HOGRIDER 101 : FEBRUARY 2005

SOUTH HAMPSHIRE RAIL USERS' GROUP NEWSLETTER

INDEX

SWT 2005 - TAXPAYERS DESERVE BETTER

SOUTH'S CHANGING JOURNEY TIMES TO LONDON 1990-2005: SWT UP TO 20% SLOWER

GENESIS OF SWT'S NEW TIMETABLE: THE FACTUAL AND THE MISLEADING

ROBBING TAXPAYING PASSENGER PETER TO PAY TAXPAYING PASSENGER PAUL:
WHAT SWT'S 'PROVIDING EXTRA SEATS FROM WINCHESTER' ACTUALLY MEANS

SWT'S MISLEADING REPRESENTATION OF FURTHER TIMETABLE CHANGES

RAIL PASSENGERS COMMITTEE PRESS RELEASE SAVAGES SWT TIMETABLE REVISION

LETTER OF 13/11/2004 TO DR JULIAN LEWIS MP CONDEMNS SWT'S ATTACK ON MPS

SWT TO STOP USING THEIR E'MOTION MAGAZINE TO ATTACK MPS AND GOVERNMENT
FOLLOWING LETTER TO DR LEWIS?

SWT HOLIDAY DISEASE HITS CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR PASSENGERS

SECRETARY OF STATE PRAISES CUSTOMER-FOCUSED OPERATORS

FIREMEN FORCED TO SMASH DISABLED TOILET DOOR

BROADCASTER ADVERTISES SWT'S MASSIVE SEATING REDUCTION

INADEQUATE INFORMATION / SIGNAGE AT SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL

RAIL PERFORMANCE REPORTS

CUSTOMER "SERVICE" AT SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL - JUST ANOTHER DAY

REPORT FROM A PORTSMOUTH RAIL USER

MEDIA REPORTS

MISCELLANEA

SWT 2005 - TAXPAYERS DESERVE BETTER

Envy frequent travellers on the best franchises like (as highlighted by the Secretary of State) GNER and Chiltern! After nearly 9 years of privatisation on SWT, journey times are gradually returning to those of the steam age. Waterloo-Southampton-Bournemouth was the flagship line of BR's Southern Region. Now it is almost certainly the most slowed-down main line in the country, even though SWT's subsidy is particularly generous. Many commuters are having their journeys increased by as much as 30 minutes each morning by trains which no longer serve their stations and then stagger from signal to signal in the London area because they are running early. Yet the mainline peak time punctuality target is still not met, many trains run short of carriages, and there are substantial numbers of cancellations due to duff stock and crew shortages.

Attention to detail is absent almost everywhere you look, from the poor connections which have extended many journey times even further, to slipshod use of the customer information system telling passengers to board the wrong portions of their trains, or advertising departures as terminating trains (the latter because the system isn't updated after the stock arrives empty or from a previous service).

What passengers want from any form of transport is a relaxing, reassuring journey. What they get from SWT is stress, stress and more stress. Harsh, militaristic announcements at Waterloo. Constant announcements at places like Southampton Central about cycling, skateboarding, smoking, leaving luggage unattended, penalty fares, and doors closing early. No announcements about the platforms from which connections will depart, which would be hugely helpful.

Trains are terminated short of destination and passengers thrown off, or booked stops are missed to compensate for late running, at the drop of a hat. Severe overcrowding, particularly on short trains at either end of the main peaks. Meanwhile, hundreds of seats are being ripped out of suburban trains to make room for more standing passengers, in compensation for a train order much reduced from what was promised. The 'quiet' areas on the long-distance Wessex Electrics are next to the buffet area and above the 1600hp motor, by far the noisiest part of the train.

Train doors close up to 45 seconds early; passengers are yelled at to stand clear as the doors slam shut in their faces before departure time, and only rarely now are they subsequently invited to board via the guard's manual door. Often, trains depart early. In fact, passengers rarely cause delays except (i) where trains are so short and the overcrowding is so severe that boarding and alighting are difficult and (ii) where duff or inadequate data on the customer information system causes uncertainty.

Winchester at around 16.30 on 28 January was typical of poor customer service on SWT. The severely overcrowded 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth left with many passengers still standing. As it disappeared down the track it was announced as the next departure, with an apology for its being "reported full and standing". The customer information system then switched to a warning that the next train would not stop and passengers should stand clear. But the 16.38 stopping service to Southampton is usually announced like that.

Or take 30 January. Wessex Trains services were diverted via the single track through Chandlers Ford because of engineering work, and most Totton-Romsey trains therefore ran only between Totton and Eastleigh. 15.05 from Southampton Central simply advertised on the customer information system as an Eastleigh train. No advice for Chandlers Ford and Romsey passengers either on the screen or on the tannoy. Some passengers clearly uncertain. Doors closed 30 seconds early and two passengers left behind. Meanwhile, in the opposite direction, the 14.57 Eastleigh-Totton had a faulty waste bin! As the train tilted on canted curves, the bin's floor-level drawer repeatedly shot out across the central gangway, only retreating when the train returned to level track: a real danger which could topple a visually disabled person.

31st January: Around 17.50 at Southampton Central. The 17.56 to Bournemouth is standing at the western end of platform 3. Non-regular passengers are declining to board, because the customer information system's display states: "1st 17.52 Terminates here. 2nd 17.56 Bournemouth". What this means is that the 15.17 from Victoria is expected to terminate at the eastern end of the platform before the 17.56 departs. Almost as clear as mud!

Is it unreasonable to suggest that what SWT desperately needs is an operator with lots more focus on customers and managerial know-how, and much less reliance on periodicals like E'motion to accuse MPs of dishonesty if they dare to call for passengers to be put first? At the moment, despite the massive subsidies and massive profits, the lack of ambition for passengers and other taxpayers is extraordinary.

SOUTH'S CHANGING JOURNEY TIMES TO LONDON 1990 - 2005: SWT UP TO 20% SLOWER

FASTEST JOURNEY TIMES FROM THE SOUTH TO LONDON : JANUARY 1990 / JANUARY 2005

The summary below is based on Monday to Friday timings in the national rail timetables. The selected stations are those which are (a) designated as "major stations" on the current national rail timetable map and (b) situated along the South Coast rail corridor from Ramsgate to Penzance via Ashford, Newhaven, Brighton, Portsmouth, Weymouth, Yeovil and Exeter. The services are listed in order of improvement, with the most accelerated first. The figures are timings in minutes, with the 1990 timing shown first and the 2005 timing second. Percentages are to the nearest tenth of one per cent. 1990 was chosen as a baseline because newly electrified services to Weymouth had by then settled in, so the list can compare like with like.

Brighton-London Bridge 73/56----------------Journey time decreased by 23.3%
Ramsgate-Charing Cross 121/108-------------Journey time decreased by 10.7%
Ashford-Charing Cross 69/65------------------Journey time decreased by 5.8%
Dover-Charing Cross 98/95---------------------Journey time decreased by 3.1%
Exeter-Paddington 124/124----------------------Journey time unchanged
Folkestone-Charing Cross 84/84---------------Journey time unchanged
Newhaven-Victoria 77/77------------------------Journey time unchanged
Plymouth-Paddington 180/180-----------------Journey time unchanged
Newton Abbot-Paddington 144/145----------Journey time increased by 0.7%
Ramsgate-Victoria 107/108----------------------Journey time increased by 0.9%
Brighton-Victoria 51/52--------------------------Journey time increased by 2%
Penzance-Paddington 281/292-----------------Journey time increased by 3.9%
Hastings-Charing Cross 86/90-----------------Journey time increased by 4.7%
Dover-Victoria 98/103----------------------------Journey time increased by 5.1%
Worthing-Victoria 76/81-------------------------Journey time increased by 6.6%
Eastbourne-Victoria 89/83-----------------------Journey time increased by 7.2%
Weymouth-Waterloo 150/169------------------Journey time increased by 12.7%
Bournemouth-Waterloo 97/110----------------Journey time increased by 13.4%
Poole-Waterloo 109/124-------------------------Journey time increased by 13.8%
Portsmouth & Southsea-Waterloo 79/91----Journey time increased by 15.2%
Southampton Central-Waterloo 66/79--------Journey time increased by 19.7%

Interesting? Despite the congestion on the Brighton main line, top marks must go to Thameslink. Second place goes to non-privatised South Eastern Trains for generally improved timings. Third place goes to First Great Western for maintaining most re-privatisation timings. Fourth place goes to Southern, but remembering that some of their services (eg Eastbourne-Victoria) have doubled in frequency compared with the position before privatisation. And an extremely well deserved booby prize to South West Trains for scooping all five bottom places with deplorable increases in journey times between London and stations so important that they were once classified as part of BR's Inter City network.

Even with the latest deceleration, SWT missed three of their four performance / reliability targets for peak services in the 4-week period from the start of the new timetable to 8 January.

GENESIS OF SWT'S NEW TIMETABLE: THE FACTUAL AND THE MISLEADING

The new timetable for all SWT's services was written 15 months ago (that is, in the Autumn of 2003), by a team of four locked in a hotel at a secret location, over a 12-day period. This was confirmed by an interview with SWT's head of train planning, Graham Aitken (Guardian 17 December). Mr Aitken has the good fortune to commute by Southern so - unlike SWT commuters - he is not suffering increased journey times to compensate for constantly poor performance and to allow longer-distance trains to serve suburban stations hit by the 15.3% reduction in SWT's order for new trains. (Despite SWT's having repeatedly boasted of placing 'Britain's biggest train order', Southern has delivered 742 new coaches against SWT's 665)

Notwithstanding Mr Aitken's revelation, in his preface to the new December 2004 timetable booklet, SWT Managing Director Andrew Haines tells us "We decided that the only effective way forward is to start with a blank sheet of paper and design a train service that meets the needs of the greatest number of passengers. It was no easy task. Two years in the making, this enormous project involved re-planning 1,683 daily services, re-diagramming over 300 trains and re-rostering nearly 2,000 members of train train crew". This implies that there was a protracted and painstaking re-timetabling exercise when clearly there was not.

It appears that the new draft timetable was virtually set in stone by the time of SWT's 'consultation' in the Spring of 2004. In 'Rail' 502, published 8/12/2004, columnist Barry Doe, who updates the rail/bus links in the SWT timetable, states that "Bus operators frequently say they would love to connect with trains if only they could obtain the rail timetable early enough to permit their eight-week registration period. Well, SWT gave advance details of the December timetable more than six months ago yet most operators and counties simply sat on it and forgot it!"

A SWT leaflet claims that "Over 80 local authorities and passenger user groups across our network have been consulted and where possible their feedback has been acted on". In fact, there are only a handful of user groups across the SWT area. The South Hampshire Rail Users' Group was not consulted. The Kingston Area Travellers' Association was not consulted. The Alton Line Users' Association was consulted, and they were furious when their vigorous complaints, supported by local MPs, were ignored.

In a letter to Dr Julian Lewis MP, SWT General Manager Andrew Haines contended that, "It would be impossible for us to carry out detailed consultation on something as radical as a completely new timetable and our established consultation processes are with County and District councils, the Rail Passengers Committees and elected representatives such as MPs. Whilst we did not carry out direct consultation with the South Hampshire Rail Users Group, they had the right to liaise with Hampshire County Council with whom we were in direct consultation."

In fact, the Group did liaise with the Rail Passengers Committee for Southern England (our statutory watchdog), but the Committee had been consulted by SWT on an "in confidence" basis. The very small amount of information the Committee was therefore prepared to release about Totton's peak services, again "in confidence", was not adequate to get a rounded picture. The Committee had serious concerns, but advised that the timings were then very provisional (presumably SWT's line). The Committee's views were in turn ignored by SWT.

ROBBING TAXPAYING PASSENGER PETER TO PAY TAXPAYING PASSENGER PAUL:
WHAT SWT'S 'PROVIDING EXTRA SEATS FROM WINCHESTER' ACTUALLY MEANS

One of the declared objectives of the new SWT timetable was to provide more seats to London for Winchester commuters. Investigations by members of our Group suggest that this has been achieved as follows. The 05.34 semi-fast train from Bournemouth to Waterloo was axed. It seems that taxpayers now subsidise SWT to run the 10-coach train empty from Bournemouth to Southampton Airport Parkway (such a train has been seen passing Totton around 06.00 on a number of occasions, and a bit later is invariably in the sidings west of Southampton Central station). This train can then run as the 06.50 Southampton Airport Parkway- Waterloo, first stop Winchester.

Axing the 05.34 from Bournemouth meant that there would be no stock at Waterloo to form the 08.05 to Poole. SWT's solution was to axe the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo semi-fast service in favour of a very limited stop train at 05.45, serving Poole, Bournemouth, Brockenhurst, Southampton Central, Southampton Airport Parkway, Winchester and London Waterloo only. So there is a double whammy for passengers living between Bournemouth and Southampton.

This train reaches Waterloo at 07.49. With such a quick turnround, it is imperative that it gets there on time. So, although it arrives at Brockenhurst at 06.11 and Waterloo on 07.49 from Mondays to Saturdays, on Mondays to Fridays it crawls on its final leg because of its huge amount of slack time, whilst on Saturdays it additionally serves Totton, Eastleigh and Woking. On Mondays to Fridays, Totton passengers waste 15 minutes changing from a connectional service at Southampton Central. On 13 December, 24 December and 19 January, the stock for the connectional service was so late that it never reached Totton and the London service called there instead. Interestingly, this proved that the London train can reach London several minutes early, even with the Totton stop.

In effect, therefore, the extra seats from Winchester are a matter of robbing taxpaying passenger Peter to pay taxpaying passenger Paul.

