at Waterloo about 5 to 10 minutes late. Local trains cancelled because of staff shortage. 06.03 Weymouth-Waterloo called additionally at St Denys. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth called additionally at Millbrook, Redbridge and Beaulieu Road. Big delays in the off-peak period. 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham about 24 minutes late at Totton. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 30 minutes late at Southampton. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left 25 minutes late and half-length, with dreadful overcrowding. This was blamed on a train failure at 06.00.
9/4/02 Points failure at Brockenhurst and train failure at Bournemouth. No Lymington trains in the morning peak. Some commuters drove to Brockenhurst. 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 8 minutes late and half length. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late and very overcrowded – further delays at the Waterloo barrier because of ticket check and passengers boarding for the return journey to Weymouth. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed on Totton causeway. Notice at Southampton Central said reasons for delays the previous day were too numerous to list.
10/4/02 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo formed of only 4 coaches. Under SWT’s "new operational policy" for delayed trains, it omitted stops between Bournemouth and Southampton, leaving scores of commuters stranded. Passed through Totton 23 minutes late. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late and very overcrowded.
11/4/02 New information system at Totton appeared faulty. It showed the 06.25 to Winchester as arriving at 06.25. At 06.27 the train arrived, by which time it was shown as the 06.36 to Waterloo. 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham left at 12.15, and was 20 minutes late by Southampton. Trains via Basingstoke were arriving at Waterloo around 10 minutes late in the evening peak.
12/4/02 Busy Friday afternoon. 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of an ancient 4-coach train of Mark I (Clapham-crash-type) coaches. Dreadful overcrowding.
16/4/02 06.03 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late and 06.19 24 minutes late. 06.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 10.15 Waterloo-Southampton-Salisbury 28 minutes late. 14.34 Wareham-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
17/4/02 Broken internal door in front coach of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth isolated passengers from the rest of the train; nearly 15 minutes to uncouple the units at Southampton, so rear portion 7 minutes late by Totton.
18/4/02 06.00 Southampton-Poole started 18 minutes late. No water in toilets of 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester.
19/4/02 Massive delays and cancellations in the morning peak with many passengers stranded for an hour or longer. Some suburban trains reached Waterloo via the Wimbledon branch of the District Line. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo delayed over 20 minutes. No announcement whatever before arrival at Waterloo. A passenger who rang her colleagues to get them to check the SWT website confirmed that there was nothing there about any delays. On arrival at Waterloo there was a muted explanation over the clearly defective intercom about a points failure.
22/4/02 First coach of 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth freezing cold. The next 4 coaches were so hot that passengers were offered free drinks.
23/4/02 Early westbound services collapsed because of a dislodged sleeper near Eastleigh – problem blamed on vandals!! Although 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst cancelled, the return working (06.56 Brockenhurst-Southampton) not shown on the departure screen at Ashurst as cancelled until just before departure time; some London commuters then had a high-speed drive to Southampton to catch a train. 17.34 Wareham - Waterloo 25 minutes late. 17.35 Eastleigh-Brockenhurst announced as cancelled at 17.40. Eventually started from Southampton, 25 minutes late, at 18.20.
26/4/02 06.00 Southampton-Poole started 12 minutes late. Departure of 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed for a passenger with a bike to be thrown off. A family who used the helpline at Southampton Central to ask about the next train to New Milton were told to catch the 17.52 and change at Brockenhurst, even though the 17.52 is a direct service to New Milton.
29/4/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Huge disruption to evening peak, blamed on a lightning strike. Hardly the cause of the delay to the 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth: front unit arrived at 17.40 and the train departed at 18.00 – grossly overcrowded – due to coupling problems. Uncoupling problems at Southampton increased the delay to 20 minutes. The new information screen at Totton showed the train as the 18.05 from Waterloo. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late – no announcements before its departure. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 25 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late at Southampton.
30/4/02 Ashurst station unlit in the morning. Information screens were down. Morning peak trains from Reading to Waterloo delayed up to 2 hours after a train hit a deer. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth was an ancient 8-coach train; gross overcrowding. 18.00 Southampton-Waterloo cancelled. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late.
1/5/02 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late – no explanation given. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth didn’t split at Southampton due to crew shortage. Passengers for intermediate stations to Bournemouth thrown off without apology, and delayed 10 minutes awaiting a replacement service.
2/5/02 Fatality at Surbiton at 11.00. Evening peak service collapsed. Passengers infuriated by total lack of information. Nobody at Waterloo knew which platforms trains would leave from. Huge crush on concourse, exacerbated by poorly sited new screens. A 10- coach Wessex Electric train arrived at about 17.15; many passengers boarded, only to be told that this would be the 17.45 to Weymouth. The stock for the 17.15 arrived at 17.28, and left at 17.42. The train was a full 45 minutes late by Southampton, where the 17.45 from Waterloo, itself 15 minutes late, caught it up. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. At Southampton, rainwater was running from a recessed lighting panel in one of the vestibules of the 17.15 – perhaps a clue as to why the Wessex Electric units are so often unavailable.
3/5/02 Massive evening disruption at Waterloo. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of an ancient 8 coach train – hugely overcrowded – passengers sitting squashed together on the centre gangways. Nobody able to move, so anger when the conductor announced that refreshments could be obtained from the centre of each unit. Train 10 minutes late at Southampton, whence it ran as two 4-car services on this busy Friday evening. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 45 minutes late at Southampton; 17.48 30 minutes late.
7/5/02 12.34 Wareham-Waterloo was an ancient 4-coach train. 12.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late at Southampton. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 30 minutes late. 18.00 Southampton-Waterloo started 12 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 17.55 Southampton-Brockenhurst 33 minutes late. 18.08 Southampton-Eastleigh over 20 minutes late. 18.30 Southampton-Waterloo 11 minutes late by Eastleigh. Platform for departure of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth changed shortly before departure time. The Poole portion was 8 minutes late leaving Southampton; no reason given.
8/5/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 8 minutes late; no explanation. Lift at platform 4 at Southampton Central out of action.
10/5/02 08.46 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late and grossly overcrowded.
13/5/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late because of delays to preceding trains.
15/5/02 Points failure in Woking area. 14.45 Waterloo-Wareham was 10 minutes late; 15.00 was 15 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late; tropical conditions in rear unit due to duff air-conditioning. 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo 25 minutes late at Southampton.
17/5/02 Sauna-like conditions in front of 05.42 Poole-Waterloo due to duff air-conditioning. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth halted at Wimbledon for several minutes; eventually announced that it was awaiting a signal. Then announced that there was a fault with the suspension, and the train would travel at maximum speed of 45mph to Woking, for inspection. Train eventually left Woking at 18.15 and travelled at more normal speeds. As it approached Southampton, some 45 minutes late, the conductor announced the usual split, and passengers pushed through the heavily crowded coaches to reach the right unit for their destination. After several minutes delay at Southampton, passengers for Totton and Ashurst were thrown off and passengers for Sway, New Milton, Hinton Admiral, Christchurch and Pokesdown were told they would be thrown off at Brockenhurst. Passengers left at Southampton were then delayed a further 10 minutes awaiting the 17.45 from Waterloo, itself 20 minutes late. Although the conductor promised that the train would stop additionally at Ashurst to compensate for the 17.15, it was apparently too much bother for a station announcement to be made, and commuters passed the news by word of mouth. 18.05 and 18.30 from Waterloo both advertised as 10 minutes late.
20/5/02 Passengers alarmed by violent lurch of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth as it left the Micheldever tunnels. Incident reported to Railtrack via the Evening Standard. Bland reply received.
21/5/02 Front unit of 16.45 Waterloo-Poole failed at Basingstoke. Train kept going, but passengers for intermediate stations to Bournemouth thrown off at Southampton for operational convenience. Passengers again alarmed by violent lurch of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth as it left the Micheldever tunnels.
22/5/02 06.00 Southampton-Poole 20 minutes late due to rolling stock shortage.
24/5/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester cancelled due to rolling stock failure. This information was shown on the new customer information screen at Totton until 06.25, when the train was suddenly shown as running punctually: this was due to an alternative service starting from Southampton and duff information being fed into the system.
27/5/02 Big delays to mainline services into Waterloo in the morning peak. 05.42 from Poole 15 minutes late. 06.19 from Portsmouth 32 minutes late. Lights on 06.03 Weymouth-Waterloo failed at Southampton Airport Parkway; problem in driving cab identified and the hundreds of passengers aboard were thrown off at Winchester. The next train, of ancient stock, was so crowded that many could not board. Huge inconvenience. Booking office at Totton closed; passengers unable to renew season tickets.
28/5/02 Totton booking office closed again (and again on 30th - conductor on the platform with ticket machine on 29th but unable to renew season tickets except weeklies); in addition the station’s customer information system failed, with next departures permanently displayed as the 06.05 to London and 06.08 to Poole. Rear of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth suffered tropical heat due to failed air-conditioning system.
29/5/02 An Ashurst passenger wasted an hour breaking his journey to renew his season ticket at Southampton Central. Clerk on up-side initially refused refund for the 6 strike days even though extension of ticket no use to the passenger because he retires next year. After arguments, the passenger eventually obtained some sort of service at the down-side, but had to return and waste a further hour the following day to sort out his refund.
31/5/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth dreadfully overcrowded on this busy pre-bank holiday weekend Friday. The conductor seemed to be new to the route: announcements were mumbled and omitted a number of booked stops. Huge confusion. After the train split at Southampton, two elderly ladies tried to make a purchase from the buffet trolley in the rear portion and were told to use the buffet car at the front of the train. A helpful passenger who pointed out that the buffet car was now in a separate train was told to mind his own business by the trolley steward.