The Winchester overcrowding problem was artificially created in the first place. Under the new Wessex Electric timetable from May 1988, there were semi-fast trains to Waterloo at 05.37 from Poole and 06.06 from Bournemouth. These two trains were merged into one, latterly the 05.42 from Poole, in order to transfer some Wessex Electric stock to the Portsmouth-Guildford-Waterloo line. To compensate, an 8-coach train of old slam door stock followed the 05.42 between Eastleigh and Waterloo. Eastleigh and Winchester passengers naturally cold-shouldered this train, in view of the cumulative 30% real terms increases in their season ticket prices to pay for Wessex Electric trains. The 05.42 then became severely overcrowded from its final intermediate stop at Winchester.

SWT'S MISLEADING REPRESENTATION OF FURTHER TIMETABLE CHANGES

This message appeared on SWT's website early in the New Year. Having brought delays and hardship to hundreds of thousands with their new timetable, SWT appears to be desperate to appear passenger-focused. Do they really think that the public is stupid enough to believe that passengers have been asking for trains to depart one minute earlier, or to be axed between Woking and Guildford or between Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour?

"Mondays to Fridays from 10 January 2005

Following feedback from our passengers please note the following services are revised on Mondays to Fridays from 10 January 2005.

London Waterloo - Woking - Guildford

0650 Southampton Airport Parkway - London Waterloo. This train will depart Woking one minute EARLIER at 0740.

0720 London Waterloo - Guildford. This train will terminate at Woking at 0808.

London Waterloo - Salisbury - Yeovil Junction - Exeter

0707 Basingstoke - Yeovil Junction will start at 0714 and terminate at Salisbury. Overton depart 0722, Whitchurch 0727, Andover arrive 0735, depart 0739, Grateley 0746, Salisbury arrive 0758.

0805 Salisbury - Yeovil Junction. Additional train in times of previously advertised 0707 Basingstoke - Yeovil Junction.

1723 Salisbury - Gillingham. Additional train stopping at Tisbury arrive 1736, depart 1737, Gillingham arrive 1747.

2020 London Waterloo - Exeter St Davids. This train is retimed from Salisbury depart 2206, Tisbury 2220, Gillingham 2232, Templecombe 2239, Sherborne 2247, Yeovil Junction arrive 2252, depart 2254, Crewkerne 2303, then as advertised.

London Waterloo - Guildford - Haslemere - Portsmouth

0600 Haslemere - Guildford. Additional train stopping at Witley 0606, Milford 0610, Godalming 0614, Farncombe 0617, Guildford arrive 0622. There will be no first class accommodation on this train.

1645 London Waterloo - Portsmouth Harbour. This train will terminate at Portsmouth & Southsea at 1849.

1745 London Waterloo - Haslemere is extended to Havant. This train will run as advertised to Haslemere arrive 1847, depart 1856, Liphook arrive 1901, Liss 1907, Petersfield 1912, Rowlands Castle 1922, Havant arrive 1932.

1918 Portsmouth Harbour - London Waterloo. This train will start from Portsmouth and Southsea at 1924."

[Further changes on Mondays to Fridays are to be introduced from 7 February. The 04.39 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo will run 9 minutes earlier, and the 04.30 Eastleigh-Southampton Central and 04.55 Southampton Central-Waterloo will both run 10 minutes earlier. Unfortunately, the new timetable is a big leap backwards for thousands of passengers, and this incremental tinkering won't change that. An immediate radical overhaul is required before passengers and other taxpayers can even start to hope for some kind of value for money. It's a pity there wasn't a proper consultation in the first place, given the huge sums of taxpayers' money which SWT receives.]

RAIL PASSENGERS COMMITTEE'S PRESS RELEASE SAVAGES SWT TIMETABLE REVISION

The RPC's press releases tend to be balanced or positive in tone, and their release of 10 December about SWT's new timetable needs to be seen in this context. It robustly makes the point that the decelerated timetable is focused on reducing compensation payments rather than on meeting passengers' needs. Put otherwise, it seeks to increase profit from long journey times.

The background to the decelerated timetable, as explained on BBC South's news bulletin on the same day, is that SWT has been the worst-performing of the South's commuter train operators.

The press release was copied to other train operators and can be interpreted as intimating that, provided they don't emulate SWT's example, they can expect to have their bids for the next SWT franchise viewed favourably by the RPC. The press release is copied below.

"PASSENGERS DEMAND THAT TRAIN COMPANIES FACE STIFFER PERFORMANCE TARGETS IN RETURN FOR LONGER JOURNEY TIMES

On Monday 13 December, passengers will experience new timetables; and some will be shocked to find that their journey will take longer, or have a reduced service. The new South West Trains timetable in particular has many longer journeys, as reported widely in the media.

RPC Southern England has protested vigorously at the practice of making punctuality targets easier to hit; give a train more time to get to its destination and obviously it has a better chance of arriving on time. But the new timetable has been implemented and passengers are now entitled to expect much improved performance.

Passengers now demand two things

* Firstly punctuality targets must be tightened up; if journeys are to take longer, a much better performance can be expected. Targets should rise from the current level of 89% by 4% to 93%, in respect of Main Line SWT services.
* Secondly, the triggers that give passengers renewing a season ticket a rebate of up to 5% must go up with the targets. If higher targets are missed, then compensation must be paid.

Tim Nicholson, Chairman of the Rail Passengers Committee Southern England said:

"Passengers want shorter journeys, not longer ones, but they are going to have put up with them all the same. It will be completely wrong if targets are not made tougher and passengers do not get compensation for poor performance, even though their journey is slower than it was before and the performance figures show an entirely fictitious improvement. We call on the SRA and the Department for Transport to put this right at once."

Passengers who experience difficulties or have something to say about the new timetable should write to South West Trains, with a copy to the RPC."

Note: Punctuality figures refer to the punctuality of peak hour trains arriving within 5 minutes of their advertised arrival time. Peak hour trains are those on Mondays to Fridays arriving in London between 07.00 and 09.59, and departing from London between 16.00 and 18.59.

[One of SWT's excuses for such a slow timetable is the time needed to close train doors with central controls; will they be telling us next that tube trains could be speeded up if slam door stock were introduced?]

LETTER OF 13/11/2004 TO DR JULIAN LEWIS MP CONDEMNS SWT'S ATTACK ON MPS

Copied incrementally to:
Andrew Haines SWT
Rt Hon Alistair Darling MP
Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody MP
Rail Passengers Committee
Newspapers / TV / Radio in the SWT area**

[** This resulted in the Editor of Hogrider appearing on Meridian TV news bulletins throughout the 13th of December]

SWT DECEMBER TRAIN TIMETABLE / ATTACKING POLITICIANS / MANIPULATING PUBLIC OPINION

In my earlier response to you about Andrew Haines' letter of 19 October, I commended him for his honesty in admitting that rail user groups were not consulted about the new timetable. This was in stark contrast to the statement in SWT's 'New Train Times' leaflet that "Over 80 local authorities and passenger users groups across our network have been consulted and where possible their feedback has been acted upon".

I have now seen the detailed timetable booklet for December. It appears to make a nonsense of Mr Haines' response to you about the huge gap in Totton-London trains from 05.48 to 06.44 on Mondays to Fridays. He stated that "In the case of Totton, the new 05.45 from Poole cannot stop as it is essential that this train has a fast timing between Brockenhurst and Southampton in order to fit into the planned pathway for this service to achieve the required earlier Waterloo arrival time".

In the new, very standardised timings, London trains are allowed 13-14 minutes to run non-stop from Brockenhurst to Southampton Central, but 15 minutes with a stop at Totton. The standard time allocated to the Brockenhurst stop is one minute, except for the 05.45 from Poole, which stops there for 3 minutes. This train arrives at Brockenhurst at 06.11, departs at 06.14 and arrives at Southampton Central at 06.27. However, on Saturdays only, the corresponding train arrives at Brockenhurst at the same time of 06.11, departs at 06.12, calls at Totton at 06.22, and still reaches Southampton Central at 06.27.

It appears therefore that Mr Haines expects us to waste 75 minutes a week, by leaving Totton at 06.07 to connect at Southampton into a train which passes Totton at 06.22. Despite a more than fourfold increase in subsidy from taxpayers, SWT is obviously not committed to operating in the interests of the greatest possible number of passengers.

The huge gap in the service is causing considerable concern to Totton passengers, since many will have to stay at work later, and this can disrupt such family and social life as long-distance commuters are able to have. In fairness to SWT I did consider whether there was any special need for the 05.45 from Poole to spend three times as long at Brockenhurst as any other London bound train. I cannot find any. Passengers off the stopping train from Poole will board, but few passengers will be alighting at New Forest villages like Brockenhurst at that time of day. In addition there will be no Lymington passengers to board, as the first train of the day from the Lymington branch will not have arrived.

I realise that you cannot do anything to help us (unless you feel able to take up the issue with Ministers), because of SWT's attitude to MPs who try to help their constituents, as expressed in this passage from issue no 4 of their "E-motion" (a magazine which is in increasingly copious supply on trains and larger stations):

"The politician faced with a rail problem and little idea of how to deal with it cries, "We have to put our passengers first". If they have no idea at all, "have" becomes " determined" and they shout even more. Isn't there a saying "the louder they shout their innocence, the faster we count the spoons"?

This is hardly a passing remark, since the article is headed "Counting the spoons" in heavy coloured print. The article is anonymous and in the 'Passengers' Panel' section of the magazine. The Panel claims to represent the "independent" voice of SWT passengers, under its chairman, Sir Alan Greengross (a non-executive Stagecoach director). Just how tough Sir Alan can be, in representing passengers' concerns, is illustrated in the corresponding section of the current 'E'motion'. Two of his questions ruthlessly get to grips with the fact that SWT is to hire only 665 new coaches worth (pro-rata) 545m, instead of the promised 785 new coaches worth 644m:

Sir Alan: "Could you give us some background to South West Trains' new fleet of 155 Desiro trains?

Answer: "The original train order was for 785 vehicles, costing 644m. Add to that the maintenance contract and the total order value is over 1bn. ....."

Sir Alan (nine questions later) "One billion pounds of new trains just for the South West Trains network is a huge sum of money. Are you happy with the outcome?"

It seems quite obvious, therefore, that the sole purpose of these articles is to manipulate public opinion. This raises the question of why we should believe anything that SWT tells us. After all, SWT was condemned by the Advertising Standards Authority back in March 2002 for advertising that it was to acquire 785 new trains (rather than coaches) and for misrepresenting the total value of its franchise bid.

Of course, with peak performance declining from month to month throughout this Autumn, and many cancellations and delays advertised as due to the non-availability of train crews and defective rolling stock, SWT must feel it needs to work hard to safeguard its very lucrative franchise (so lucrative that the settlement reportedly "angered the Treasury enormously"). As Stagecoach Chairman, Brian Souter, once said "Ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed".

You may be assured that our Group will continue to monitor the position.

SWT TO STOP USING THEIR E'MOTION MAGAZINE TO ATTACK MPS AND GOVERNMENT
FOLLOWING LETTER TO DR LEWIS?

The 'Passengers Panel' section of SWT's latest E'motion magazine (No 8) is rather less combative than we have come to expect. No attack on MPs who think that passengers should come first. No attack on the Government for not being as open with passengers as SWT (!!!) claims to be.

Interestingly, no mention whatever of Sir Alan Greengross, the Panel's independent (ie, Stagecoach Director) chairman.

Instead, there is a full page article by Panel member Jim Reside who states, "Hats off to South West Trains for providing a vehicle to hear our views first-hand instead of simply relying on "customer services" feedback as other companies do". This needs to be seen in the context of comments by another Panel member who recently left saying that the Panel was a waste of time and its comments were rarely acted on. The latter appears the more perceptive because it exactly complements SWT's Spring 2004 "consultation" exercise on a timetable which had been written in a locked hotel room half a year earlier, as above.

Mr Reside also states "I must also mention the new timetable. Doubling of service frequency is a big plus for Chiswick passengers, which should not go unacknowledged. Full marks for that." Hang on. Stations on the Chiswick "loop" line are among the very few that have gained from the timetable changes. And this improvement means that Chertsey passengers, who still have only a 30-minute service frequency, have their direct London services slowed from 65 to 76 minutes, for a journey of about 25 miles. Surely the Passengers Panel members should stop singing the praises of SWT for severely limited areas of improvement, and start representing the interests of passengers generally?

Other E'motion highlights

There were huge numbers of cancellations over the Christmas and New Year period (when SWT was running a much-reduced service during peak periods) due to lack of drivers. Yet E'motion has an article in which a driver states that his job is the best he's ever had and such a pleasure that it doesn't feel like work. Presumably, given all the cancellations at a time of reduced services, that is far from being a universal view.

There is also an upbeat article by Stagecoach Chairman Brian Souter. Mr Souter appears to increase his involvement when things are going wrong in bits of his empire, though the article may simply relate to the fact that the SWT franchise has only two years to run (Richard Bowker included a five-year extension option, though SWT's record - poor performance, huge increases in journey times, and much reduced rolling-stock order - would seem to rule this out). The article refers to Mr Souter's reputation as "the tough Scots bruiser [Brian Souter incidentally is an anagram of "not a bruiser", whilst South West Trains is an anagram of "sustain the worst"] who came to dominate the UK's bus services by ruthlessly driving rivals off the road. He has brought the same zeal to Britain's railways, bidding to add the East Coast and Kent rail franchises to a portfolio that embraces the South West, West Coast and Cross Country franchises." Hang on. Wasn't it precisely the exercise of that zeal which caused the Monopolies and Mergers Commission to refer to Stagecoach's activities as deplorable, predatory and contrary to the public interest?

Mr Souter ends by saying "It is our ambition to turn South West Trains into the best commuter franchise in Britain... I think we have the foundations in place to do that." Hang on, isn't hiring 120 fewer carriages than promised and introducing best journey times between major centres which are up to almost 20% longer than 15 years ago a less than solid foundation? And don't Mr Souter's words rather jar against those of his rail chief, Graham Eccles, who stated that if the company doesn't get what it wants on SWT, it won't hesitate to walk away?

Talking of getting what one wants, Mr Souter fails to thank passengers and other taxpayers for the quadrupled subsidy which SWT now receives, and also fails to mention the 60 million bonus which he recently shared with his sister.

SWT HOLIDAY DISEASE HITS CHRISTMAS / NEW YEAR PASSENGERS

Over the past three years, our performance reports have highlighted many failures by SWT to provide the standard of service which passengers have the right to expect. One particularly severe problem is the failure to muster enough train crews to run a reliable service at holiday times. Our reports for the 2004-05 Christmas/New Year period show that, despite the operation of a much-reduced timetable, a remarkable number of cancellations occurred due to train crews not being available.

SECRETARY OF STATE PRAISES CUSTOMER-FOCUSED OPERATORS

Transport Secretary, Alistair Darling, is interviewed in the January edition of Railstaff. He picks out GNER and Chiltern for special praise for their achievements for passengers. These are the two companies which have established excellent reputations for their ambitions for passengers in terms of service quality and expansion. Good that Government and passengers appear to share a common view.

Further good news is that GNER/Chiltern are to launch a joint bid for Greater Western, which includes the current Wessex Trains' services. National Express is also to bid, and we are grateful to them for sending us their brochure and inviting any comments or suggestions [david.franks@natex.co.uk or peter.cotton@natex.co.uk or ring 01392 416017). National Express has a particularly good history of introducing new direct services. For example, South Hampshire gained new links with Plymouth, Penzance, South West Wales, Gloucester, Worcester and Hereford and Shrewsbury. Although most of these have now been withdrawn, because of clumsy franchise restructuring by the SRA, at least the Plymouth/Penzance service remains. Nothing daunted, National Express has taken over Great Eastern and Anglia, and introduced a number of new direct services to and from Liverpool Street. In addition, National Express' brochure highlights the importance of good connections. With such strong bidders, the omens for Greater Western are starting to look rosy.

No doubt an operator with ambitions for passengers could similarly bring a raft of improvements to SWT, now so slowed as to be the lame duck of franchises.

With a few over-publicised exceptions, everywhere you look on SWT screams lack of ambition - the huge decelerations, the poorer connections, the neglected stations like Swaythling, the often misleading signage, inadequate customer information system, and the very awkward and often inadequate Journeycheck facility. On 17 January, when there was chaos, with delays of up to around 90 minutes due to electrical problems at Basingstoke, the wonderful Journeycheck on SWT's website was declaring "service problems - 0", with just a minimal note under "line problems". What use to rail-using taxpayers is that?

With sorry irony, page 7 of SWT's current timetable has a picture of a Wessex Electric train, its windows reflecting the girders of Waterloo station, with a blur of passengers on the platform. What could better symbolise lack of focus on customers?

FIREMEN FORCED TO SMASH DISABLED TOILET DOOR

A Southampton reader reported in December that a member of SWT staff has advised him to discourage his mother from using the disabled toilet facility on the new Desiro trains. The toilet door is apt to come off its runner. It then locks itself permanently and an out of use sign is displayed. A number of passengers have been trapped and train crews have then had to jemmy the door off its runner. On one occasion this failed, the incarcerated passenger became hysterical and the fire brigade was called. They promptly smashed down the door. Siemens, who maintain the trains, were understood to be annoyed. But what else could have been done with such a duff train?

BROADCASTER ADVERTISES SWT'S MASSIVE SEATING REDUCTION

Comment from Meridian TV's Fred Dinenage in the Southern Daily Echo magazine of 8 January: "Another bright idea from South West Trains. They're removing thousands of seats from carriages in a new bid to solve the over-crowding crisis. It's part of a 70m 'improvement' package on carriages which serve routes into London. I wonder if the poor, exhausted passengers will see it that way!

INADEQUATE INFORMATION / SIGNAGE AT SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL

The 4 platforms at Southampton Central are now numbered 1a-1b to 4a-4b. All these platforms can hold two short trains at once. Unfortunately, the customer information system screens at both 'a' and 'b' ends of the platforms often show departures in chronological sequence from the whole platform so that, for example, a Portsmouth train may stand alongside a screen advertising a Westbury service as the first departure [more on this in previous editions of Hogrider].

Another problem was noted on 29 December when a young woman with two large cases, who had never been to Southampton station before, was trying to find platform 1 for the 18.15 Virgin Cross Country service. The customer information system indeed showed the train as departing from platform 1, but the platform signage showed only platforms 1a and 1b. Hugely misleading for passengers.

Yet another problem was noted on 9 January. The 15.07 departure to Weymouth was advertised on the customer information system with the front unit shown (correctly) as serving all scheduled stations, and the rear unit as serving Brockenhurst, New Milton and Bournemouth (where it is detached). Fine, except that the doors of the rear unit would not be opened at New Milton's short platform. When the train arrived, the intercom announcement was correct, so New Milton passengers raced along the platform towards the front of the train. Passengers and other taxpayers deserve better.

RAIL PERFORMANCE REPORTS

Note: These details are snapshots, based on passengers' own experiences and website information. The Group does not have the resources to provide a full picture of the performance shortcomings which passengers suffer. We are able to provide fuller coverage on some days than on others. Please note that trains can become increasingly late during the course of their journeys, or make up time where stops are omitted and passengers thrown off, so the "minutes late" figures may not represent the position at the end of a journey. To help identify weekly patterns, Sunday dates are noted as such.

27/11/04 11.52 Waterloo-Reading 19 minutes late. 12.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 13.48 Waterloo-Alton axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff stock. Passengers on the 16.28 Waterloo-Windsor thrown off at Clapham Junction due to duff stock. 17.27 Windsor-Waterloo axed. 17.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 17.57 Guildford-Ascot 15 minutes late. 18.23 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 19.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.26 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 21.30 Waterloo-Winchester axed due to no driver. 21.54 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.55 Winchester-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.55 Waterloo-Winchester axed due to no driver.

Sunday 28/11/04 Engineering works meant Waterloo-Weymouth trains travelling via Havant, a journey of three and three quarter hours (in a number of cases nearer 4 hours due to late running). on the 07.35 from Weymouth were delighted when the guard announced after the Southampton stop that a buffet trolley was working its way through the train. The guard who joined at Havant Passengers knew nothing about a trolley and none appeared. Similarly there was no trolley on the 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, and apparently there had been none on the train's inward journey. 07.07 Waterloo-Shepperton 24 minutes late. 07.58 Waterloo-Hampton Court axed between Waterloo and Wimbledon due to duff stock. 15.52 Guildford-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 15.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late; 16.40 37 minutes late; 17.20 15 minutes late; 17.40 17 minutes late; 18.40 15 minutes late; 20.20 13 minutes late. 16.40 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.30 Waterloo-Weymouth started 20 minutes late. 18.10 Brighton-Exeter 16 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 45 minutes late. 19.05 Yeovil-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.08 Salisbury-Brighton 16 minutes late.

29/11/04 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo axed. 07.04 Basingstoke-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 8 coaches. 16.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. Problem with the 17.25 Hounslow-Waterloo, but passengers unable to check what it was because of a defect in the Journeycheck facility on SWT's website. 17.18 Waterloo-Alton 22 minutes late and reduced to 4 coaches. 17.28 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 17.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.55 Southampton-Brockenhurst was standing at Southampton with its doors released for passengers to board and a green signal; pity it had been axed due to no train crew. 17.56 Windsor-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.58 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 18.03 Chessington-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.11 Twickenham-Waterloo axed. 18.34 Alton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.34 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.37 Shepperton-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 18.44 Brockenhurst-Southampton axed due to no train crew. 18.46 Windsor-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.51 Weybridge-Waterloo 86 minutes late. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 17 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Basingstoke. 19.21 Weybridge-Waterloo 40 minutes late. 19.24 Reading-Waterloo 52 minutes late. 19.26 Waterloo-Reading 33 minutes late. 19.33 Paignton-Basingstoke axed between Paignton and Exeter. 19.51 Weybridge-Waterloo 43 minutes late. 19.56 Waterloo-Reading 18 minutes late and reduced to 4 coaches. 19.57 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 20.26 Waterloo-Reading axed. 20.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 20.38 Chessington-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 21.24 Reading-Portsmouth axed between Reading and Basingstoke. 21.30 Waterloo-Weymouth axed due to no driver. 21.47 Waterloo-Weybridge axed. 21.54 Reading-Waterloo axed.

30/11/04 04.58 and 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 15.33 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 3 coaches. 15.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 15.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 15.55 Windsor-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 16.25 Totton-Romsey axed due to duff stock. 16.37 Waterloo-Basingstoke started 9 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.56 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 18.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; stops at Botley and Hedge End axed for operational convenience. 18.34 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.26 Waterloo-Hampton Court axed due to no driver. 20.09 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.54 Reading-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 21.03 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to no driver. 21.49 Kingston-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 22.07 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 23.03 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to no driver.

1/12/04 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo 41 minutes late. 06.50 Alton-Waterloo 27 minutes late due to broken down train; Clapham Junction stop axed for operational convenience. 06.51 Weybridge-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.22 Farnham-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to duff train; intermediate stops after Woking omitted for operational convenience. 07.24 Ascot-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 07.25 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot due to duff stock. 07.25 Alton-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to duff train. 07.26 Southampton-Romsey axed due to no guard. 07.28 Havant-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.43 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff train. 07.49 Farnham-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 07.56 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 08.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 08.22 Guildford-Ascot axed between Guildford and Aldershot due to duff train. 08.25 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.29 Teddington-Waterloo axed between Teddington and Earlsfield due to no rolling stock. 08.46 Weymouth-Waterloo 56 minutes late. 08.48 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo omitted intermediate stops before Norbiton for operational convenience. 09.08 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Wareham due to duff stock. 09.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff train. 10.03 and 11.03 Waterloo-Salisbury axed. 10.12 Waterloo-Woking 15 minutes late; intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 10.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 14.55 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to no crew. 15.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 13 minutes late. Passengers on the 15.22 Waterloo-Reading thrown off at Clapham Junction due to duff stock. 15.58 Alton-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.10 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke due to duff stock. 16.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole grossly overheated. 18.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.52 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches.

2/12/04 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 14.40 Haslemere-Waterloo 25 minutes late; Clapham Junction stop omitted for operational convenience. 15.40 Haslemere-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.53 Waterloo-Portsmouth 25 minutes late. 16.41 Wareham-Waterloo 30 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.25 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 19.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed between Waterloo and Woking. 20.10 Waterloo-Southampton axed between Waterloo and Woking and omitted all intermediate stops.

3/12/04 Passengers on the 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth thrown off at Newton Abbot. Such dreadful Friday overcrowding on the 5-coach 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth that passengers found it difficult to alight; train was 10 minutes late by the Southampton area and the following 16.17 Romsey-Totton was also delayed by 10 minutes. 16.12 Waterloo-Southampton reduced to 4 coaches. 16.42 Poole-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 16.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.33 Chessington-Waterloo thrown off at Raynes Park due to duff stock. 17.37 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.03 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 18.06 Waterloo-Epsom reduced to 4 coaches. 18.15 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.37 Waterloo-Epsom reduced to 4 coaches. 18.40 Waterloo-Havant reduced to 8 coaches. 18.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 18.45 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 19.03 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.47 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.51 Weybridge-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 19.55 Plymouth-Salisbury axed between Plymouth and Exeter. 20.44 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 20.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late.

4/12/04 07.34 Guildford-Waterloo axed. 07.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 10.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 49 minutes late due to duff stock. 10.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 11.38 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 11.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late due to duff train. 12.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 51 minutes late. Passengers on the 12.50 Wareham-Southampton thrown off at Bournemouth. 14.06 Southampton-Wareham axed between Southampton and Bournemouth. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 17.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.12 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot due to duff stock. 18.33 Waterloo-Shepperton 15 minutes late due to no driver; all intermediate stops before Norbiton axed for operational convenience. 20.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 20.30 Exeter-Basingstoke axed between Exeter and Salisbury (was originally to be axed between Salisbury and Basingstoke). 20.54 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 21.19 Kingston-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 21.34 Hounslow-Waterloo 14 minutes late. Passengers on the 21.45 Waterloo-Weymouth thrown off at Bournemouth due to no driver. 22.17 Waterloo-Hounslow 20 minutes late due to no crew.

Sunday 5/12/04 08.03 Chessington-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 09.03 Waterloo-Plymouth 18 minutes late. 09.45 Exeter-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 17.21 Eastleigh-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 17.40 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Wareham due to no guard; 27 minutes late.

6/12/04 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 3 coaches. 16.42 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 16.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; Clapham Junction stop axed for operational convenience. 16.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late; Worplesdon stop axed for operational convenience. 17.05 Brockenhurst-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches due to coupling problem. 18.18 Waterloo-Dorking omitted all intermediate stops before Raynes Park for operational convenience. Passengers on the 19.47 Guildford-Waterloo thrown off at Effingham Junction due to duff stock.

7/12/04 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 06.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 06.50 Alton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late.