4/6/02 Freight train failed at Winchester on this busy bank holiday. Afternoon services thrown into chaos. 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth was being held at Basingstoke when it should have been at Brockenhurst. 14.30 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of old Mark I carriages. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham a 4-coach Mark I unit. 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late; connection at Brockenhurst for stations to Poole not held. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo delayed 6 minutes at Brockenhurst because of difficulties loading bikes into the severely restricted storage area; 15.48 also about 6 minutes late. 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. It was noted that stations at Totton, Brockenhurst and Lymington Town did not have posters advertising the newly restricted Network Card.
5/6/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth very crowded. The slightly late train appeared to travel unusually fast after passing Basingstoke, and there was a violent lurch at Micheldever which alarmed many passengers.
6/6/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. At 17.00 two trains from the Portsmouth line were advertised at Waterloo as running 15 / 20 minutes late. 16.00 Waterloo-Wareham 45 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole 25 minutes late. Stock for 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth was at platform 12 as usual, but the doors were locked and nobody seemed to know why. It was eventually announced that the service would depart from platform 8, the stock not arriving until 17.08. Train left 3 minutes late; delay was increased to 10 minutes by a signal check at Basingstoke (with the Portsmouth train delayed alongside), and further increased to 15 minutes by single-line working in Southampton tunnel.
7/6/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. At 17.00 virtually all main line arrivals at Waterloo were shown as 10 to 20 minutes late. 16.50 to Portsmouth Harbour left at 17.10. The buffet steward appeared to be in charge of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth. The guard was summoned over the intercom in the Basingstoke area. A passenger overheard that this was due to a smell of burning on the train. At Winchester there was an announcement for the guard to open the remaining doors. Driver was seen walking down the platform; departure 10 minutes late; problems closing the doors in the rear unit at Southampton.
10/6/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 10 minutes late by Winchester.
11/6/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 6 minutes late because of difficulties at Eastleigh in loading a bike into the badly designed racks. At 17.00 there were two Wessex Electric units in separate platforms at Waterloo. No information as to which would form the rear of the 17.15 to Weymouth. At 17.20, another unit arrived and attached to one of the others. Train left at 17.25, alongside the 17.00 to Yeovil Junction. Delay increased to 17 minutes by Winchester. After departure from Winchester, it was explained for the first time that the delays were due to a defective train unit. Passengers standing in rear unit felt faint because of the oppressive atmosphere resulting from the duff air-conditioning. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole, 16.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth and 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth all recorded as late.
12/6/02 16.00 Waterloo-Wareham 15 minutes late. Connection with the 17.23 stopping service from Southampton not honoured; the latter departed 5 minutes late and then waited another 5 minutes in the Millbrook area to be overtaken. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth was formed of ancient Mark I units and was 26 minutes late. Passengers were told they could board the train; it was then promptly shown as a different service on the information screens. Once they had alighted it was shown as the 16.30. Connection at Southampton with the last stopping service of the day to Brockenhurst not honoured. Ashurst passengers had to await the late 17.15 from Waterloo and were delayed almost one hour. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth departed almost on time but failed to clear the platform due to duff doors. Train was over 10 minutes late by Southampton. A piece of metal beading was protruding an inch below the top of the corridor connections between the ninth and tenth coaches: a tall person could have been stabbed in the head.
13/6/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton roughly on time – the first occasion that this had happened since June 6. Serious problems with the doors and with splitting the units. At 18.47 (about 23 minutes after arrival) passengers in the rear unit heard an announcement that the train had failed and passengers had to get off. A passenger, identified as a Stagecoach Director by a former employee, alighted from the rear coach, turned his back on other passengers, and walked away. Once passengers were off, the 17.15 was immediately split. A commuter who checked the front unit discovered that passengers were still aboard, so it could have made additional stops for those who had been thrown off the rear unit. A commuter who photographed the scene heard one SWT employee muttering "bloody passengers" to another. The two units departed one behind the other.
14/6/02 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst apparently cancelled – no official advice at Totton as the customer information system had failed. Passengers on the 05.42 from Poole locked in for several minutes at Waterloo while staffed checked to see if all the train was in the platform. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 15 minutes late. 17.15 from Waterloo was a mere three minutes late at Totton – the first time such a good performance had been recorded since June 6. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo already about 15 minutes late at Southampton; 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
17/6/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 16 minutes late. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late at Totton and 20 minutes late at Waterloo. 06.27 Southampton-Yeovil about 20 minutes late starting. Trains apparently for the Hedge End line stacked up at Eastleigh at 07.10. Big delays to incoming trains at Waterloo in the evening peak. Unit for front of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at 17.18, passengers meanwhile being told to remain on the hot, overcrowded concourse. 17.15 tried to leave at 17.25 but doors failed. It eventually left at 17.40; it passed a Hedge End line service, that was 15 minutes late, at Basingstoke and reached Southampton about 30 minutes late. Only the toilets in the first class coaches had water. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed behind the 17.15. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 25 minutes late due to problems at Staines!
18/6/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late.
19/6/02 Customer information systems at Ashurst and Totton not working in the morning peak. 17.05 Waterloo-Portsmouth formed of only 4 coaches. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth over 15 minutes late.
20/6/02 Duff rear unit on 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth. Third coach of front unit had tropical climate; fourth coach had arctic climate. Announced at Waterloo that passengers for intermediate stations to Bournemouth would need to change at Southampton, where the train was about 7 minutes late (due to slow running because of an open door on another Stagecoach train between Waterloo and Clapham Junction). At Southampton the replacement for the rear stopping portion of the 17.15 was another Wessex Electric unit – presumably the rear portion of the 16.30 from Waterloo which would normally form the 18.00 Southampton-Waterloo.
22/6/02 09.00 Waterloo-Wareham formed of ancient Mark I coaches. 08.50 Poole-Waterloo about 12 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 9 minutes late at Southampton. As it arrived, the ‘connection’ for all stations to Poole departed alongside it. 12.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 15 minutes late at Southampton.
24/6/02 06.10 Portsmouth-Winchester-Waterloo cancelled. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo therefore very overcrowded; train was 5 minutes late at Waterloo. 06.19 Poole-Waterloo failed at Winchester and hundreds thrown off. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late at Southampton. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 12 minutes late by Winchester, due to track circuit failure at Basingstoke. Weymouth portion departed from Southampton, and rear unit then found to have a duff train protection system. Passengers were assured that the problem was being rectified. At 18.55 an announcement made to ask if there was another driver on board. Passengers thrown off at 19.00. Arrangements made for the 18.54 SouthCentral train to stop at New Milton and Christchurch. Passengers who asked the revenue protection officer at the platform 4 barrier for stops at Totton and Ashurst were told to wait, as she busied herself checking the tickets of people arriving at the station. The SouthCentral train left in the meantime. Passengers who asked for a taxi were told Stagecoach paid for taxis only when delays were over 70 minutes. Stranded passengers had to await the 17.45 from Waterloo, itself running 20 minutes late; the rear unit of this service had tropical heat due to duff air-conditioning. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole also running about 20 minutes late. Passengers for Totton arrived about 55 minutes late.
25/6/02 Brakes on rear unit of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth locked whilst train running west of Basingstoke. Announcement told passengers (including many small children) not to be alarmed by the smoke coming from beneath the train (SWT later claimed that it was actually a dust cloud which penetrated the train, due to an air cock being left open). Conditions worse because air-conditioning had failed and no opening windows. Passengers had to evacuate part of the train by squeezing into the gangways of adjacent carriages. Train departed after 40 minute delay during which time it was announced that the traincrew were ringing SWT’s control (situated at Waterloo) to see if the train was safe to move. At Southampton, passengers for intermediate stations to Bournemouth thrown off for the second day in succession. A substitute service had run, but did not wait for passengers from London, despite their wretched journey and the misery of the previous evening. Train was to run fast to Bournemouth (location of the train depot) where passengers for stations to Weymouth were to be thrown off. Stranded passengers had to await the 17.45 from Waterloo (running over 20 minutes late). 18.05 Waterloo-Poole about 15 minutes late. 17.30 Waterloo-Exeter failed at Basingstoke. Passengers thrown off and had to wait for the 18.10.
26/6/02 08.26 arrival from Hilsea (Portsmouth) advertised at Waterloo as expected to arrive at 09.35. 12.53 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 13.10. Second coach of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth had tropical humidity due to duff air-conditioning. Seventh coach had tropical heat due to duff air-conditioning. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late at Southampton. 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo 20 minutes late.
27/6/02 05.35 Waterloo-Weymouth about 30 minutes late by Winchester. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Many delays and cancellations advertised at Waterloo in the morning peak. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 15 minutes late at Southampton.
28/6/02 06.19 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. 16.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 17.08. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth very overcrowded. 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo 10 minutes late at Southampton.
29/6/02 05.35 Waterloo-Weymouth cancelled. 06.46 Weymouth-Waterloo about 12 minutes late – partly due to delay approaching the terminus, where a locomotive was being attached to a failed SWT suburban train. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late and formed of old Mark I units; advertised buffet service not available. 20.55 Waterloo-Poole formed of old Mark I units; advertised bufet service not available.
1/7/02 07.14 Southampton-Portsmouth cancelled. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late. Train failure at Woking in middle of day. 13.45 Waterloo-Poole 35 minutes late. 15.00 Southampton-Waterloo 36 minutes late and omitted all four intermediate stops for operational convenience. A number of trains advertised at Waterloo at 17.00 as arriving 10 to 15 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late at Southampton; 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
2/7/02 14.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late at Southampton. A number of trains advertised at Waterloo at 17.00 as arriving around 10 minutes late.