8/12/04 04.34 Portsmouth-Waterloo diverted via Eastleigh due to overrun of engineering works; 13 intermediate stations lost a service. 06.54 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late; Clapham Junction stop axed for operational convenience. 07.28 Havant-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.46 Weymouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late due to duff stock but mysteriously recovered 11 minutes between Dorchester and Poole (stops omitted for operational convenience?); this caused the 09.08 Weymouth-Waterloo to be 29 minutes late. 08.55 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 09.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Kingston axed for operational convenience. 09.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 09.24 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late. Passengers on the 09.39 Hampton Court-Waterloo thrown off at Wimbledon due to duff stock. 09.47 Guildford-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 09.57 Brighton-Reading 19 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Basingstoke. 10.15 Woking-Waterloo only 7 minutes late but intermediate stops between Surbiton and Waterloo axed for operational convenience. 10.17 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late; intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. Delayed 10.18 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo omitted all stops before Norbiton for operational convenience. 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Poole 11 minutes late. 13.05 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke. 13.45 Waterloo-Southampton 22 minutes late. 14.00 Waterloo-Poole formed of ancient Mark I stock and 21 minutes late. 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth 51 minutes late due to duff stock; ran fast from Waterloo to Salisbury for operational convenience, and passengers eventually thrown off at Totnes. 14.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 10 minutes late. 15.03 Waterloo-Gillingham axed between Salisbury and Gillingham. 15.38 Exeter-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 15.51 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. Front half of the 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth had only emergency lighting; passengers were to be transferred to a fully lit train at Bournemouth. 16.42 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed 10 minutes between Southampton Airport and Southampton due to following the delayed 16.45 Waterloo-Poole. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.53 Salisbury-Waterloo axed. 18.10 Waterloo-Yeovil 11 minutes late due to duff stock. Crew for the 17.55 Southampton-Brockenhurst turned up at 18.03; guard unable to make announcement due to the duff intercom on the new Desiro unit. 18.24 Waterloo-Guildford 13 minutes late. 18.32 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 18.57 Brighton-Reading thrown off at Basingstoke. 19.33 Paignton-Basingstoke axed between Paignton and Newton Abbot. 19.55 Plymouth-Salisbury axed between Plymouth and Totnes. 20.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth advertised as cancelled due to no guard, but was reinstated when it was too late for many passengers to get to Waterloo to catch it. Passengers on the 20.47 Guildford-Waterloo thrown off at Wimbledon. 21.24 Reading-Portsmouth axed between Reading and Basingstoke.

9/12/04 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 13.48 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth axed between Newton Abbot and Plymouth due to no guard. 14.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.03 Waterloo-Salisbury reduced to 3 coaches. New Desiro units on the 16.45 Waterloo-Poole had such effective air conditioning that some passengers wore scarves and outer coats, even hats and caps; the misery was somewhat extended as the train seemed generally sluggish and reached the Southampton area 14 minutes late. 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 17.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 18.10 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 6 coaches. 18.47 Southampton-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 19.00 and 19.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth both 15 minutes late. 19.24 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late. 19.40 Waterloo-Portsmouth 31 minutes late; all stops between Guildford and Fratton axed for operational convenience. 19.54 Portsmouth-Winchester 20 minutes late. 19.55 Plymouth-Salisbury axed between Plymouth and Exeter due to no guard.

10/12/04 14.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 15.00 Guildford-Waterloo thrown off at Wimbledon due to duff stock. 15.08 Paignton-Waterloo axed between Paignton and Exeter. Passengers on the 16.00 Waterloo-Poole thrown off at Woking due to duff stock. 16.09 Hampton Court-Waterloo ran fast from New Malden for operational convenience. 16.21 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 16.56 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 16.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.04 Woking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.32 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 21.24 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late.

11/12/04 Announced before 06.00 that the following trains would be reduced to 3 coaches: 07.05 Exeter-Waterloo; 11.33 Waterloo-Gillingham; 13.53 Gillingham-Waterloo; 16.33 Waterloo-Exeter. 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 07.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.23 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 07.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.30 Weybridge-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 07.43 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 08.38 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 08.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 09.10 Waterloo-Basingstoke 30 minutes late; all intermediate stops except Woking axed for operational convenience. 09.23 Waterloo-Haslemere axed between Waterloo and Woking. 10.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 34 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.52 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late due to no crew; intermediate stops before Staines axed for operational convenience. 17.30 Southampton-Waterloo 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops axed for operational convenience. 17.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 19 minutes late. 18.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.33 Waterloo-Yeovil axed between Salisbury and Yeovil due to no driver. 20.45 Waterloo-Southampton axed due to no driver. 20.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late due to duff train. 20.54 Portsmouth-Winchester 35 minutes late. 21.24 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.44 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 21.47 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 21.47 Southampton-Portsmouth axed between Southampton and Fareham. 22.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 23.19 Weybridge-Staines axed due to no driver.

Sunday 12/12/04 START OF NEW TIMETABLE WITH LONGER JOURNEY TIMES TO AVOID LATE RUNNING 06.43 Basingstoke-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 08.15 Waterloo-Exeter axed between Waterloo and Woking. 08.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late. 14.10 Brighton-Exeter / 15.15 Waterloo-Exeter 15 minutes late. 14.26 Guildford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Bournemouth. 17.50 Waterloo-Woking 20 minutes late, and 17.52 Woking-Waterloo 43 minutes late, due to points problem. 17.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 18.27 Waterloo-Bournemouth 22 minutes late due to engineering work. 18.39 Waterloo-Reading 31 minutes late; intermediate stops after Ascot axed for operational convenience. 18.49 Woking-Alton 15 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Reading axed. 19.50 Waterloo-Woking axed. 21.24 Reading-Waterloo axed. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Bournemouth and Weymouth. 21.39 Waterloo-Reading axed. 21.52 Woking-Waterloo axed. Twickenham and Richmond stops of the 21.54 Reading-Waterloo axed.

13/12/04 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed between Totton and Southampton due to the unit's having run late on a previous service. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo therefore stopped at Totton, Redbridge and Millbrook and left Southampton 7 minutes late; reached Waterloo 20 minutes late. 06.04 Bournemouth / 06.11 Poole to Waterloo 8 minutes late from Southampton due to a minor signalling problem at Christchurch; a "bridge bash" then led to slow running through Basingstoke, with the train finally reaching Waterloo almost 30 minutes late - service was very overcrowded and one coach so baking hot that passengers preferred to stand in the corridor. 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 08.05 Waterloo-Poole 13 minutes late. 08.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late; Walton and Weybridge stops axed for operational convenience. 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo axed but then reinstated to run 25 minutes late. 08.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 09.20 Basingstoke-Brighton axed. 09.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed. 11.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 11 minutes late; ran fast from Twickenham to Waterloo for operational convenience. 11.45 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 12.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 13.01 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.12 Waterloo-Shepperton 10 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Fulwell. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 15.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Teddington. Part of the 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth freezing cold by Winchester; train was 7 minutes late at Southampton; passengers rushed across the footbridge to connect with the 16.56 stopping train to Weymouth - two were lucky as it was slam door stock and they could not be locked out, but the rest were left behind, the train then running at a snail's pace to Millbrook for the 15.35 to overtake. 16.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 16.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.42 Reading-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 16.54 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to no driver. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading 24 minutes late; train ran non-stop to Staines for operational convenience. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor 10 minutes late; intermediate stops before Richmond axed for operational convenience. 18.05 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reverted to old slam door coaches; during the week guards variously ascribed this to rolling stock shortage and not enough crews being trained to operate new rolling stock. Passengers on the 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo thrown off at Salisbury due to duff stock. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton 10 minutes late. 19.07 Weybridge-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to duff stock. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Salisbury axed between Waterloo and Woking. 19.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to no crew. 20.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed due to no driver. 20.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 21.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.12 Reading-Waterloo axed. 22.30 Southampton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed.

14/12/04 06.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 07.53 Weybridge-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches and omitted all intermediate stops after Hounslow. Part of the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth baking hot. Lack of audible announcements on the 18.05 from Waterloo meant passengers not warned about short platforms; one passenger seen jumping on to the slope of the platform at Totton. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to duff stock. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 19.06 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 21.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 21.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 21.27 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 21.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed. 21.35 Dorking-Waterloo axed. 21.58 Waterloo-Windsor 22 minutes late. 22.25 Bristol-Salisbury axed. 22.28 Waterloo-Windsor 33 minutes late. 22.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minutes late. 22.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed.

15/12/04 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 06.12 Reading-Waterlo 10 minutes late. 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo reduced to 11 coaches. 06.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to rolling stock shortage. 07.11 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.55 Poole-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed between Waterloo and Staines. 08.07 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 09.55 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke.

16/12/04 06.24 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late due to protest on a signal gantry. 07.07 Guildford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 07.32 Woking-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Bournemouth due to duff stock. 14.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Newton Abbot. 15.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to no crew. 15.05 Dorking-Waterloo 11 minutes late. At 16.30 the customer information system at Waterloo was totally inoperative; passengers having to queue to find out the platforms their trains would leave from because no posters or whiteboards in use. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 3 coaches. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Exeter. 18.07 Weybridge-Waterloo axed. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 19.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.

17/12/04 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 07.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 07.12 Reading-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 07.23 Windsor-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo diverted via Richmond. Passengers on the 07.50 Brighton-Basingstoke thrown off at Barnham due to duff stock. 07.52 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo omitted Queenstown Road, Wandsworth Town and Barnes stops for operational convenience. 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 08.02 Southampton-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 08.05 Portsmouth-Reading axed due to duff stock. 08.10 Chessington-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.10 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 34 minutes late. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 16.01 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.15 Gillingham-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.47 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 47 minutes late due to duff train. 17.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo 20 minutes late; stops between Staines and Waterloo axed for operational convenience. 17.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading 21 minutes late. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford axed. 17.35 Waterloo-Poole 14 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late; intermediate stops before Richmond axed for operational convenience. 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton 17 minutes late. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed. 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 18.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 12 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Epsom axed. 19.06 Shepperton-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 19.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 19.35 Alton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 32 minutes late; intermediate stops between Waterloo and Haslemere axed for operational convenience. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 14 minutes late. 20.40 Chessington-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury ran as a non-stop service Brighton to Portsmouth due to shortage of guards.

18/12/04 06.19 Woking-Portsmouth 36 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.07 Basingstoke-Yeovil axed between Basingstoke and Salisbury due to no guard. 08.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to duff stock. 09.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 09.20 Waterloo-Reading axed. 09.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed between Windsor and Staines. 11.12 Reading-Waterloo axed. 16.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 18.08 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.42 Southampton-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 19.04 Reading-Brighton 17 minutes late. 20.06 Weymouth-Waterloo 40 minutes late. 20.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.36 Portsmouth-Southampton axed due to duff stock.

Sunday 19/12/04 20.01, 20.34 and 21.01 Windsor-Waterloo all axed between Windsor and Staines. 21.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo 22 minutes late.

20/12/04 06.50 Waterloo-Reading 24 minutes late due to duff train. 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed between Windsor and Staines. 08.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo omitted all stops between Barnes and Twickenham inclusive. 15.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 18 minutes late; all stops from Barnes to Isleworth inclusive (except Brentford) axed for operational convenience. 15.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 19 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.15 Gillingham-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 8 coaches. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 5 coaches. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late due to duff door; connection from Southampton to Millbrook and Redbridge not honoured; 19.05 stopped additionally at Redbridge but as the stop was not announced at Southampton, or on the train, it was a pointless gesture. 19.37 Weybridge-Waterloo 30 minutes late due to duff stock; passengers thrown off at Staines. 20.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 15 minutes late.

21/12/04 06.00 Romsey-Totton axed. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late, arriving at 08.01 to form the 08.05 to Poole. 06.11 Poole-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 07.52 Waterloo-Weybridge omitted stops at Barnes, Barnes Bridge, Chiswick, Kew Bridge and Isleworth. 08.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Redbridge. 14.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 16.15 Gillingham-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth announced at Waterloo as splitting at Brockenhurst rather than Bournemouth; guard of the train announced that passengers should change at Southampton Central not only for Totton and Ashurst, but also for Millbrook and Redbridge (46 minute connection) and Beaulieu Road (821 minute connection). 16.39 Waterloo-Fratton 15 minutes late. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 17.45 Waterloo-Haslemere reduced to 8 coaches. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton delayed due to duff stock, and actual timings mysteriously failed to appear on the National Rail live running site. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybrige 15 minutes late due to no crew. 22.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to no rolling stock available; all intermediate stations before Norbiton axed for operational convenience.

22/12/04 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late; omitted all intermediate stops between Guildford and Fratton except Haslemere, Petersfield and Havant. 06.11 Poole-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 06.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to duff stock. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. Passengers on the 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo thrown off at Exeter Central due to duff stock. 15.57 Brighton-Reading 15 minutes late. 16.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 23 minutes late due to duff stock; stops at Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames and Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 17.45 Waterloo-Haslemere reduced to 8 coaches. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches. 17.56 Poole-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 17.57 Brighton-Basingstoke axed between Brighton and Hove. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 9 coaches. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 28 minutes late. 18.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham, and 13 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 23 minutes late. Delayed 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo omitted stops at Clapham Junction, Earlsfield and Wimbledon. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge reduced to 4 coaches. 18.55 Southampton-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.05 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 18.56 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 21 minutes late. 19.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.35 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham, and 32 minutes late. 19.38 Guildford-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 19.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.03 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 20.08 Guildford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.10 Chessington-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 20.14 Alton-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 20.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 20.35 Dorking-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 21.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 20 minutes late. 21.20 Waterloo-Yeovil 15 minutes late.

23/12/04 06.19 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 06.44 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.55 Poole-Waterloo axed between Poole and Bournemouth due to no guard. 08.03 Waterloo-Guildford axed. 14.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 22 minutes late due to no crew; ran fast to Barnes for operational convenience. 17.56 Southampton-Bournemouth parked at the far end of Southampton's platform 3B, not advertised on the customer information system, and not announced until 17.54. Three passengers sprinted down the platform and left the rearmost door open for following passengers; but for this, the train would have departed near-empty. 20.15 Waterloo-Haslemere axed due to duff stock. 21.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed.

24/12/04 05.31 Hounslow-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed between Totton and Southampton. 06.20 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to no driver. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed between Windsor and Staines due to no rolling. Passengers on the 06.30 Woking-Alton thrown off at Farnham due do duff stock. 06.37 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 06.41 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 07.00 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.11 Haslemere-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham due to duff stock. 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo and 07.47 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 08.28 Waterloo-Windsor 18 minutes late. 08.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Guildford due to no driver. 09.02 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 09.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 10.05 Fareham-Basingstoke axed due to no driver. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 11.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 12.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late; connection at Southampton Airport with the stopping service to Totton not honoured. 12.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late. 12.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 13.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton axed for operational convenience. 13.42 Reading-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 14.20 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 14.36 Portsmouth-Southampton axed due to no driver. 14.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Exeter due to duff stock. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 15.42 Southampton-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 16.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 18 minutes late due to no crew. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to no driver. 17.31 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no guard. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton 25 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor 16 minutes late. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 18.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking axed due to no driver. 20.03 Woking-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 21.35 Dorking-Waterloo axed.

27/12/04 05.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 06.27 Poole-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 06.45 Wareham-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 07.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 07.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 25 minutes late. 07.26 Waterloo-Poole axed. 07.56 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 08.26 Waterloo-Poole 21 minutes late. 09.05 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 09.26 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 09.40 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 10.01 Poole-Waterloo 39 minutes late. 10.05 Shepperton-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 10.23 Windsor-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 10.26 Waterloo-Poole 31 minutes late. 10.31 Kingston-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 10.56 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late. 13.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 13.01 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 13.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no conductor. 14.03 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 15.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no conductor.

28/12/04 06.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 14.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 16.37 / 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 18.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed. 19.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed. 20.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to no crew. 22.20 Waterloo-Reading 25 minutes late due to no crew. 22.50 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late due to duff stock.

29/12/04 05.43 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 06.31 Kingston-Waterloo axed. 08.28 Waterloo-Windsor 20 minutes late due to duff stock. 09.01 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late due to signal checks at Millbrook and Woking; on arrival at Waterloo, the guard blamed the delay on the number of people travelling. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Exeter due to no driver. 18.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.31 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 13 minutes late due to duff stock. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury reduced to 3 coaches. Passengers on the 18.57 Brighton-Reading thrown off at Havant. 19.04 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke. 20.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court axed due to duff stock. 20.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.56 Salisbury-Bristol axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury thrown off at Southampton. 21.55 Reading-Portsmouth axed. 22.25 Bristol-Salisbury axed due to no driver.

30/12/04 05.43 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 07.50 Waterloo-Salisbury axed due to duff stock. 07.54 Waterloo-Dorking 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Epsom axed for operational convenience. 08.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 09.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 10.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 16.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 11 minutes late; stops at Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames and Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.58 Waterloo-Windsor 27 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops before Staines axed for operational convenience. Passengers on the 20.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo thrown off at Woking. 22.23 Waterloo-Alton axed.

31/12/04 06.00 Romsey-Totton 10 minutes late. 06.25 Southampton-Wareham 46 minutes late due to duff stock; passengers thrown off at Poole. 07.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst axed between Weymouth and Poole. Duff stock on 09.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo; passengers thrown off at Brookwood. 11.05 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late. Passengers on the 16.12 Reading-Waterloo thrown off at Clapham Junction due to no driver. 16.55 Waterloo-Alton 22 minutes late due to no crew. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton 16 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 19.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 19.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 20.53 Waterloo-Alton axed between Waterloo and Woking due to no driver. 21.00 Romsey-Totton 29 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Southampton. 21.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 21.03 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to no driver. 22.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton. 22.20 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 23.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 23.24 Portsmouth-Winchester axed due to no driver.

1/1/05 07.30 Southampton-Wareham 54 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 11 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton axed for operational convenience. 08.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 14 minutes late due to no crew. 08.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 09.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 09.09 Waterloo-Guildford 16 minutes late due to no crew. 10.23 Waterloo-Alton axed due to no guard. Passengers on the 11.00 Weymouth-Waterloo thrown off at Moreton due to duff stock. 11.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 12.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 45 minutes late due to duff preceding train; passengers thrown off at Poole. 12.14 Alton-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 12.46 Waterloo-Chessington axed due to no guard. 13.12 Reading-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 13.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to no crew; all intermediate stops before Norbiton axed for operational convenience. 13.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 13.42 Reading-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 14.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no guard. 16.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 16.28 Guildford-Waterloo 30 minutes late due to no crew; all stops before Raynes Park axed for operational convenience. 17.20 Waterloo-Yeovil axed due to duff stock. 17.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 18.23 Waterloo-Alton thrown off at Farnham due to no driver. 18.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 18.31 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 19.53 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 20.14 Alton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 21.08 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.20 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 22.20 Waterloo-Woking axed due to no driver. 22.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.53 Waterloo-Alton axed due to no driver. 23.23 Ascot-Aldershot axed due to no driver. 23.33 Weybridge-Staines axed due to no guard.

Sunday 2/1/05 12.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth/Portsmouth 20 minutes late due to no crew. 19.15 Waterloo-Exeter 34 minutes late. 21.35 Bristol-Salisbury axed due to no crew. 22.15 Waterloo-Salisbury reduced to 3 coaches due to a derailment in Salisbury depot.

3/1/05 07.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed. 08.00 Exeter-Honiton axed due to no guard. 08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 24 minutes late due to no crew. 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo reduced to 3 coaches. 09.00 Honiton-Exeter axed due to no guard. 10.45 Waterloo-Poole 12 minutes late. 11.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 49 minutes late. 12.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 12.01 Poole-Waterloo 32 minutes late. Passengers on the 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth thrown off at Exeter due to no driver. 13.45 Waterloo-Poole 11 minutes late. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late and axed between Plymouth and Exeter due to no driver. 17.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 21.00 Exeter-Axminster axed due to no driver.

4/1/05 15.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo terminated at Strawberry Hill due to duff stock. 16.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton. 16.35 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton 19 minutes late due to duff stock. Guard of 16.35 Waterloo to Weymouth announced brusquely at Winchester, "Will passengers getting on the train please use all the doors. That's why they're there" - SWT then caused confusion for those changing at Southampton to the 17.56 stopping train to Bournemouth by showing it on the customer information screen as "1. Terminates here". This display was maintained even as the train was departing; the train then arrived at Totton 10 minutes late due to being held for a delayed Virgin service to pass. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 16 minutes late. 18.36 Shepperton-Waterloo 34 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Kingston axed for operational convenience. 19.06 Shepperton-Waterloo 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Kingston axed for operational convenience. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late.

5/1/05 06.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late. 06.55 Reading-Brighton 17 minutes late. 07.50 Brighton-Basingstoke 30 minutes late from Barnham, purportedly due to poor rail conditions (Southern's many trains in the Brighton-Barnham area were unaffected, and all running to time). 10.05 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 10.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. Passengers on the 11.23 Waterloo-Alton thrown off at Farnham "due to a slow moving freight train in front". 11.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 13.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. Passengers on the 15.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo thrown off at Clapham Junction due to duff stock. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 22 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock; dreadful overcrowding with howling children; many left behind as they could not find standing room. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 26 minutes late due to duff stock. 18.48 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. Passengers on the 18.50 Waterloo-Reading thrown off at Clapham Junction due to duff stock. 20.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 14 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops after Kingston axed for operational convenience. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 12 minutes late. 20.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.

6/1/05 09.02 Dorking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 15.39 Waterloo-Guildford axed between Waterloo and Raynes Park. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late due to signalling problem at Micheldever; passengers who rushed at Southampton to catch the 17.56 stopping service to Bournemouth arrived on platform 3 to see it gliding away under their noses; they eventually caught the delayed 17.05 from Waterloo which, for example, got them to Totton 42 minutes late, all for the sake of holding the 17.56 for a few seconds longer. 17.24 Basingstoke-Southampton 14 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 8 coaches. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Fratton. 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton 17 minutes late. 18.03 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to broken down train. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 18.16 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking reduced to 4 coaches. 18.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 5 coaches. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to duff stock. 18.48 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock.

7/1/05 06.40 Exeter-Waterloo axed between Exeter and Salisbury. 06.44 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea. 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo axed. 13.53 Ascot-Guildford axed between Aldershot and Guildford due to duff stock. 15.01 Guildford-Ascot axed between Guildford and Aldershot due to duff stock. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 33 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late due to duff train in front. 16.39 Waterloo-Fratton 19 minutes late. 17.24 Basingstoke-Southampton 17 minutes late. 17.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late; stops at Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames and Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 17.25 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 4 coaches. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 8 coaches. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 8 coaches. 18.05 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.18 Waterloo-Haslemere reduced to 5 coaches. 18.20 Epsom-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 19.33 Waterloo-Guildford axed. 19.42 Reading-Waterloo axed. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 21.12 Reading-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 21.20 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late due to duff stock. 21.50 Waterloo-Reading axed. 21.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed. 22.23 Ascot-Guildford axed. 22.50 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late due to no crew. 23.31 Guildford-Aldershot axed.

8/1/05 05.30 Poole-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 06.00 Southampton-Waterloo axed. 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 13.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 14.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed between Waterloo and Wimbledon. 14.12 Reading-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed. 17.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to no guard. Passengers on the 18.23 Ascot-Guildford thrown off at Aldershot. 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 19.31 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no guard. 20.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 20.53 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no guard. 21.12 Waterloo-Reading 13 minutes late. 21.31 Guildford-Aldershot axed. 22.38 Aldershot-Guildford axed. 23.01 Guildford-Ascot axed.

Sunday 9/1/05 07.09 Waterloo-Reading 38 minutes late due to duff stock. 08.54 Reading-Waterloo 30 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines axed for operational convenience. 10.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 14.09 Waterloo-Reading 19 minutes late. 14.24 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 15.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 15.54 Reading-Waterloo 30 minutes late; all stops except Wokingham, Bracknell, Ascot and Staines axed for operational convenience. 16.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late. Passengers on the 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo thrown off at Winchester due to duff stock. 17.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late. 17.44 Waterloo-Windsor 10 minutes late due to no crew. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 18.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late. 19.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 19.24 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 21.12 Chessington-Waterloo axed.

10/1/05 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 9 minutes late at 17.58; furious passengers for the 16.56 stopping service to Bournemouth raced across the footbridge only to find it had been sent off to stand at signals until the 16.35 over took it; one stranded passenger overheard saying something unrepeatable to another, who was wholeheartedly agreeing with him. 16.56 Havant-Waterloo axed due to no stock. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 18 minutes late; no reason given, though customer information system at Totton said it was due to a delayed preceding service; train was again formed of slam door stock - staff said the train normally providing the service is faulty and being thoroughly tested before returning to service, probably by the end of the week. 18.18 Waterloo-Haslemere 16 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Bournemouth due to duff stock. Passengers on the 21.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo thrown off at Woking. Passengers on the 23.30 Waterloo-Hampton Court thrown off at Surbiton. 23.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 23.48 Waterloo-Basingstoke and 23.50 Waterloo-Guildford diverted due to engineering work.

11/1/05 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 22 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Wareham. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 3 minutes late at Totton; delay at Southampton awaiting rear 5 coaches "due to signalling problems in the Brockenhurst area"; train 10 minutes late leaving Southampton and 14 minutes late at Waterloo. 06.11 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff stock. 08.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst axed between Weymouth and Wareham. 15.33 Woking-Waterloo 11 minutes late; intermediate stops, except from Weybridge to Surbiton, axed for operational convenience. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth eventually 15 minutes late; 9 minutes late into Southampton where the stopping train to Bournemouth sent ahead just before its arrival, for the second evening in succession. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 15 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 18.03 Woking-Waterloo 9 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 13 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 6 minutes late by Southampton. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 52 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Basingstoke. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 20.10 Chessington-Waterloo thrown off at Wimbledon due to duff stock. 20.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 21.03 Weybridge-Waterloo thrown off at Chertsey. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury ran only between Barnham and Southampton due to duff stock. 21.55 Reading-Portsmouth axed between Reading and Basingstoke due to duff stock.

12/1/05 06.11 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 06.54 Weymouth-Waterloo 48 minutes late from Dorchester. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 07.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst 22 minutes late. 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. Passengers on the 07.58 Guildford-Waterloo thrown off at Leatherhead due to duff stock. 11.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; Guildford and Woking stops axed for operational convenience. 12.05 Dorking-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 13.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction axed due to duff stock. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 46 minutes late. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff train in front. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 55 minutes late due to duff train in front; passengers thrown off at Bournemouth. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo axed between Poole and Bournemouth due to duff train. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 24 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.44 Alton-Waterloo 23 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking omitted for operational convenience. 20.50 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 23.01 Guildford-Ascot axed.

13/1/05 00.27 Ascot-Aldershot axed due to no driver. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 15.20 Waterloo-Reading axed. 16.01 Honiton-Exeter axed. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter delayed due to duff stock. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo axed. 17.56 Southampton-Bournemouth 10 minutes late starting due to duff brakes; customer information system at Southampton showed "Terminates here" until almost departure time, then "Bournemouth", then "Terminates here", then "Bournemouth". 18.05 Waterloo-Poole again slam door stock; once more a passenger was seen jumping down on to the slope at the end of the platform at Totton. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff stock; passengers advised to cram into the 19.50 Waterloo-Salisbury.

14/1/05 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton stopping service 8 minutes late; much better stock than the slam door 18.05 Waterloo-Poole, which was 7 minutes late. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff stock. 18.55 Reading-Brighton 33 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Hove. 20.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury axed between Brighton and Hove.