3/7/02 Bus services between Southampton and the New Forest collapsed because the level crossing barriers at Totton failed for 5 hours. 13.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. A number of trains advertised at Waterloo at 17.00 as arriving around 10 minutes late, including the 14.10 from Poole and 14.34 from Wareham. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late due to late arrival of the incoming service. 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 8 minutes late.
4/7/02 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 10 minutes late; 15.00 was 25 minutes late. Front carriage of 17.15 so grossly overheated due to duff air conditioning that a passenger complained to the conductor. She inspected the carriage and said it was one of the coolest on the train.
5/7/02 More delays to incoming services at Waterloo in the evening peak. 14.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo cancelled. Dreadful conditions on 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth due to duff air conditioning and overcrowding.
8/7/02 Delayed 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham omitted stops at Branksome, Parkstone, Hamworthy and Holton Heath. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late and did not honour connection at Southampton with the stopping service to Brockenhurst.
9/7/02 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 12 minutes late and did not honour connection at Southampton with the stopping service. Mainline trains arriving at Waterloo up to 30 minutes late in the evening peak due to points failure. 16.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth made several duff starts due to the brakes locking; eventually left at 17.12. Part of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth seriously overheated due to duff air-conditioning. Huge lurch as train sped out of the Micheldever tunnels: alarmed some passengers.
10/7/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 11 minutes late by Totton. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late at Eastleigh, where connection for Basingstoke not honoured. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 12 minutes late at Southampton. Massive disruption in evening peak due to trains from the Portsmouth line arriving at Waterloo 20-40 minutes late. Huge lurch again as 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth left the Micheldever tunnels – only emergency lighting in rear unit, due to duff circuitry; part of unit grossly overheated due to duff air-conditioning. Hell at Waterloo when 18.05 to Poole 35 minutes late and 18.30 to Weymouth reduced to 5 carriages. 18.22 Exeter-Waterloo 20 minutes late.
11/7/02 10.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 20 minutes late at Southampton. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 15 minutes late; 15.00 30 minutes late – passengers from Southampton Airport furious when the alternative service to Southampton at 16.11 was held in Southampton tunnel and missed connecting with the 16.23 to Poole by a couple of minutes. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole 25 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late due to late incoming service. Big delays on the Alton line in the evening peak, for example 15.29 from Alton was 34 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late at Southampton and duff air-conditioning brought misery to part of train. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Honiton 30 minutes late by Basingstoke. 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late.
15/7/02 Customer Information System at Totton failed in the morning peak. Delays in the Shawford area because the lineside fencing was not cattle-proof (at least the third recent occurrence). 05.42 from Poole 7 minutes late at Waterloo. Similar delays to several arrivals from Portsmouth. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 10 minutes late at Southampton. At 18.30 all trains were advertised as arriving at Waterloo late. The 18.30 Waterloo to Weymouth comprised 5 carriages only. Doors locked before departure time. Guard apologised for the "terrible conditions" which were due to the failure of an incoming train, and for having to lock out passengers for safety reasons. Scores of passengers stood to Southampton. Some complained that this was the third time that this had happened in as many weeks.
16/7/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester terminated at Eastleigh. Shawford passengers lost their London connection. 05.39 Yeovil-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 10 minutes late at Southampton. Dreadful overheating on part of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth due to duff air-conditioning.
17/7/02 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 9 minutes late. Heat was so intense, due to duff air-conditioning, on the overcrowded 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth that some passengers gave up seats to enjoy the gale, which was entering between the coaches due to duff state of the corridor connections.
18/7/02 Rear unit of 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo caught fire at Southampton due to brakes overheating and locking. Remaining unit left 31 minutes late and was overtaken by the 05.42 from Poole. Suburban services into Waterloo collapsed in the morning peak. One train partly overshot the platform at Raynes Park. Passengers had to rush up the platform, but no duty of care was exercised and the doors were closed while they were still pushing aboard. One couple were separated, with the doors closed as the man was trying to step aboard. 15.20 from Portsmouth 30 minutes late into Waterloo. Evening "Meet the Managers" session at Waterloo was swamped at 17.30 when hundreds thrown off the 17.15 to Weymouth which was inoperable due to duff doors. Naturally the managers did nothing to help. One railman was asked about the platform for the next train and replied "no idea". Commuters located the stock for the 17.45 to Weymouth but were told that it was being attended by fitters due to duff doors. The train was not announced until 17.42, and eventually left 5 minutes late with catastrophic overcrowding. Burning heat in some carriages due to duff air-conditioning. Train was still about 5 minutes late at Southampton, but left nearly 20 minutes late due to severe problems uncoupling the two units. The conductor agreed an additional Ashurst stop to compensate for the 17.15, but this was not announced on the station and some Ashurst passengers were left behind.
22/7/02 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late by Southampton; 12.45 to Poole 10 minutes late; 13.00 to Wareham 15 minutes late. 13.45 to Poole 20 minutes late; 14.00 to Wareham 15 minutes late. 15.15 departure from Southampton to Waterloo still being held in the station 15 minutes after departure time.
23/7/02 (See also front page story from Southern Daily Echo) 18.05 Waterloo-Poole didn’t pull up far enough at Totton. Passenger with bike carried to Ashurst.
24/7/02 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late by Southampton.
26/7/02 Friday from hell which became front page story in the Southern Daily Echo of 27th July. 08.45 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late at Southampton; 09.00 to Wareham 7 minutes late. 08.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late; 09.34 Wareham-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 09.48 Weymouth-Waterloo swamped by excess passengers as ailing Stagecoach gave away free tickets believed to be in an attempt to create confidence and boost its share prices; train delayed at Woking while police attended to deal with rowdyism. 13.56 Waterloo-Guildford became ‘gapped’ between live rails outside Waterloo, reportedly because automatic train control out of use. It was not removed until 17.00, causing delays of up to 50 minutes on all routes. Reports indicate that delays made worse because SWT would not turn services at Wimbledon and Clapham Junction. 14.15 Waterloo-Southampton cancelled; 14.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, 14.45 Waterloo-Poole, and 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham all 17-19 minutes late by Southampton. 14.35 Waterloo-Plymouth 46 minutes late and terminated at Exeter. 16.00 Southampton-Waterloo cancelled. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth left 44 minutes late with inhuman overcrowding. Many passengers left behind. Train was about 70 minutes late by Southampton. 16.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth 48 minutes late, 17.05 was 35 minutes late, and 17.34 was 36 minutes late. Crowding on Waterloo concourse was so great that the Underground station was closed from 17.15 to 18.00. 17.30 Waterloo-Exeter 31 minutes late. 18.00 Southampton-Waterloo cancelled.
27/7/02 Busy Summer Saturday. The 5-coach 08.30 Waterloo-Weymouth was horrendously overcrowded and about 40 minutes late by Brockenhurst. The overcrowding problems on this service were brought to the attention of SWT via the Rail Passengers Committee as long ago as the Summer of 2000. 09.00 Waterloo-Wareham 10 minutes late.
29/7/02 06.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo arrived at Eastleigh 8 minutes late. Widespread afternoon delays. 14.45 Waterloo-Wareham about 25 minutes late. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 30 minutes late. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late. At 17.00 many trains advertised at Waterloo as arriving 5-30 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late – scorching heat in several carriages because of duff air-conditioning. 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 28 minutes late by Southampton Parkway.
30/7/02 Widespread afternoon delays and cancellations. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 15 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 17.38 due to duff doors. Temperature in front coach was 92oF all the way to Winchester due to duff air-conditioning. After departure from Southampton it was announced that the Poole portion would terminate at Bournemouth; passengers for Branksome, Parkstone and Poole to be thrown off. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 25 minutes late due to late incoming train. 18.45 Southampton-Waterloo 10 minutes late and announced as having no cycle space.
31/7/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 9 minutes late from Southampton. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late by Southampton: duff air-conditioning – temperature in second coach had only fallen to 82oF by Winchester.
1/8/02 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 16.50 and followed the slower 16.45 to Poole. It was 35 minutes late by Southampton; connection with last stopping service of day to Brockenhurst not honoured.
2/8/02 Passengers on 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester thrown off at Eastleigh – passenger noted burning smell coming from second coach. 07.18 Basingstoke-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth grossly overcrowded; passengers could not get between fourth and fifth coaches because of duff internal door; buffet trolley trapped in fifth coach.
6/8/02 Stock for front portion of 18.50 Waterloo-Poole did not arrive until 18.45; train left at 18.52 and was 5 minutes late at Southampton. Constant temperature of 82oF in front carriage due to duff air-conditioning.
7/8/02 12.10 Poole-Waterloo 6 minutes late by Totton; this was increased to 16 minutes by Southampton due to engineering works. 11.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late at Southampton; 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham 15 minutes late and 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late.
8/8/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Big delays to suburban services at Waterloo in morning peak due to signalling problems; services to Hampton Court started from Surbiton. Duff rolling stock on 15.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo; train arrived at Waterloo at 18.23 (36 minutes late) and left at 18.32 as the 18.05 to Poole. Nobody on concourse able to say whether this train or the 18.30 to Weymouth would leave first. 18.30 left on time, heaving with passengers. The normally packed 18.05 had 12 passengers in the front four coaches and was very lightly loaded in the rear four. 16.09 Portsmouth-Waterloo was 16 minutes late and 13.46 from Paignton 13 minutes late.
9/8/02 Ailing air-conditioning in second coach of the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo; temperature reached 82oF. 18.50 Waterloo to Poole left at 19.05 due to late arrival of the front unit. The conductor announced that this was due to severe flooding in the Southampton area. The train was clearly struggling and lost another 13 minutes by Winchester. No hot drinks in front buffet due to duff boiler. At Southampton the clouds were still bursting but no sign of any flooding on the line and no further delay.
10/8/02 14.30 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of ancient Mark I stock. 16.05 Southampton-Eastleigh suffered delayed start; blocked arrival of the 14.45 Waterloo-Poole whose passengers lost the opportunity to switch to the faster 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham.
13/8/02 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late; 16.10 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late; 16.57 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left at 19.00, the two units having arrived, on separate services, after departure time. At Clapham Junction the doors were closed before passengers finished boarding, and had to be reopened. On the approach to Southampton Central, the guard announced that there would be additional stops to help passengers (this would only happen if another service had been cancelled) and announcements would be made on Southampton station. On departure, a further announcement covered only the normal stops.
14/8/02 15.10 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late at Totton. On the approach to Southampton Central the guard announced that passengers for the fast train to London should alight and cross to platform 1. As he did so, the fast service swept past and departed just as passengers raced over the footbridge; failure to hold the connection for a few seconds cost them about half an hour. 17.08 Southampton-Eastleigh local train already announced as 10 minutes late at 16.30, presumably because of a late incoming service; it eventually left 16 minutes late. 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late due to delays to a preceding train. 16.00 Waterloo-Wareham 8 minutes late due to delays to preceding train; as the service braked at Southampton the ‘connection’ for stations to Brockenhurst departed, meaning delays of over 30 minutes for passengers. Severe discomfort for passengers in some coaches of the 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth due to duff air-conditioning.
15/8/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late; left Waterloo at 18.12 as the 18.05 to Poole. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late; severe discomfort due to duff air-conditioning in some carriages. 16.15 Salisbury-Waterloo 9 minutes late. As on the 12th, the 20.16 Staines-Waterloo was formed of a new class 458 unit and arrived at Barnes Bridge about 10 minutes late; it promptly broke down and then broke down a second time at Queenstown Road. It was therefore decided to omit the major interchange stop at Vauxhall and the train arrived at Waterloo over 30 minutes late.
16/8/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late after signal checks at Clapham; the guard announced that he had been unable to find out the reason, but commuters suspected that an empty train standing on the adjacent track had failed. 05.39 Yeovil Junction-Waterloo was similarly delayed. Huge evening disruption due to a train failure at Hilsea: 15.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 56 minutes late; 15.57 38 minutes late; 16.09 19 minutes late; 16.20 30 minutes late. 13.46 from Paignton 13 minutes late. 18.21 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced from 12 carriages to 8. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left at 18.32, just as it had done on the 8th. Again no information as to whether this train or the 18.30 to Weymouth would leave first. In the event, the 18.05 was the first departure and the 18.30 was shown on the information screens at Southampton as 13 minutes late.
17/8/02 Despite perfect weather, tree on the line south of Basingstoke; big disruption to morning services, for example 08.50 Poole-Waterloo 35 minutes late. Squalid conditions on 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth – heaps of litter piled on seats, tables and the floor including cans, bottles, and food wrapping. Heaps of papers, including the previous day’s Evening Standard. No water in toilets. Some coaches had severe overheating due to duff air-conditioning.
19/8/02 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst 7 minutes late. Dreadful conditions in both buffet cars of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth due to duff air-conditioning. Disabled toilet alarm on the 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth left to sound all the way from Winchester to Eastleigh.
20/8/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester cancelled. The 05.42 Poole-Waterloo called at Beaulieu Road, Ashurst, and Redbridge to compensate, but notably not Millbrook; was 10 minutes late by London. 13.46 Paignton-Waterloo 26 minutes late; 14.55 16 minutes late.
21/8/02 10.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 9 minutes late, due to delays to a preceding service; as it pulled into Southampton Central the ‘connection’ for stations to Brockenhurst departed and stood at signals at Millbrook for the 13.00 to pass – delay of 2 hours for passengers wanting stations like Ashurst. Big evening disruption to local services in the Wimbledon area.
22/8/02 Another morning of misery, due to withdrawal of spare train and traincrew from Southampton. Several coaches of the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo overshot the station at Ashurst. Train arrived at Southampton 10 minutes late, where it terminated with hundreds of passengers thrown off. Vital connection with the service to Cardiff and Liverpool missed by 2 minutes. 06.19 Poole-Waterloo called additionally at Eastleigh and then dawdled to London, arriving 20 minutes late. Scores of passengers stood from Southampton Airport to Waterloo. 08.30 Waterloo-Weymouth was an ancient 4-coach Mark I train. At 18.00, every advertised mainline arrival into Waterloo shown as delayed, but without any indication of the length of the delay. Front portion of 17.50 to Portsmouth was still awaited; 17.56 to Portsmouth via Eastleigh 4 minutes late leaving, and 15 minutes late by Winchester. 18.05 to Poole about 12 minutes late by Southampton.
23/8/02 06.00 Southampton-Poole 7 minutes late starting. 16.57 and 17.20 from Portsmouth both about 20 minutes late into Waterloo. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole departed with rubbish piled on the seats and scattered along the gangways. As twilight fell at Southampton Central a young woman with a bike, who wanted to get to New Milton, pleaded with the guard and member of the station staff to be allowed to board. The train simply departed without her; she had been refused entry because there was no room for the bike in the front van and, although there was room in the back van, the train would have had to pull up at the short platform at New Milton to let her get off.
27/8/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 07.06 Basingstoke-Waterloo 20 minutes late; 07.18 nearly 25 minutes late. 13.45 Waterloo-Poole 35 minutes late. 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo 36 minutes late. 17.28 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Eastleigh came to a halt for 20 minutes just outside Waterloo, due to electrical problems. Stock for 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter arrived at 18.45 and left at 18.48, without litter collection. Front portion of 18.50 Waterloo-Poole arrived at 18.50; train left at 18.56 with the carriages litter-strewn. Chief steward did his best to compensate for the duff boiler by microwaving cups of coffee – unfortunately this led to half-filled cups of over-strong drink.
28/8/02 11.00 Waterloo-Wareham 7 minutes late. Services suspended between Wareham and Dorchester due to emergency engineering works. Signalling problems in the Weybridge area. 13.30 Waterloo-Wareham (normally a Weymouth train) 30 minutes late. 13.45 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late into Southampton. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 40 minutes late. 14.30 Waterloo-Wareham (normally a Weymouth train) 30 minutes late. 15.00 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late starting: Farnborough stop deliberately omitted, leaving 2-hour gap in the direct service. 14.20 Wareham-Waterloo, normally from Weymouth, 7 minutes late at Southampton.
30/8/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late for the second morning running. 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo nearly 15 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth called additionally at Basingstoke, presumably to compensate for a cancelled service. Scores standing in the corridors to Winchester and Basingstoke on this busy Friday evening. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late, arriving at Waterloo at 18.51 to form the front unit of the 18.50 to Poole. Left at 18.59, strewn with litter. Temperature of 82oF in front unit due to total failure of air-conditioning. Seven-inch length had fallen off the crumbling protective rubber tubing between the first two carriages, increasing the risk of trapped fingers.
2/9/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 5 minutes late; 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 9 minutes late; 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst still standing at Southampton Central 13 minutes after departure time. Duff air-conditioning in ninth coach of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth / Poole brought more misery to commuters. 16.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo over 20 minutes late. A Wessex Electric unit was in the siding at Winchester at 18.00 and still there at 19.00, no doubt due to yet another train failure.
3/9/02 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth failed at Southampton Airport due to duff doors; scores of passengers thrown off and suffered severe delays. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter started at 18.56. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late, arriving at 18.52 to form the front unit of the 18.50 to Poole. 18.50 left at 19.00 and was a full 15 minutes late by Totton.
4/9/02 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late at Southampton. 13.33 Portsmouth-Southampton 13 minutes late. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 6 minutes late due to delays to a preceding train. Widespread evening peak disruption due to signalling problems at Woking.
5/9/02 07.22 Farnham-Waterloo cancelled. 13.46 Paignton-Waterloo 13 minutes late. A female commuter had an annual season ticket which doesn’t activate the ticket gates at Southampton Central; on her homeward journey she found herself at the head of a queue trying to leave the station – there was only one attendant and he was writing out a ticket and indifferent to the queue. As she had a bus to catch, she opened the manual gate and let herself through, for which offence she was vividly sworn at by the attendant.
6/9/02 07.22 Farnham-Waterloo cancelled. 13.46 Paignton-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 16.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 20 minutes late.
9/9/02 06.40 Waterloo-Weymouth over 20 minutes late due to duff rolling stock. 07.20 Wareham-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff rolling stock; train omitted stops between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst, and passengers thrown off / left stranded. 15.15 Waterloo-Southampton 22 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late, due to protracted stop at Southampton Central.
10/9/02 08.38 Waterloo-Portsmouth and 10.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo cancelled. 13.15 Waterloo-Southampton about 25 minutes late; arrived Southampton at 15.02 and left as the 15.00 to London about 90 seconds later. 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 20 minutes late. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 15 minutes late due to another late running train in the Winchester area. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo also 15 minutes late. Front half of the 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth failed on departure from Southampton Central. Rear half delayed about 20 minutes.
11/9/02 06.40 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late.
12/9/02 08.00 Waterloo-Wareham 10 minutes late by Totton. 07.42 Weymouth-Waterloo cancelled. 08.45 Poole-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. ‘Meet the Managers’ session at Waterloo. At 17.40 the screens above the managers’ heads were showing every incoming mainline service as 5 - 10 minutes late.