15/1/05 07.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 08.26 Waterloo-Poole 26 minutes late. 10.26 Waterloo-Poole 19 minutes late. 12.26 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 15.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.26 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 18.56 Waterloo-Weymouth 31 minutes late; stops at Southampton Airport and Brockenhurst axed for operational convenience. 19.31 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 20.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.53 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver.

Sunday 16/1/05 08.00 Waterloo-Guildford 27 minutes late due to duff stock. 08.12 Waterloo-Southampton 21 minutes late due to duff stock. 08.18 Waterloo-Plymouth 15 minutes late. 09.18 Waterloo-Exeter 20 minutes late. 13.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late; connection from Southampton Central to Totton not held and stood at signals at Millbrook for 4 minutes for the 13.12 to overtake. As on the preceding Sunday, it was noted that the Customer Information System at Southampton Central was advising that the rear 5 coaches of the Weymouth train would serve New Milton, when in fact that station has a short platform. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.39 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 17.54 Reading-Waterloo thrown off at Virginia Water due to duff stock. 19.24 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver.

17/1/05 06.07 Totton-Yeovil mysteriously delayed 10 minutes at Southampton, with a knock-on delay of several minutes to the 05.45-Poole-Waterloo; due to slack scheduling, the latter still got to Waterloo 3 minutes early after a very slow run from Clapham Junction. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Guildford due to duff stock. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.52 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed. 09.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 15.57 Brighton-Reading 20 minutes late. Mainline arrivals into Waterloo between 16.20 and 16.50 were all running 5-10 minutes late. 17.56 Poole-Waterloo 56 minutes late. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 78 minutes late. The start of yet another week of old slam door stock on the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole - very poor value for the big fares increase. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 67 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 18.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 58 minutes late. 18.55 Southampton-Waterloo 91 minutes late. 18.56 Poole-Waterloo 42 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 93 minutes late. 19.06 Shepperton-Waterloo 59 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 71 minutes late. Passengers on the 19.15 Waterloo-Haslemere thrown off at Guildford due to no driver. 19.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Southampton 36 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 53 minutes late. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 19.55 Southampton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 39 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Exeter 43 minutes late. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 20.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 28 minutes late. 20.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 32 minutes late. 21.05 Waterloo-Poole 28 minutes late. 21.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 24 minutes late.

18/1/05 05.45 Waterloo-Poole 6 minutes late; some other mainline arrivals at Waterloo around 08.00 noted as 5-10 minutes late. Stock for 08.02 Woking-Waterloo delayed; West Byfleet stop omitted for operational convenience. 08.31 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late; Farnborough and Woking stops omitted for operational convenience. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches.

19/1/05 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed between Totton and Southampton. 06.55 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Havant due to duff stock. 08.31 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 09.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 23 minutes late. 11.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 14.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 45 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking for operational convenience. 14.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Haslemere, except Guildford, axed for operational convenience. 15.33 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to no guard. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 16.39 Waterloo-Fratton axed. Passengers on the 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo only got to Fratton before they were thrown off due to duff train. 16.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to duff train. 17.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction axed due to duff train. 17.16 Waterloo-Chessington axed due to duff train. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 18.48 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 5 coaches. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff train.

20/1/05 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton axed; commuters lost their connection for London. Doors on the 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo closed 30 seconds early at Totton; train then had a long wait at Southampton for the rear unit to arrive from Poole. 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth axed. 15.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 15.28 Waterloo-Windsor, 16.11 Shepperton-Waterloo and 16.53 Windsor-Waterloo all advertised as axed and then as reinstated. It seems SWT couldn't decide which trains to axe; at 17.23 their website was updated to show the 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reinstated and the 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton axed; not much use to passengers who had checked the website and decided to switch from the 18.00 to the 18.15. After 15 minutes' delay at Southampton awaiting 'displaced crew', passengers on the Poole portion of the 18.35 from Waterloo thrown off due to no driver; member of staff at Southampton suggested that the crew who should have come down from Waterloo might have been double booked; passengers then had to wait for the 19.05 from Waterloo, which was 7 minutes late. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 26 minutes late.

21/1/05 Duff train outside Waterloo in the morning train; many trains simply shown as delayed. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late, despite passing Clapham Junction early due to its slack schedule. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo axed. 13.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 27 minutes late due to duff stock; Woking stop omitted for operational convenience. 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth packed tight 10 minutes before departure time; 7 minutes late at Winchester and still so overcrowded that the guard decided two women with baby buggies couldn't board. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 20 minutes late. 16.42 Reading-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham due to duff stock. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 17 minutes late. Old slam door stock on the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole was 7 minutes late by Southampton. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed between Brentford and Waterloo due to duff stock. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 34 minutes late due to duff train. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.03 Woking-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 23 minutes late due to duff train. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 27 minutes late. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 20.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 34 minutes late. 20.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 21.01 Totton-Romsey 11 minutes late. 21.30 Southampton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 22.35 Waterloo-Poole 33 minutes late due to duff stock. 23.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to duff stock; then reinstated and ran 49 minutes late.

22/1/05 07.12 Reading-Waterloo 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines axed for operational convenience. Duff stock on the 08.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo; passengers thrown off at Wimbledon. 12.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 12.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 13.01 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.20 Waterloo-Penzance 28 minutes late due to duff locomotive. 14.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 14.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 15.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no driver. 16.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.30 Exeter-Axminster axed due to duff stock. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 17.59 Wareham-Brockenhurst axed between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst due to duff stock. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter axed due to duff stock. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 19 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.28 Waterloo-Windsor 16 minutes late due to duff train. 21.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 22.12 Reading-Waterloo 15 minutes late.

Sunday 23/1/05 09.07 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed between Waterloo and Woking due to no guard. Passengers on the 11.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo thrown off at Winchester due to no driver. 15.57 Waterloo-Hampton Court and 17.05 Hampton Court-Waterloo advertised on SWT's website as cancelled due to no guard; at 15.48 they were reported to be reinstated. Purported evening fatality at Redbridge. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 37 minutes late. 20.42 Romsey-Totton 15 minutes late. 21.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo axed. 21.01 Windsor-Waterloo axed.

24/1/05 At Totton, doors on the 06.46 to Waterloo closed 30 seconds early, and the train left 10 seconds before time; train then had to wait a full 10 minutes at Southampton for the rear portion to join; was 12 minutes late into Winchester due to another train failing in the platform, and 11 minutes late into Waterloo. 07.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to duff stock. 07.14 Alton-Waterloo 19 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 21 minutes late due to duff train. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 44 minutes late; all stops Whitton-Mortlake inclusive axed for operational convenience. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 17.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 17.13 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill reduced to 4 coaches. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. Still old slam-door stock on the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole. 18.16 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 19.36 Portsmouth-Southampton axed due to duff stock. 20.14 Alton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. Passengers on the 21.05 Waterloo-Poole thrown off at Bournemouth due to no driver.

25/1/05 The doors on the 06.46 from Totton closed 30 seconds early again, and this time the train left a full 20 seconds early; SWT seems to be getting more ambitious in leaving taxpayers behind. 07.33 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.33 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 08.46 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. Stock for the 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo not expected until 17.33. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late in the Southampton area. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot. Passengers on the 19.15 Waterloo-Haslemere thrown off at Guildford due to no guard. 19.15 Waterloo-Brentford -Waterloo 22 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Waterloo axed for operational convenience. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole axed due to no driver.

26/1/05 05.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late; no heating in rear unit. 06.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 06.28 Waterloo-Windsor 21 minutes late due to duff stock. 06.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 15 minutes late due to no stock. 06.53 Windsor-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. Worplesdon and Woking stops of the 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 07.32 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. Woking stop of the 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo axed. 08.07 Guildford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 08.10 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.10 Chessington-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 11.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 25 minutes late. 13.39 Waterloo-Southampton 7 minutes late. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed. 18.38 Winchester-Southampton axed. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Waterloo axed for operational convenience. 19.23 Windsor-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 20.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed. 20.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot.

27/1/05 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo axed. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Waterloo and Staines axed for operational convenience. At 07.42 it was reported that passengers on the 09.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth would be thrown off at Fratton due to duff stock. 15.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 16.39 Waterloo-Fratton axed due to no guard. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Aldershot axed due to no guard. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 8 coaches. 17.34 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.54 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to duff stock. 17.57 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 5 coaches. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter axed due to no guard. 18.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton 25 minutes late due to duff stock. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 18.46 Chessington-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.50 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.55 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to no guard. 19.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction axed due to duff stock. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Norbiton axed for operational convenience. 20.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Waterloo and Richmond axed for operational convenience. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late due to duff train. 21.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 18 minutes late.

28/1/05 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.33 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 08.02 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 16.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 16.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo thrown off at Barnes due to duff stock. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 19.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed. 20.03 Woking-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 20.08 Guildford-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 20.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 22.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed.

29/1/05 06.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton 21 minutes late. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 08.01 Guildford-Ascot 15 minutes late. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 15.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 19 minutes late. Passengers on both the 17.00 AND 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo thrown off at Woking due to no drivers. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no guard. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 20.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. 20.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.23 AND 23.23 Woking-Alton axed due to no guard. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury 32 minutes late due to duff train. 21.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.18 Alton-Woking axed due to guard. 23.00 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 23.07 Waterloo-Twickenham axed due to no driver. 23.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed.

Sunday 30/1/05 06.55 Southampton-Waterloo 53 minutes late from Eastleigh due to overrunning engineering work; passengers thrown off at Basingstoke for operational convenience. 07.50 Guildford-Waterloo 19 minutes late due to no crew. 13.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 17.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 19.07 Waterloo-Basingstoke 16 minutes late. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late due to duff stock.

31/1/05 06.07 Totton-Yeovil started 2 minutes late, with only emergency lighting. 06.55 Reading-Brighton axed due to duff stock. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 14.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 15.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 16.22 Waterloo-Weybridge and 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth both reduced to 4 coaches. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 18.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 39 minutes late due to no rolling stock; passengers thrown off at Woking. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke 42 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops axed for operational convenience. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 16 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 3 coaches. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking.

CUSTOMER "SERVICE" AT SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL - JUST ANOTHER DAY

On 26 January, passengers were waiting with their luggage on platform 4 for the 15.10 Wessex Trains' service to Cardiff. As the train appeared from the murk of Southampton tunnel, it was announced that it would now depart from platform 2. Passengers had to haul their luggage over the footbridge almost at running speed. Station staff urged them to board quickly. One member of the staff then noted something interesting. A 10-coach SWT Desiro train was parked in the short down bay platform, its front coaches straddling both down through lines and effectively putting platforms 3 and 4 out of use.

The Desiro was eventually sent off to the sidings and the 13.39 terminating train from Waterloo pulled into platform 3, over 7 minutes late. The 14.00 Waterloo-Poole was right behind, and ran into platform 4. Passengers off the 13.39 in turn had to race over the footbridge with their luggage, with SWT staff yelling at them to board quickly. The Poole train then departed, leaving two women behind.

REPORT FROM A PORTSMOUTH RAIL USER (RECEIVED 24/1/2005)

[MUCH ADO BY SWT ABOUT A BIT OF OVERDUE MAINTENANCE]

"The following article appeared last week in The News, Portsmouth. This is pure propaganda from SWT for, as we know, the repainting of stations is one of the conditions of last year's franchise extension (and not because they wish to improve the travelling experience for customers). Why have they been allowed to let the stations fall into such a poor state of repair? Most of the stations listed (and I am sure that the rest of the estate falls into the same boat) were last painted by SWT in the mid 1990s.

"Revamp is on track to brighten up rail stations
The News, Portsmouth, 21 January 2005

TRAIN stations across Hampshire are being given a multi-million pound facelift. South West Trains Is spending 5m repainting 75 stations across the network, Including 10 in Portsmouth and south Hampshire.

Commuters at Cosham, Fareham, Fratton. Havant, Hilsea, Portchester, Rowlands Castle and Petersfield will benefit from brighter platforms, according to the operator.

It said the investment is part of a commitment to improving stations by creating cleaner and brighter environments for passengers.

South West Trains' station development manager Malcolm Page said: "We recognise stations are the gateway to towns."

'We want people visiting a town for the time to have a good first impression and we want to give local residents a station to be proud of".

He added: "If we are to encourage more people to use rail as their first mode of transport it is important to create a welcoming station."

Painting across the network started In 2003, with work due for completion by the end of April this year. Further stations will be included in the programme throughout the rest of the year."

MEDIA REPORTS

17/11/04 TIMETABLE AND ROLLING STOCK BLOWS FOR SWT PASSENGERS Double whammy for SWT commuters. First, peak services being cut from December and connections made worse. Secondly, the delivery of new trains is running 12 months behind schedule. 143 million passenger journeys a year are made on SWT and they will all be affected. Tim Nicholson, Chairman of the Rail Passengers Committee for Southern England, expressed concerns about many passengers being inconvenienced and the impact of decelerated services on the Waterloo-Southampton line. SWT know that the Committee is not happy. (Southern Daily Echo) [NB: SWT has clearly ignored the RPC, our statutory watchdog. The best hope for passengers and other taxpayers must now be a new operator from February 2007, or sooner if possible]

23/11/04 FUTURE OF RURAL RAIL ROUTES Government's review of rural rail routes, in an effort to help make them pay their way, has caused fears of widespread cuts. The lines will have to show significant improvements within 5 years. Savings could be obtained by lowering infrastructure and rolling stock standards. Local users and rail enthusiasts, through community rail partnerships, could staff closed ticket offices and open coffee shops in derelict buildings. Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, John Thurso, considered that this shouldn't be an easy way for the government to offload its responsibilities on to communities. (Guardian) [NB: The renaissance of provincial lines under BR was achieved by joining up services to create long-distance regional trains. It is known that passengers are resistant to changing trains, not surprisingly in view of the failure of companies like SWT to address the question of the one third of rail journeys which depend on connections. Better use of rolling stock on direct services (using up the current slack time on turn-rounds) could be an important economy.]

23/11/04 FUTURE OF THE LYMINGTON LINE Lymington-Brockenhurst route among those to be turned into 'Community Rail Lines". The SRA wants to cut subsidies and get more backing from local authorities and businesses, otherwise the line could close. Local MPs, residents and Wightlink, operator of the connecting ferry services to Yarmouth, all strongly opposed. (Southern Daily Echo) [NB: SWT has made services less attractive in their new timetable by imposing much longer waits at Brockenhurst on passengers transferring to mainline trains. National Express, by way of contrast, has introduced a big improvement for passengers using the Ipswich-Lowestoft Community Rail Line by extending their trains to and from London. The future of the Lymington branch could well depend on which operator gets the new SWT franchise from 2007]

24/11/04 DEVOLUTION, DISRUPTION AND COMPENSATION The Chancellor and Secretary of State for Transport both have Scottish constituencies. Convenient that platforms are being lengthened in the Edinburgh-Dunfermline area, subsidies are being increased annually and a new track is being built from Glasgow to Larkhall for just the kind of service which is threatened with closure in England. // Massive cancellations on Transpennine services during November attributed by the operator to "service reliability during the autumn period" although the real reasons were poor train maintenance and a dispute with drivers. One promised shuttle train had just two carriages and passengers were ordered off to make room for the guard. // The Office of Rail Regulation wants Network Rail to be responsible for delays. That would cut the blame culture and leave operators free to cut costs without worrying about fines for resulting delays. By 2001 the industry was employing 300 people to argue over the causes of delay. (Private Eye 1120)

25/11/04 GNER/HONG KONG BID FOR INTEGRATED KENT FRANCHISE Hong Kong's Mass Transit Railway Corporation (a Chinese state-controlled operator) is joining GNER to bid for the Integrated Kent Franchise, formed of South Eastern Trains plus domestic high speed trains on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. (Guardian)

25/11/04 LOCAL RAILWAY LINES Public views on local railways: trains too infrequent and no integration with buses or mainline trains; trains often dirty, overcrowded and late; many of these lines are in areas popular for cycling but the trains cannot carry cycles; rural lines can be very busy at peak times and relieve congested roads; fares often too high for the product on offer; wrong kind of rolling stock used - light rail used extensively in Europe; unfair to suggest lines not needed because trains have empty seats when most cars in rush hour jams have only one occupant. (Guardian)

25/11/04 SUCCESS STORY FOR LONDON BUSES Commuting by bus has soared in London by nearly two thirds in a decade, whilst the number of cars entering the capital is down 40% since 1993. Tube use is beginning to increase as tourists return following a temporary downturn after 9/11 - 948m tube journeys in 2003-04, compared with 970m in 2000-01 and 942m in 2002-03. Numbers of Londoners who walk is well below the national average. (Evening Standard)

26/11/04 ELECTRONIC ROAD TOLLS Drivers face pay-as-you-go charges across London and the South East. The Secretary of State says the region's network of roads and motorways will be jammed without charges. Germany is leading the way with tolls to be introduced from 1/1/2005. Lorries will have to fitted with electronic readers in gantries and will be charged automatically. Our Department for Transport has suggested commuters and school run parents bearing the brunt here, with charges perhaps varying from 2.5p a mile on rural roads, to 1.34 a mile for drivers entering city bottlenecks in the rush hour. The scheme would cost 3 billion but save 9 billion, possibly replacing other car taxes. The technology would not be ready until 2012 or later. Traffic levels predicted to grow by perhaps 22% by 2015. (Evening Standard)

30/11/04 COMMUTING MORE STRESSFUL THAN FLYING A JET INTO COMBAT Researchers have found that, as London commuters struggle to get to and from work, their heartbeat is more than double the normal rate for a healthy young person. This is faster than for a fighter pilot in combat or a police officer in a riot. The Director General of the CBI considers this to show that the urgent delivery of improved transport systems must be a government priority. (Evening Standard)

1/12/04 FARES TO INCREASE BY 4% Commuters angry that season ticket prices to increase by 4% despite only marginal improvements in performance and new trains being less reliable than those they replace. Fewer than 4 out of 5 peak time London commuter trains [NB: fewer than 2 out of 3 in the case of SWT] run on time according to the SRA's latest figures. (Evening Standard)

6/12/04 BAA AGAINST GATWICK EXPRESS PLAN The BAA is vehemently opposed to the SRA's plan to abolish under-used Gatwick Express and serve Gatwick-Victoria passengers every 10 minutes with fast trains from the coast. BAA say peak commuter trains would be too full for air passengers to use. (Evening Standard)

6/12/04 SOUTH EASTERN TRAINS' PASSENGERS DON'T WANT SERVICES RE-PRIVATISED About half of SET's passengers interviewed thought that there had been noticeable improvements since Connex handed back the railway to the SRA. Thousands of commuters have sent postcards asking for their services to remain in the public sector. This success appears to embarrass the Government. SET's managers have been banned from talking about their success. (Evening Standard; also in Private Eye 1121) [Interesting that SET has improved since it was returned to public operation, South Central has improved since being transferred to a different operator, and SWT is at the bottom of the performance league, as so often over the years.]

7/12/04 VIRGIN-STAGECOACH BID TO RUN GNER LINE Virgin Trains [NB: 49% Stagecoach owned] is to bid for the new GNER franchise, due to start in May 2005. Virgin is presenting this as putting the Inter City Network together again, as it already runs long-distance services out of Kings Cross and the Cross-Country services centred on Birmingham. Richard Branson claims Virgin bidding more on a public service basis than for significant returns. [NB: sounds odd, given that the SRA has had to pour hundreds of millions of pounds into the existing Virgin franchises and now considers Cross Country unaffordable in its current form]. (Guardian)

8/12/04 BUSES LIFT STAGECOACH PROFITS Stagecoach's revenue from London buses up 22% in the 6 months to the end of October. Company's bus operations outside the capital giving even more cause for cheer. Pre-tax profits for the 6 months were 66.5m against 61.4m a year earlier. In June the company gave 240m to its shareholders, including 60m shared by the founders Brian Souter and Ann Gloag. (Evening Standard)

8/12/04 LEWES-UCKFIELD LINE Closure of the line between Lewes and Uckfield deprived Brighton of a second route to London. The Government reckons that one of Europe's most prosperous regions couldn't possibly afford some 25m to restore the track, and the line from Uckfield to London has now been designated a community railway with too many empty seats. A similar gap between Airdrie and Bathgate precludes a third route between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The Scottish Executive is pressing ahead at a cost of 200m, which won't harm the Transport Secretary's chances of keeping his Edinburgh seat at the next general election. (Private Eye 1121)

9/12/04 SWT UNLIKELY TO TAKE OVER WATERLOO INTERNATIONAL STATION Stagecoach don't see operation from Waterloo International as vital for dealing with SWT's capacity problem. 100m would have to be spent on concrete flyovers to get the mainline tracks used by SWT into the station. Stagecoach considers the Government would need to invest billions in infrastructure to meet the growth in demand. Meanwhile, Stagecoach's interim pre-tax profits have soared from 44.8m to 57.2m, sending their shares up 14%. Waterloo International likely to be a 130m white elephant. (Guardian) [Given that Stagecoach was reportedly in a perilous state when taxpayers baled it out in late 2002, pity some of the 240m given to shareholders in June wasn't reinvested by way of reimbursement? Waterloo International ideal for a Waterloo-Olympia-Ealing-Heathrow Airport service, run by a taxpayer/passenger-focused company, with connections from all over Kent, Surrey, and Hampshire?]

10/12/04 CLOSURE OF BROCKENHURST-LYMINGTON LINE SEEN AS RIDICULOUS Councillor Paul Hickman of New Forest District Council sees the line as an essential link between the Isle of Wight and the mainland, especially with constantly increasing traffic on the A337 and A35. Closure would be ridiculous, especially as the line was relaid and upgraded for modern trains earlier in the year. Off-peak usage is light, but why 'one size fits all' trains? Lightweight single coach train could be the answer. (Southern Daily Echo) [One problem is that the trains connect with ships rather than with mainline trains, so the service is unattractive to Lymington residents - 7 minutes on the train and then, perhaps, 20 minutes on Brockenhurst station for a 'connection'. Since the ferry operator reportedly wants the trains to remain, why not negotiate for a more integrated rail/ferry service, so that the branch trains can connect with ferries and with mainline trains so far as it practicable?]

10/12/04 SLOWER SWT TRAINS THE PRICE OF POOR PERFORMANCE The decelerated SWT timetable being introduced by South West trains is the result of the company's having the worst performance record of any commuter train operator in the South. (BBC TV South's local news)

13/12/04 SWT CALL POLICE TO COMMUTER TRAIN INSTEAD OF RESOLVING PROBLEM THEY HAD THEMSELVES CREATED Police travelled on the 06.44 Alton-Waterloo after commuters, severely inconvenienced by the loss of their Clapham Junction stop, threatened to activate the alarm as the train passed through the station. Furious passengers complained at Waterloo about the timetable changes. Managing Director Andrew Haines trotted out the usual line about the original 1967 timetable no longer reflecting the demands of 2004. (Evening Standard) [The Group's copy of the 1967 timetable shows that it was not even remotely like the timetable operating before the December 2004 changes]

13/12/04 NEW SWT TIMETABLE BRINGS CHAOS AND LATENESS Furious passengers found trains cancelled and carriages packed. Many said they would now have to get up earlier each morning. A West Byfleet commuter complained of the loss of fast trains and slower journey times; a Walton-on-Thames commuter spoke of "bloody murder" as one train cancelled and the next one was slower - his boss was going to be unimpressed by his lateness; a Surbiton commuter spoke of his carriage being absolutely packed after two trains were cancelled and the next train was a slow service; a Haslemere passenger complained of the loss of his only reliable rush-hour service - about 150 passengers had to stand, some of whom held first class tickets; a nurse from Kingston rushed for her train only to find it was running 10 minutes late. (Evening Standard)

14/12/04 SWT AND THAMESLINK CONDEMNED Rail Passengers Council has condemned SWT and Thameslink for improving punctuality by making journeys longer so that targets are easier to hit. Many early services and stops at smaller stations axed. (Metro)

14/12/04 SWT HAILS NEW TIMETABLE A SUCCESS SWT considered the first commuting day of the new timetable had been a success with 90% punctuality up to late afternoon. Commuters paid the price with longer journeys and, in some cases, having to leave home half an hour earlier. Staff at the customer information stand at Waterloo were visibly unable to cope with enquiries, with the queue growing increasingly long and impatient. (Evening Standard)

14/12/04 NEW SWT TIMETABLE "BEYOND A JOKE" Alton passengers are wasting 30 minutes a day because of their decelerated trains. Alton Line Users' Association had been consulted and had responded that the changes were completely unacceptable. SWT replied that they would go ahead anyway; that is not "consultation". So bad is the new service from Haslemere, that a passenger has to set out 15 minutes earlier, and he is spending 2,700 a year to stand in a small space next to the door. (Evening Standard)

15/12/04 MORE USERS' COMPLAINTS ABOUT SWT Guildford-London service has been going downhill for 20 years and is now worse than ever. One passenger hasn't had a punctual journey on the route for a year. There are problems everyday: train, door, or power failure; signalling failures galore. Guildford, a flagship station, is filthy and the ticket office often shut. Season ticket holders get refunds but, if you don't hold a season ticket, you can get stuffed. Meanwhile, reduction of seats on SWT trains means that Wimbledon passengers now have to stand. (Evening Standard)

15/12/04 MORE SEATS ON CARDIFF-PORTSMOUTH TRAINS Wessex Trains is adding a third coach to the trains on the Cardiff-Portsmouth service via Bristol, Bath, Salisbury and Southampton. (Southern Daily Echo)

16/12/04 FATHERS 4 JUSTICE DISRUPT WATERLOO SERVICES Three activists staged a protest on a signal gantry near Queenstown Road station from just before 08.00. Trains slowed from 50mph to 20mph, with delays into the afternoon. (Evening Standard)

16/12/04 PASSENGERS LOSE OPPORTUNITY OF AFFORDABLE CHRISTMAS TRAVEL Thousands of passengers unable to purchase cheaper tickets for Christmas travel. Operators refusing to take reservations because engineering work details not confirmed by Network Rail. Passengers therefore having to pay up to three times as much for walk-on fares in a windfall for the operators. (Metro)

16/12/04 "SUPERLINK" PROPOSALS REVEALED Proposals have been put forward for maximising the advantages of the Crossrail tunnels, should they ever be built. Instead of the local Ebbsfleet / Shenfield - Heathrow / Maidenhead services, trains would run from Southend and Pitsea to Reading, both direct and via Heathrow; from Colchester and Ipswich to Milton Keynes and Northampton; and from Stansted and Cambridge to Guildford and Basingstoke. The cost is estimated at 13.2 billion, compared with 10 billion for the existing proposals. (Metro) [A major advantage of this kind of scheme is that it would remove huge numbers of Underground and taxi journeys between London termini.]