13/9/02 08.45 Poole-Waterloo and 09.34 Wareham-Waterloo both started from Bournemouth due to failure of a preceding service. 15.10 Poole-Waterloo 28 minutes late at Totton due to duff Mark I rolling stock. This delayed the 15.50 Bournemouth-Victoria by about 15 minutes. New danger from SWT’s recently installed Customer Information System, which was unable to deal with the havoc. The dot matrix departure screen on Totton station was showing the 16.38 to Waterloo as on time. It was then announced that the train approaching platform 1 was the 16.38 to London Waterloo. Seconds later, the 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo, running 30 minutes late, raced through the station. It is very dangerous to encourage passengers to a platform edge when a fast train is approaching unseen off a bend. The 16.38 then arrived 5 minutes late.
16/9/02 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late by Southampton.
17/9/02 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late by Totton; 06.00 Southampton-Poole 12 minutes late; 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester 7 minutes late. At 18.40, all mainline arrivals into Waterloo were shown as late; none had any indication of the length of the delay except the 18.18 arrival from Paignton which was expected at 18.50. The two halves of the 18.50 to Poole arrived at 18.52 and 18.55, the train eventually departing at 19.07.
18/9/02 09.00 and 10.00 Waterloo-Wareham both about 9 minutes late at Southampton. 09.34 Wareham-Waterloo was formed of ancient Mark I stock with particularly filthy windows, featuring many patches of black material each several square inches in size. 09.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 8 minutes late by Southampton. As a knock-on effect, the 10.00 Brighton-Reading ended its run 20 minutes late. 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton 12 minutes late.
19/9/02 A fatality occurred on the official footpath crossing near Worting Junction, west of Basingstoke. Police closed the Waterloo-Weymouth main line. SWT’s new customer information system couldn’t cope. The 12.21 from Totton to Wareham was shown as expected at 23.01! It seems remarkable that ungated crossings are still allowed on high-speed electrified lines in this safety-conscious age. 12.45 Waterloo-Poole over 30 minutes late. The fatality was followed by a train failure at Southampton. The severely delayed 13.48 Weymouth-Waterloo ran fast from Southampton to Waterloo for operational convenience. Passengers for Southampton Airport, Winchester and Woking thrown off. 14.34 Wareham-Waterloo called additionally at Woking and arrived at Waterloo nearly 50 minutes late. 16.00 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. There were also problems for Portsmouth passengers with the 15.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Guildford 12 minutes late. The rear portion of the 17.15 to Weymouth was in platform 12 at Waterloo on time. At 17.10 a well-loaded 8-coach train of ancient Mark I stock arrived at platform 9 and coupled to another 8-coach set; 4 coaches were therefore left outside the platform. This was an extremely dangerous practice: Passengers would never expect a train to be off the platform at Waterloo, and any visually impaired person could have opened a door in the 4 coaches still beyond the platform and fallen on to the electrified track. At 17.28 these 4 coaches were removed. Only then was the front unit of the 17.15 able to enter the station. The 17.15 was 36 minutes late by Southampton, and the rear portion was to terminate at Bournemouth, where passengers for Branksome, Parkstone and Poole were thrown off. The 17.45 to Weymouth left at 18.00, dreadfully overcrowded like the 17.15. Around that time a new class 458 unit failed outside Waterloo with defective brakes, causing a further round of delays. The customer information system at Totton had given up by mid-evening: the 18.38 to Poole was still shown as expected at 19.04 - it had gone at about 19.15.
20/9/02 06.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh cancelled. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 6 minutes late. 16.10 Poole-Waterloo cancelled. Duff unit on 18.41 Reading-Brighton. Train delayed nearly 50 minutes, so stops at Chichester, Barnham, Worthing, Shoreham and Hove omitted for operational convenience, and passengers thrown off.
23/9/02 06.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh cancelled again. Customer information system at Totton failed again – the 05.45 to London was still shown as the next train at 06.30. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo about 25 minutes late. 17.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 18.05, delaying the departure of the 18.05 to Poole.
25/9/02 SWT’s Southampton line shuttle collapsed again. 10.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 8 minutes late at Winchester; 11.00 to Wareham 5 minutes late; 10.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late at Southampton Central; 11.34 Wareham-Waterloo 15 minutes late.
26/9/02 15.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late while the 16.20 was 5 minutes late. Passengers horrified when the first coach of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth gave a violent lurch on leaving the tunnels at Micheldever. It is thought that the train was speeding. The station clock at Winchester was noticed showing 18.04.56 after the train had stopped. Departure time is 18.08.
27/9/02 06.00 Southampton-Poole already 12 minutes late by Totton. Most main line arrivals into Waterloo shown as 5-10 minutes late at 18.00.
29/9/02 Since engineering works meant no trains between Portsmouth and Waterloo via Guildford, Portsmouth-Eastleigh trains were being attached to the London end of Bournemouth-Waterloo stopping services. Fine, except that the new Customer Information System couldn’t handle this. At Totton, the London trains were displayed and announced as Eastleigh services, with the screens, but not the voice-over, stating that they would continue to Winchester, Basingstoke, and Waterloo (no mention of the stops at Shawford/Micheldever, Woking and Clapham Junction). At Hedge End, all the stops to Waterloo were correctly displayed, with an addition saying the trains would continue (from Waterloo) to Woking and Clapham Junction (presumably on their return journey). At Eastleigh, where the trains divided or joined, the information system was a total failure. So was the lift and, as all trains were using the island platform, the station was useless to disabled people. Overall, huge passenger confusion.
30/9/02 05.42 and 06.19 Poole-Waterloo both about 10 minutes late. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 22 minutes late in the Southampton area.
1/10/02 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth grossly overcrowded, with many standing to Basingstoke. Ran about 5 minutes late, like the 18.05.
2/10/02 Some Reading-Waterloo commuters who had looked forward to having new trains from 30 September, were disappointed to find themselves back in ancient Mark I stock on day three.
3/10/02 06.49 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.47 Basingstoke-Waterloo still advertised at 17.30 as expected to terminate (11 minutes late) at 17.02. 14.54 Portsmouth-Eastleigh-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
4/10/02 Unit on the 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester started the day with no water in the toilets.
7/10/02 The ancient 18.05 Waterloo-Poole had four coaches only. Massive overcrowding. Huge numbers of passengers standing from London to Winchester and Eastleigh. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late by Southampton.
8/10/02 19.05 Waterloo-Salisbury 7 minutes late by Basingstoke. 19.15 to Southampton was nearly 8 minutes late by Basingstoke, where it was overtaken by the 19.30 to Weymouth. This meant delays of up to one hour for passengers from Farnborough and Basingstoke travelling beyond Southampton.
9/10/02 Late running all day. 09.15 Waterloo-Southampton, 09.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth and 18.50 Waterloo-Poole all about 10 minutes late. 13.05 Southampton-Eastleigh cancelled. 11.33 Portsmouth-Southampton 40 minutes late, meaning a huge 100 minute gap in services from many stations. 12.47 Southampton-Portsmouth 20 minutes late.
10/10/02 15.06 Poole-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late at Southampton; last train of the day for all stations to Brockenhurst left just ahead, and waited at signals at Millbrook to be overtaken; one commuter who had been using Ashurst instead of Southampton Airport Parkway decided to switch back, given this appalling treatment. Lights failed in rear unit of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth. Train was 8 minutes late into Southampton after following another late train. Much of 18.05 Waterloo-Poole was stone cold.
11/10/02 17.00 Waterloo-Yeovil Junction left at 17.15. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 17.20.
13/10/02 19.50 Waterloo-Bournemouth nearly 20 minutes late at Southampton; 20.50 about 10 minutes late. 18.14 Paignton-Waterloo started from Yeovil Junction and was about 21 minutes late at Southampton.
14/10/02 For the umpteenth time, lighting on Ashurst station failed. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 12.34 Wareham Waterloo 20 minutes late. 13.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo was 10 minutes late; 13.47 was 7 minutes late. 13.45 from Salisbury 11 minutes late. 14.00 from Southampton and 12.48 from Weymouth 7 minutes late. 17.40 from Eastleigh, the last stopping service of the day to Brockenhurst, advertised as leaving at 17.50. A member of the public asked if this was the empty train at platform 1. Reply was that it might be, but could be a London or Brighton service. Person was later told that this would be the Brockenhurst service, but it had to shunt to platform 2 before departure. The train duly departed northwards, ran back through a non-platform track, and disappeared towards Southampton. It was then announced that the train would start from Southampton. Staff refused to arrange for another service to make a special stop for a stranded Redbridge passenger.
15/10/02 05.00 from Southampton to Waterloo was ancient, unheated Mark I stock. Stood at platform 3 at Southampton while the Customer Information System showed it as leaving from platform 2. Although the 05.00 reached Waterloo on time, the 05.42 from Poole was 20 minutes late, and this was blamed on an overrun of engineering works in the Basingstoke area! 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 17.17 after a false start. Arrived at Southampton Central 7 minutes late, whilst the rear portion was 16 minutes late by Ashurst. 16.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late; 15.54 from Portsmouth via Eastleigh 22 minutes late. 13.35 Plymouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 15.48 from Weymouth 5 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter left at 18.55. 18.50 to Poole left at 19.03, and was a full 20 minutes late by Totton; connection from Winchester to the Hedge End line not held; an hour’s delay for Hedge End and Botley passengers; passengers for Fareham directed to travel via Southampton, reducing their delay to 40 minutes.
16/10/02 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 8 minutes late by Southampton. The 14.00 Southampton-Waterloo left 20 minutes late due to no driver.
17/10/02 05.58 Weymouth-Waterloo left Southampton 10 minutes late; was 45 minutes late by London. 07.12 Portsmouth-Eastleigh-Waterloo 1 hour late. 15.06 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo was 9 minutes late, and 16.17 was 15 minutes late.
18/10/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 07.06 Basingstoke-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 16.06 Poole-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 6 minutes late. Passengers on parts of the ancient 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton wore their scarves, hats and outer coats because droplights in some door windows would not stay closed due to twisted or missing catches.