16/12/04 SOUTHAMPTON DOCKS FREIGHT LINK UPGRADE Pressure growing to upgrade route from the Midlands to Southampton Docks (largely comprises lowering tracks to allow larger containers to pass under low bridges). Costs have been reduced from 800m to 53m [!!] and the scheme has Government support, but there is still no start date. (Southern Daily Echo)

16/12/04 MORE PEAK TRAINS MEETING PUNCTUALITY TARGETS BUT SWT STILL LAGGING BEHIND Punctuality on London commuter trains improving, but more than one in five trains on SWT still late. SWT achieved 79.7% in the July-September quarter compared with 92.3% on C2C and 90.1% on Chiltern. (Evening Standard)

17/12/04 SWT'S OVERALL PUNCTUALITY SLIPS INTO BOTTOM PLACE IN LONDON AND SOUTH EAST STATISTICS Punctuality on SWT 80.3% in the July-September period compared with 93.3% on C2C and 91.3% on Chiltern. In the same period of 2003 SWT was in second to last place but has now been overtaken by Thameslink. (Metro)

17/12/04 ROMSEY STATION UNSATISFACTORY FOR DISABLED PEOPLE The southbound platform at Romsey is inaccessible to wheelchair users, so passengers to Southampton need to make an epic detour via Salisbury. (Southern Daily Echo) [Similar problems at Redbridge and Totton, whilst Millbrook is totally inaccessible]

17/12/04 EASTLEIGH RAIL WORKS TO CLOSE Eastleigh rail works are to close in 2005, with the loss of 550 jobs to the town, because insufficient orders are expected in the next five year. (Southern Daily Echo)

17/12/04 INCREASING PUNCTUALITY MEANS HIGHER FARES Improved performance on South Eastern Trains will mean fare increases three times the rate of inflation. Pressure group Capital Transport notes that trigger points were set far too low as a sop to aid the privatisation process. (Evening Standard)

17/12/04 GREATER WESTERN AND THAMESLINK FRANCHISING EXERCISES New franchises on these routes to start in 18 months. National Express (Wessex Trains operator) and First (Great Western operator) will bid for Greater Western, along with GNER, Chiltern, Virgin and Go-Ahead (operator of Thameslink and Southern, and former operator of Thames). National Express and First are likely to challenge Go-Ahead for Thameslink. (Evening Standard)

22/12/04 MONOPOLY ISSUE ON FIRST'S BID FOR THE EAST COAST FRANCHISE Office of Fair Trading has called for an inquiry into First's bid for the East Coast franchise because they would have a monopoly on mainline routes from Doncaster and Grantham to London. (Evening Standard) [Odd, then, that Stagecoach runs most trains and buses in mid-Hampshire and has a 49% stake in the cross-country rail services from Winchester and Basingstoke?]

22/12/04 MORE SWT TRAINS RUNNING ON TIME In its first week the new SWT timetable achieved 85.5% punctuality. Despite the concerns of passengers who have been severely inconvenienced, the timetable will not be reviewed until June 2005. (Southern Daily Echo) [As the Telegraph so sharply pointed out, lowering targets will obviously improve results]

22/12/04 TRANSPORT POLICY IMPERILLING POLLUTION TARGETS British transport today is as unsustainable as at any time in the last 50 years. Latest pre-budget statement postponed fuel duty increases for motorists for a second time, despite falling crude oil prices. Department for Transport says there are only two sources of rail income: farepayers and taxpayers. Fares cover only 55% of investment, against 75% 5 years ago. Reason is clear; rail profits up 74% at National Express, 64% at Go-Ahead, and 55% at First. Privatised railway's objective is to squeeze bigger profits year after year from a network where capacity is static. 39% of the new Railways Bill's clauses cover closure procedures. Instead of investment in new high-speed lines, route utilisation strategies show how extra infrastructure can be avoided by suppressing demand, for example by scrapping the Gatwick Express. The new East Coast franchise may include a fares policy to encourage off-peak travel, so pushing more people on to the roads. Extra passenger capacity only likely to come from reduced freight; support for freight trains cut whilst concessions introduced for truckers. Billions to be spent on new or widened roads which will generate yet more traffic to choke cities and towns. Meanwhile, passengers on Silverlink getting a 7.2% increases in off-peak fares, despite those between Milton Keynes and London having lost their Virgin inter-city services. Silverlink is being lined up to take over local lines in the Birmingham area when Central is disbanded; it lost some of those lines to Central only 3 months ago yet gained a two year franchise extension with 23% subsidy increase. (Private Eye 1122)

23/12/04 ROAD CHAOS AS BROCKENHURST LEVEL CROSSING BARRIERS FAIL Barriers failed at 14.59 on 22 December. Road traffic halted for 40 minutes before barriers operated manually. Huge tailbacks and anger from motorists and local councillors. (Southern Daily Echo)

24/12/04 WESSEX TRAINS TOPS PUNCTUALITY TABLE Wessex is now the most punctual operator in the South West, with performance up to 85.2%. The company says its passengers expect and deserve even better. (Southern Daily Echo)

1/1/05 WESSEX TRAINS "LATE AND OVERCROWDED" A reader from Texas complains that, in his experience, Wessex Trains services are invariably late and overcrowded, and he has been seriously inconvenienced by cancellations during several visits to Britain. (Southern Daily Echo)

1/1/05 CALL TO REDUCE ANDREW HAINES' SALARY An Eling reader suggests that the salary of the Managing Director of South West Trains should be reduced in proportion to the performance statistics he is happy to inflict on his passengers. (Southern Daily Echo)

5/1/05 2004 WAS A GOOD YEAR FOR FIRST GROUP / CHRISTMAS - NEW YEAR SERVICE PROBLEMS Although Aberdeen-based First lost the profitable Great Eastern franchise, its profits increased 55% during the first half of 2004-05. It was given the ScotRail franchise by the Scottish Executive whose transport minister, Nicol Stephen (MSP for Aberdeen South), formerly ran a company which advised First on communications. First also took over the TransPennine Express franchise and a few months later services were cancelled en masse because of a drivers' dispute and a class of train which works on other franchises becoming a "fundamentally unreliable" train. In Sheffield, First's bus drivers staged Britain's longest uninterrupted bus strike in 30 years. More than half of First West Yorkshire's buses were found to have defects, including 14 which needed immediate attention. In Manchester, an inquiry into maintenance was held after three First buses lost wheels while in service. In March a Manchester schoolgirl died in an accident involving a First bus; although the vehicle's condition was not to blame, the bus had no MoT certificate. First had to abandon some Staffordshire services after it was stripped of half its licences for a failed maintenance regime. Another operator in West Lothian declined the local authority's suggestion of providing alternative services for fear of being "squashed" by First. First is banking 900 million from UK buses alone. Turning to Christmas-New Year rail services, many passengers had to endure replacement buses. Diverting trains over another operator's routes means hiring that operator's drivers. Coach drivers are cheaper and passengers still have to pay full rail fares, so the arrangement is more cost-effective. It simply means more hassle and confusion for passengers. (Private Eye 1123)

17/1/05 FURY OVER PLANS TO RE-FRANCHISE SOUTH EASTERN TRAINS Rail unions and MPs angry at plans to return SET to the private sector. About 100 MPs signed an Early Day Motion. Performance has improved since the franchise was removed from Connex. (Metro)

19/1/05 ACCESS TO ROMSEY STATION FOR DISABLED PEOPLE County Councillor Mike Roberts reports that a case was brought to court in relation to Thetford station, which has similar access problems to those at Romsey. Hopefully the new Disability Discrimination Bill will be able to tackle many of the outstanding issues on disability access. (Southern Daily Echo)

19/1/05 PROBLEMS AT ST PANCRAS Midlands passengers are being dumped at a temporary station whilst St Pancras is being prepared as the new Eurostar terminus in succession to Waterloo. Their final station will have only 4 platforms, jeopardising future service enhancements, and will involve a long walk from the front of St Pancras. Thameslink passengers currently have to walk 0.6 kilometres between two sets of platforms because their services are split in two halves. When the works are complete Eurostar passengers will need to use the tube to reach other parts of the capital. Although space is being created for the new Kings Cross Thameslink station at the Kings Cross / St Pancras site, building has been shelved. Unless the new Channel Tunnel Rail Link carries huge numbers of passengers, it won't look like good use of 5 billion of public funds. It is being promoted as offering a fast link to Stratford if London hosts the Olympic games, but what thereafter? (Private Eye 1124) [With the success of the Olympic bid resting on a knife edge, haven't things like a prince wearing a swastika to a fancy dress party, pictures of members of the armed forces abusing Iraqi prisoners, and the often ill-informed outcries over immigration, probably ruled out any reasonable prospects of success anyway? Such things will hardly encourage the judges to view Britain as the ideal place to hold a very major international event. This could be the macrocosm of what has happened to the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest since the Iraq war.]

20/1/05 TRANSPORT PROJECTS ARE THE KEY TO LONDON'S FUTURE Ken Livingstone envisages huge need for investment in transport projects to maintain London's prosperity. Crossrail, the Thames Gateway bridge and East London Line extension are all needed within the next decade. The population is expected to grow by 800,000 to 7.9 million by 2016. The capital needs to maintain its reputation as the best city in Europe in which to do business. Transport is part of a strategy including more affordable homes, tackling pollution, using the bid for the 2012 Olympics to promote London abroad, reducing minority unemployment, and encouraging more families to take up in-work benefits. London seen as the gateway to the rest of the UK for foreign investment, tourism and trade, and contributes billions to the wider economy. Yet the capital has the highest child poverty rate (38% rising to 53% in the inner city) in Britain. (Evening Standard)

20/1/05 COST OF SOUTH EASTERN TRAINS SRA increased subsidy to SET from 7.81 million a month to 10.14 million, when the company was returned to the public sector. However, SET has managed to cut its costs to the extent that it will soon be able to operate on 6.7 million a month. This will increase pressure for it to stay in the public sector. (Evening Standard) [Richard Bowker's excessive largesse, and time to investigate the finances of SWT, which has had much higher percentage increases in subsidy?]

25/1/05 BRITAIN DOING BADLY ON POLLUTION An index by the World Economic Forum shows Britain only at 66th place out of 146 countries. It is considerably behind the US, Northern Europe and even most of the former Soviet Union. Land degradation is the most general problem, but air pollution in some cities is serious. London is more polluted than Houston or Los Angeles, though better than Paris or Rome. Britain also scored badly for exporting pollutants abroad. (Guardian)

27/1/05 WORLD COULD GET 11oC WARMER - WORSE IN BRITAIN Researchers have spent the equivalent of 8,000 years of processing time on 100,000 home computers in 150 countries in the biggest ever study of global warming. They ran 60,000 potential scenarios through the network, and warn that the world is likely to heat up by an average 11oC by the end of the century. The UK would be at the high end of the change if greenhouse gases are not cut, with temperatures possibly 20oC higher. The country would endure tropical temperatures, flooding and devastating drought. (Metro)

27/1/05 OIL FIRMS FUNDING CAMPAIGN TO DENY CLIMATE CHANGE Lobby groups funded by the US oil industry are targeting Britain in an attempt to play down the threat of climate change and derail action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to Professor Bob May, president of the Royal Society. The Government's decision to make global warming a focus of its G8 summit has made it a target. A British Group, the Scientific Alliance, is meeting in London; the Alliance has links to ExxonMobil through collaboration with the US George C Marshall Institute. Last month the Alliance published a joint report with the Institute, which received 51,000 from ExxonMobil for its "global climate change programme" in 2003; it is to receive an undisclosed sum in January. Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has softened his stance on climate change to persuade President Bush to sign a global accord. (Guardian)

28/1/05 OUTRAGE AT HUGE PROFITS BY RAIL FIRMS Private rail companies made profits of 246 million last year. Stagecoach, which made profits of 43 million on SWT after receiving subsidy of 116 million, stated "We're delighted we are serving shareholders so well. We deliver the investment and take the risks and in exchange we make a profit. Companies that make no profit deliver the poorest customer services." SWT is attributed with having spent 2.2 billion on new trains in the past nine years. (Metro) [Hang on: SWT is starting to hire 665 Desiro coaches worth about 545 million. In addition they hire 18 class 170 diesel coaches, and 120 class 458 coaches which are already being disposed of. Somehow it doesn't add up to 2.2 billion, even if you count the cost of restocking the paper towels. And what risk? - When Stagecoach's bus operations severely damaged its shares, the SRA found a little 29 million extra from taxpayers money for SWT and quadrupled the subsidy, even though former Transport Secretary Stephen Byers had threatened loss of franchise for poor service. As for good customer service - it's generally sadly lacking outside a few much publicised spots.]

31/1/05 SECOND WHAMMY FOR ISLE OF WIGHT COMMUTERS Passengers off morning peak services from Cowes, Isle of Wight, are being stranded for up to 25 minutes while they wait for the shuttle bus service to Central station. The service - paid for by the ferry operator, West Quay shopping centre, the City Council and South West Trains - is now being operated by one vehicle instead of two, and there can be up to 200 passengers wanting to catch it. Changes to the SWT timetable already mean that passengers have to catch earlier ferries. The ferry operator's spokesperson said overcrowding had increased since SWT changed their timetable.

MISCELLANEA

LEAF FALL - NETWORK RAIL GOT IT WRONG Network Rail's pre-emptive forecast of possible major disruption last Autumn due to bigger and juicier leaves (Evening Standard 12/10/04) proved way off the mark when Britain had the driest November for 48 years. SWT seemed not to notice and scored an abysmal 66.1% performance score in the October-November statistical period.

SWT FAILS TO DELIVER EXTRA BRISTOL SERVICES The Mondays-Saturdays services from Salisbury to Bristol at 09.51 and 16.51, and return services at 11.52 and 18.52 are axed from the current timetable.

EVEN SWT DOESN'T SEEM TO REALISE HOW POOR SOME OF ITS OWN SERVICES ARE The SWT leaflet for the Totton-Romsey service directs passengers to another leaflet for other services from Millbrook, Redbridge and Totton. In the case of Millbrook and Redbridge, SWT has axed all the other services!