21/10/02 05.42 and 06.19 Poole-Waterloo 8 minutes late. At 08.15, every mainline arrival advertised at Waterloo as running 5-10 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 7 minutes late at Southampton; 17.45 20 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left at 18.10 and was 9 minutes late by Totton.
22/10/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo was 2 minutes late at Ashurst after crossing the New Forest; it was 20 minutes late at London, where it was announced that the delay was due to poor rail conditions in the New Forest. At 08.20, almost every mainline arrival advertised at Waterloo as running 10-15 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left ahead of the 18.35 to Exeter.
23/10/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late, due to the late running of the preceding 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester. 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst 10 minutes late.
24/10/02 At 18.00 nearly all advertised mainline arrivals at Waterloo were running 5-10 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 6 minutes late by Southampton; the Poole portion wasted 11 minutes in the station and departed 9 minutes late. Due to lack of advice about short platforms in announcements at Southampton, a cyclist heading for Totton got into the rear brake van of the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole. The train was therefore delayed at Totton while he attracted the guard’s attention, and eventually had to pull up.
25/10/02 05.42 from Poole nearly 15 minutes late into Waterloo; the screens immediately showed that the 06.19 from Poole had arrived, even though it wasn’t quite due. Evening services collapsed. 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton left on time, ahead of the 19.05 to Salisbury, but reached its destination 15 minutes late. 19.30 to Weymouth 15 minutes late by Southampton and 20.30 30 minutes late; connections for Swaythling and St Denys not honoured. 19.50 to Poole 12 minutes late.
27/10/02 Exceptional gale-force winds: total chaos all day after SWT closed down between 11.00 and 16.00.
28/10/02 Total chaos all day because of failure to sort out the previous day’s mess and a road vehicle hitting a bridge at Vauxhall. Many trains up to an hour late. Examples: 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst about 25 minutes late by Totton. 06.11 Brockenhurst-Eastleigh cancelled. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 13 minutes late at Totton and 38 minutes late by Waterloo. 14.45 Waterloo-Wareham only 2 minutes late at Eastleigh, but the 13.45 to Poole was 5 minutes behind it. Evening even worse. Information screens at Waterloo incorrect and nobody seemed to know where or when trains would arrive or depart. Reading passengers advised to travel via Paddington. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole an hour late by Southampton. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth was running 125 minutes late by Southampton Airport. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of ancient outer-suburban stock. Left Waterloo 13 minutes late and was over 40 minutes late by Southampton. It was announced that the rear portion would call at all stations to Bournemouth to cover for cancelled trains, but nobody at Southampton bothered to have it rerouted to the platform line at Millbrook so it sailed past. 17.28 to Portsmouth via Eastleigh left at 17.51; the ancient rolling stock was freezing cold by Basingstoke. Information screens at Ashurst down all day. A passenger who tried to contact SWT’s recorded information system received a message that the service had been withdrawn.
29/10/02 Delays and cancellations continued apace. 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst about 20 minutes late. The return service at 06.56 from Brockenhurst to Southampton was cancelled. London commuters at Ashurst begged SWT to stop another train for them but were refused point blank. They eventually got to London 45 minutes late. Evening just as bad: 13.35 Plymouth-Waterloo 37 minutes late. 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.49 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter left at 19.04. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left at 19.06 and was over 30 minutes late by Southampton.
30/10/02 Intermittent light drizzle. Service collapsed all day. Examples: 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 25 minutes late; 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester spent 15 minutes at Millbrook station while ‘connections’ for Brighton and London sailed past; 07.12 Waterloo-Southampton 34 minutes late; 08.46 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late by Southampton; 09.34 Wareham-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 11.00 and 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham and 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth all about 20 minutes late in the Southampton area; connection out of the 11.00 for stations from Millbrook to Brockenhurst not honoured. 11.34 Wareham-Waterloo only 3 minutes late after crossing the leafy New Forest but sat at Southampton for 24 minutes, apparently awaiting crew; most passengers transferred to the 13.00 to Waterloo. 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth and 13.34 Wareham-Waterloo both about 10 minutes late. 13.35 Plymouth-Waterloo about 26 minutes late. Announcement after announcement about delays and cancellations was made at Southampton Central with no explanation whatever. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late. 14.35 Waterloo-Plymouth 22 minutes late, due to no crew. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 33 minutes late and was to terminate at Poole. 15.05 Southampton-Eastleigh left at 15.09; it was announced just as it disappeared into Southampton tunnel. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late; 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 11 minutes late and, due to problems splitting the units, the Poole portion left 17 minutes late. 17.34 Waterloo-Portsmouth Harbour 23 minutes late; 17.51 15 minutes late. 18.00 Southampton-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. 18.20 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter cancelled between Waterloo and Woking. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole over 20 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Salisbury cancelled between Waterloo and Woking. 19.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 40 minutes late.
31/10/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester terminated at Eastleigh; Winchester passengers thrown off. 14.45 Waterloo-Wareham 30 minutes late at Southampton; 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late. 17.00 Waterloo-Yeovil 24 minutes late by Salisbury. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 15 minutes late. After splitting, the Poole half wouldn’t start – passengers thrown off after 15 minutes further delay. Rear half of 17.45 wouldn’t start either and, after a similar delay of 15 minutes, furious passengers were about to be thrown off a second time. Fortunately, a Railtrack official who was on board explained that the driving cab was immediately above the train protection system aerial; if the driver backed down the platform, the train would start, which it duly did. Scandalous that SWT drivers don’t seem to be given adequate training. Passengers who asked at Southampton Central for an Ashurst stop by the 17.45, to compensate for the 17.15, were refused point blank. They watched the 17.45 leave, not knowing that the guard had announced the extra stop on the train intercom; the stop was duly made. At 18.00, all mainline arrivals at Waterloo advertised as arriving 3-13 minutes late. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo actually 24 minutes late; 16.17 about 15 minutes late. Stock for 18.05 to Poole arrived at 18.11 and left at 18.19; was 26 minutes late by Totton. 20.50 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late by Eastleigh.
1/11/02 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester ran over 20 minutes late; passengers thrown off when the train terminated at Southampton; many ‘connections’ lost. Waterloo closed for a short period in the afternoon, due to fire alarm, but no fire. 13.45 Waterloo-Poole and 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham both advertised at Southampton as running on time. The former train arrived 40 minutes late and then waited 20 minutes for a driver; not known whether the latter ever arrived. Rails in good condition and earlier evening peak trains running well by SWT standards, with the 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth only 20 minutes late at Southampton and the 17.15 only 11 minutes late. Then a train failure brought chaos. At 19.00, every arrival at Waterloo was shown as delayed, with no indication of the lengths of the delays. Nobody seemed to have any information. Departures were similarly shown as delayed but only one mainline service, the 20.50 to Poole, had an expected departure time – 19.30! 18.35 to Exeter was three coaches only, and left at 19.20. One woman passenger was heard to say on her mobile that she had lost the will to live. The guard made an announcement asking if a passenger was on board as his wife was waiting for him on the platform in a ‘very distressed condition’. Horrendous overcrowding with a group of small children squashed together on the vestibule floor. At Woking there was a general announcement about trains being cancelled or running up to 40 minutes late. However the Exeter train was 72 minutes late by Basingstoke. 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton was 39 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about one hour late. 19.50 Waterloo-Poole was 13 minutes late by Totton, and just ahead of the 18.50, which was about 80 minutes late.
4/11/02 Customer Information System at Totton failed. Broken rail South of Basingstoke; huge delays. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo nearly 45 minutes late, arriving in London at 08.45 to form the 08.30 to Weymouth. Some Southampton line trains were diverted via Havant. 05.58 Weymouth-Waterloo about 75 minutes late. Line closed between Winchester and Basingstoke for part the morning. 14.45 Waterloo-Poole stopping service was standing at the western end of platform 3 at Southampton Central; the connecting faster service (15.00 Waterloo-Wareham) pulled up behind it. The 14.45 departed immediately, denying passengers their connection to smaller stations. It was then announced that the 15.00 would terminate, "due to no staff", and passengers were thrown off. The train was later re-instated and departed 40 minutes late. Afternoon delays of up to one hour due to signalling problems at Poole. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 40 minutes late. Evening service unstable. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo over 15 minutes late; 16.17 about 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left at 18.15.
5/11/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late. Guard failed to announce the Ashurst stop, so driver announced it instead. 21.55 Waterloo-Poole formed of ancient Mark I coaches. Train reached Basingstoke on time, but was then deliberately delayed for 10 minutes by Stagecoach, an announcement being made that this was because the police had been called to remove two passengers without tickets. Immediately after the announcement, the train departed, presumably either because the police didn’t want to know, or else because someone had realised that further delay would mean loss of the last connection of the day to the Hedge End line, with need to provide passengers with taxis.
6/11/02 Signalling problems at Alton destroyed the morning peak service; Some trains ran only to and from Farnham. 07.56 Farnham-Waterloo over 70 minutes late. General morning delays of up to 15 minutes on the Waterloo-Reading line. Signalling problems at Brockenhurst; delays of up to 40 minutes. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 06.53 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.30 Eastleigh-Waterloo about 35 minutes late. 08.45 Poole-Waterloo cancelled due to duff rolling stock. 08.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 08.38 Waterloo-Portsmouth 32 minutes late. 09.00 Waterloo-Wareham 16 minutes late at Southampton. 09.15 Waterloo-Southampton over 25 minutes late. 09.30 Waterloo-Weymouth over 35 minutes late. 09.45 Waterloo-Poole about 25 minutes late. 10.00 Waterloo-Wareham about 30 minutes late. 10.15 Waterloo-Southampton over 15 minutes late. 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 40 minutes late. 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham 25 minutes late. 12.15 Waterloo-Southampton about 50 minutes late. 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 40 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham about 25 minutes late at Southampon. 13.15 Waterloo-Southampton over 20 minutes late. 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth over 20 minutes late. 10.06 Poole-Waterloo about 30 minutes late into Southampton. 10.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 12.48 Weymouth-Waterloo over 15 minutes late at Southampton. This was the day that SWT had its new franchise cut from 20 years to 3 years, and was warned to focus on customer service. 13.06 Poole-Waterloo, formed of old Mark I coaches, arrived at Southampton over 10 minutes late. This train normally goes forward as the 14.30 Southampton – Waterloo after a long layover. As the 12.15 from Waterloo (which returns as the 14.00 to Waterloo) was very late, the 13.06 was advertised as the 14.00, expected to leave at 14.09. At 14.19, the information screens changed, showing the train as due to leave on time at 14.00! At about 14.25, the 12.15 from Waterloo arrived at another platform. This returned as the 14.00 to Waterloo, with about 5 passengers aboard, after a few minutes. The 13.06 from Poole reverted to the 14.30, but too much trouble to tell the passengers on board. This train eventually departed at 14.30, ahead of the faster 14.15 to Waterloo which was standing at the next platform. 15.45 Waterloo-Poole started from Woking. 16.00 and 16.45 Waterloo-Poole over 15 minutes late at Southampton. 16.34 Wareham-Waterloo started from Poole. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late and 17.45 about 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole about 20 minutes late; 18.50 nearly 15 minutes late.
7/11/02 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton over 20 minutes late starting. 16.28 Alton-Waterloo over 30 minutes late. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.06 Poole-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left at 18.13; was 20 minutes late by the Southampton area. 18.43 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late at Southampton Airport.
8/11/02 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo, 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo and 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo all 25-30 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 16 minutes late leaving Southampton; earlier announced as following a train which had reported a bump in the Esher area. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter left at 18.50. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left at 19.05. At Winchester the guard announced that the Fareham line connection had gone ahead, but arrangements had been made to hold it at Eastleigh, so intending passengers should stay on the train. At Eastleigh he announced that he was very sorry that nobody had told the Eastleigh foreman, so the train had gone already and passengers for Fareham should travel via Southampton. No use to Hedge End and Botley passengers of course - they were delayed 67 minutes.
9/11/02 Collapse of Bournemouth line services. Example: 08.45 Waterloo-Weymouth (normally the 09.30, but retimed and diverted because of engineering works), delayed for an hour by a points failure at Totton and train failure at Ashurst; train staggered into Bournemouth at 13.15 (equivalent to an average speed over the normal route of 24 mph).
11/11/02 Evening peak services badly delayed. 16.00 Southampton-Waterloo about 35 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 20 minutes late by Southampton - very slow running to New Malden, guard saying it was following slower trains that had been warned of an object on the track 20 minutes earlier. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton about 15 minutes late; 17.51 to Portsmouth about 20 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 45 minutes late; 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; 16.15 Salisbury-Waterloo cancelled. At 18.05 neither the 17.34 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Havant nor the 17.56 via Fareham had departed. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left 9 minutes late and was 20 minutes late by Southampton. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 25 minutes late at Southampton.
12/11/02 Information screens at Ashurst not working. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 10 minutes late into Southampton, where it caught up with the 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth which then departed 59 minutes late. Rear portion of the 17.15 was 16 minutes late by Ashurst. 18.00 Southampton-Waterloo departed at 18.40.
13/11/02 Big delays to morning services because of a fatality at Surbiton. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 5 minutes late; 17.45 about 8 minutes late. As the 4-coach Virgin-Stagecoach 12.40 from Newcastle terminated at Southampton, almost on time at 18.50, the guard apologised for the quality of the journey due to no toilets on the train. It then returned as the 19.10 to Manchester.
14/11/02 No morning peak services from the Fareham line to Waterloo because of flooding at Hedge End. Tree on the line at Sway; first train from Poole to Waterloo (the 05.00) 113 minutes late. Southampton-Waterloo stopping train, formed of ancient Mark I stock, left at 06.40 and reached Waterloo 110 minutes later; on-board announcements consistently included a stop at Clapham Junction, but the train raced through the station. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. Front portion of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at 17.20 – train was 15 minutes late by Winchester. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo about 20 minutes late; 16.17 over 10 minutes late. 15.06 Poole-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 16.47 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.00 Alton-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 12 minutes late. 17.51 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at about 18.10. It was followed by the 18.05 to Poole, which was 24 minutes late by Totton – the ancient 4-VEP unit included in this train had had some of the transverse luggage racks removed, causing additional discomfort for passengers.
15/11/02 05.35 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late. A passenger on the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo experienced the common Stagecoach trauma of having her seat collapse under her. 11.45 Waterloo-Poole over 30 minutes late at Eastleigh. Normal delays to evening services: 17.31 Alton-Waterloo nearly 10 minutes late; 17.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late; 15.44 Exeter-Waterloo over 10 minutes late; 16.06 Poole-Waterloo over 15 minutes late; 17.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo about 10 minutes late; 16.34 Wareham-Waterloo over 15 minutes late. Rear portion of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 10 minutes late at Ashurst. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left at 19.00 and was 15 minutes late by Totton.
18/11/02 A minor road traffic incident involving a bridge at Vauxhall caused evening peak services to collapse. 16.00 Southampton -Waterloo and 16.28 Alton-Waterloo both about 40 minutes late; 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo and 16.15 Salisbury-Waterloo around 30 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 35 minutes late at Winchester. 17.28 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Eastleigh cancelled. 17.30 Waterloo-Exeter left at 17.55. Rear portion of 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth about 25 minutes late at Pokesdown. 17.51 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 18.10. 17.56 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Eastleigh left 12 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole about 30 minutes late at Totton. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 25 minutes late at Winchester. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 45 minutes late by Southampton.
19/11/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 8 minutes late. At 08.15 most mainline arrivals at Waterloo were advertised as running late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 8 minutes late at Southampton. Guard of 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton announced an Eastleigh stop and told passengers to alight for the Hedge End line; unfortunately, this is almost the only 15 minutes past from Waterloo which doesn’t bother stopping at Eastleigh.
20/11/02 At 09.00 many trains advertised as running 5-20 minutes late through Woking. The Group received an early morning call from the Portsmouth News which was following up a story about furious Portsmouth-Southampton commuters being delayed 45 minutes at Netley due to a few leaves on the line. Customer information system at Totton failed again; passengers were being told to stand clear of the platform edge after trains had passed. In addition, some of the screens at Southampton failed. 11.06 Poole-Waterloo cancelled; dismayed by the 3-hour gap in Ashurst-London services, an Ashurst passenger walked several miles to Totton for a train which got him to Waterloo at 16.00. 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late at Southampton; connection with the stopping service to Poole not honoured. 13.15 Waterloo-Southampton over 10 minutes late. 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth nearly 15 minutes late. 13.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. Rear portion of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late from Southampton. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late.
21/11/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo was 8 minutes late leaving Ashurst, after crossing the New Forest; was 26 minutes late at Waterloo, where the guard blamed slippery rails in the Forest. 07.12 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh cancelled. 07.20 Wareham-Waterloo an hour late. 09.15 Waterloo-Southampton about 15 minutes late. 09.45 Waterloo-Poole expected at Southampton nearly 25 minutes late. 13.45 Waterloo-Poole 6 minutes late; 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 10 minutes late. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 70 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 60 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived Southampton 21 minutes late; delay in splitting the train caused both portions to leave about 25 minutes late. 14.34 Wareham-Waterloo 12 minutes late; 15.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late; 14.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh 20 minutes late. Information screens at Ashurst not working in the evening. 21.55 Waterloo-Poole ancient Mark I stock.
22/11/02 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst 12 minutes late. 06.56 Brockenhurst-Southampton so late that the 05.58 from Weymouth and 06.26 from Poole both preceded it. Too much trouble to arrange additional stops, so Ashurst passengers got to London 45 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 8 minutes late from Totton; delay blamed on train in front running late; Wessex Electric unit, presumably faulty, noted in platform 5 at Southampton at 14.20. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole 8 minutes late. 17.15, 17.45, and 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth all 5-10 minutes late. 16.06 Poole-Waterloo and 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo both about 15 minutes late. 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo nearly 20 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole was formed of 8 ancient Mark I coaches and arrived at Southampton Central 30 minutes late. A person meeting a family with two small children, who were returning from Paris Disneyworld, off the 20.55 from Waterloo at Totton (due 22.28) was amazed to find it advertised as expected to arrive at 01.40. A call to SWT’s helpline met with a taped reply, giving scheduled departure times only. The National Rail Enquiry Service could not help. They said they were not allowed to give any SWT number – SWT withdrew the running information public train service number some time ago on economy grounds. The train was actually standing at the up platform at Winchester. The 21.55 from London terminated at Winchester and passengers were transferred to the 20.55, which left 80 minutes late and arrived at Totton after midnight. No explanations given, but weekend engineering works at Eastleigh had apparently started and engineers’ trains were fouling up and down tracks. 21.48 Poole-Waterloo at Southampton Central one hour after its scheduled departure time. Staff confirmed there was no crew.
25/11/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late, overcrowded, and without the advertised buffet service. 15.06 Poole-Waterloo and 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole about 8 minutes late at Southampton, due to having caught up with the 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth, which was about 30 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole about 20 minutes late.
26/11/02 17.00 Alton-Waterloo about 40 minutes late. 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo about 15 minutes late.
27/11/02 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late at Southampton; 12.00 to Wareham 20 minutes late; 13.00 to Wareham 25 minutes late – connection at Southampton with the two-hourly stopping service to Brockenhurst not honoured; 13.30 to Weymouth 30 minutes late. Train struck an object at Surbiton. 17.15 Woking-Waterloo about 20 minutes late and omitted all 10 intermediate stations. 14.30 Waterloo to Weymouth started from Woking and about 30 minutes late; 14.35 to Plymouth about 80 minutes late; 14.40 to Portsmouth Harbour via Eastleigh about 65 minutes late. 16.10 to Southampton about 50 minutes late; 16.45 to Poole about 20 minutes late; 16.52 to Alton about 25 minutes late; 17.00 to Yeovil about 15 minutes late.
28/11/02 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 10.48 Weymouth-Waterloo over 15 minutes late. 11.00 Brighton-Basingstoke about 20 minutes late by Winchester.
29/11/02 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham, 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, 16.45 Waterloo-Poole, 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo and 17.06 Poole-Waterloo all 5-10 minutes late in the Southampton area. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh 12 minutes late; 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Guildford 17 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 15 minutes late.
30/11/02 Fourth Saturday of line closure between Southampton and Winchester: chaos at Southampton Central. The 07.50 from Poole terminated at a middle platform. No announcement whatever for alighting passengers – only when they reached one end or other of the footbridge did they know whether they were heading in the right direction for a replacement bus. The departure screens had, for at least half an hour, shown the 09.15 to London via Havant as leaving from platform 1. As it approached the station, an announcement said: "Here is a platform alteration, the 09.15 for Waterloo (panic as passengers grab cases and turn to the footbridge) will now depart from platform 1". No announcement was made about the short platform at Fareham, where the doors in the rear unit would not be released. An on-board announcement was made just as the train reached Fareham. The evening witnessed even worse chaos. SWT’s information system apparently only recognises 4 platforms at Southampton Central, whereas operationally there are 7 (1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B). So it was that the 17.47 to Portsmouth stood at platform 3A from before 17.30 until 17.42, opposite a dot matrix display showing "1st 17.42 to Frome; 2nd 17.44 terminates". SWT staff on the platform apparently took no action – they were busy trying to find out why the Portsmouth to Poole train (due out at 17.47) was advertised on platform 2, which was already blocked by the 18.16 to Poole. The Frome train arrived at platform 3B and left almost immediately. The screen then went through a "correction" routine and showed the Portsmouth train for the first time. Once the Portsmouth train had gone, the delayed 17.47 to Poole entered the platform it had vacated.
2/12/02 Landslip at Hinton Admiral caused closure of down line between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth. SWT failed to get its act together. Skeleton service West of Brockenhurst and total chaos to the East. A few examples 06.00 Southampton-Poole 30 minutes late. 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester cancelled. 06.26 Poole-Waterloo advertised as terminating at Totton due to duff Customer Information System. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham cancelled. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late at Southampton and was to terminate at Bournemouth. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 18.07 and about 35 minutes late at Totton.
3/12/02 Previous day’s problems continued. A few examples 05.42 Poole-Waterloo started from Southampton Central. 06.26 Poole-Waterloo again advertised as terminating at Totton due to duff Customer Information System. 13.35 Plymouth-Waterloo about 25 minutes late. 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 40 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter started at 18.57. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole about 45 minutes late by Basingstoke and terminating at Bournemouth. Whichever train was retimed to leave Basingstoke at 18.53 for Waterloo was expected 73 minutes late.
4/12/02 Previous days’ problems continued. Many delays and cancellations. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo started from Southampton again. The clerk at Totton station requested that either the 06.19 from Poole make an additional stop at Totton or SWT’s 06.25 railbus from Hythe to Southampton stop there. Both requests refused point blank, so Totton commuters over 45 minutes late getting to work in London. During the middle of the day there were no train services between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth. Waterloo-Wareham trains apparently withdrawn completely, leaving huge gaps at some urban stations East of Brockenhurst. Radio Solent reported that one passenger had taken from 07.00 to 09.00 to get from Southampton to Bournemouth – there was only one substitute bus at Brockenhurst and it left 22 people behind. The summary screens at Southampton listed many trains as "on time" but without information about their departure times! Announcements were very restricted; for example stops beyond Westbury of Wessex Trains’ service to Penzance not broadcast. Initially, it was wrongly announced that passengers for stations to Westbury needed to travel in the rear two carriages. It was then announced that the rear portion would be the "West of England service" – one elderly couple overheard discussing whether Bristol counted as West of England – it didn’t because Bristol is served by the front (Cardiff) portion. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 10 minutes late; passengers for Totton and Ashurst thrown off so that the stops could be omitted to save time. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late; 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late.
5/12/02 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo over 10 minutes late. 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 17.51 Waterloo-Portsmouth departed nearly 10 minutes late. 21.55 Waterloo-Poole formed of old slam-door carriages and had no water in toilets.
6/12/02 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo already nearly 15 minutes Late by Totton. This in turn delayed the 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester. Faulty customer information system at Totton again wrongly showed the 07.18 to Waterloo as terminating there. Classic evening chaos. 15.48 from Weymouth, due at Waterloo at 18.34 was about 35 minutes late. The rear unit of the 18.50 Wessex Electric to Poole was still awaiting its front portion after 19.00, yet the first Wessex Electric train to arrive went into another platform. SWT staff then claimed they had no idea which unit would form the Poole service. At 19.15 the front portion duly arrived. The 18.50 left at 19.27 and reached Totton 50 minutes late, the guard announcing that the front unit had failed on its inward journey. Hedge End and Netley line passengers a full hour late because of missed connections. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed behind the 18.50 and must have been at least 30 minutes late by Southampton.
7-9/12/02 Duff customer help point at Totton station talking to itself at frequent intervals.
8/12/02 Passengers on the diverted 17.30 Waterloo-Weymouth didn’t manage to alight at Fareham due to difficulty in determining whether they were in the front 5 coaches. SHRUG suggested years ago that each Wessex Electric unit should be allocated a letter which could appear on the inside of every external door, so that guards could tell passengers how to know where they were. Presumably SWT wouldn’t bear the cost (note the worn state of the hazard marking tape on the corridor connections of these trains).
9/12/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late, overheated and overcrowded. At 18.00 all mainline arrivals at Waterloo advertised as 5-10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 8 minutes late by Totton; 18.50 half-length with inevitable overcrowding; 19.50 nearly 15 minutes late.
10/12/02 06.00 Southampton-Poole 12 minutes late by Totton. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo and 15.44 Exeter-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 17.47 Basingstoke-Waterloo and 17.31 Alton-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter finally announced at 18.40, but wrong platform given; front unit was presumably duff as it was the rear unit which was running beyond Salisbury. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left at 19.07, and was 25 minutes late by Totton. On departure from Basingstoke the guard announced that the connection for the Hedge End/Fareham line would not be held.
11/12/02 12.45 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late at Southampton; 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 8 minutes late.
12/12/02 14.45 Waterloo-Wareham arrived at Southampton over 20 minutes late; 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham was 16 minutes late. At 18.00, virtually all mainline arrivals into Waterloo 5-10 minutes late. 21.30 Waterloo-Bournemouth about 6 minutes late from the outset.
13/12/02 All mainline arrivals into Waterloo between 08.00 and 08.30 were 5-10 minutes late, except the 06.49 from Portsmouth which was cancelled. The cancellation left a huge gap in peak semi-fast services on the route. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left at 18.56 due to late arrival of incoming train; was about 10 minutes late by Totton.
16/12/02 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth over 10 minutes late from Southampton. 16.01 from Portsmouth arrived at Waterloo 18 minutes late, at 18.05, to form the 18.05 to Poole. Eventually departed at 18.13. 16.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo delayed over 10 minutes.
17/12/02 13.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole stone cold. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole called additionally at Clapham, Farnborough and Fleet to cover for a failed train; horribly overcrowded and 15 minutes late by Totton.
18/12/02 07.52 Brockenhurst-Eastleigh left Southampton Central with an offside door only partly closed. 15.45 Waterloo-Poole was 11 minutes late at Southampton. 16.00 was also 11 minutes late; just as it arrived, the 15.45 departed, despite supposedly providing a connection for stations to Brockenhurst. Having delayed passengers who missed their connection by over 30 minutes, the 15.45 stood at signals for the 16.00 to overtake.
19/12/02 Morning peak chaos in Fareham area due to train hitting an object. 06.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh cancelled. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole comprised only 4 coaches, due to yet another train failure. It was announced both on the station and on the train that the service would run fast to Basingstoke. It became clear that this was an example of crowd control through lies when, immediately on departure, the guard announced that the train would make the normal calls at Clapham and Woking, but to pick up only. Train had a long delay at Eastleigh for the 17.15 from Waterloo to overtake. At Southampton, it in turn overtook the rear portion of the 17.15, reaching Totton 20 minutes late. 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo already 10 minutes late in the Southampton area.
20/12/02 Evening peak chaos at Waterloo due to emergency engineering work. Masses of people on concourse and difficult to get much information. 17.00 Waterloo-Yeovil cancelled; 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth called additionally at Basingstoke with horrific overcrowding; train was 10 minutes late in the Southampton area. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth left 5 minutes late; was nearly 25 minutes late by the Southampton area. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole and 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth both 10-15 minutes late. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late by Southampton.
23/12/02 06.26 Southampton-Yeovil started 8 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late by Southampton.
24/12/02 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo and 16.00 Waterloo-Poole both 10 minutes late at Southampton; 15.45 Waterloo-Poole 8 minutes late. 16.10 Waterloo-Southampton 12 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 25 minutes late at Bournemouth; 16.45 Waterloo-Poole over 10 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late at Southampton.