The decision on a new SWT franchise is now only a few months away. The bidding round has been somewhat disappointing, with GNER, Go Ahead and National Express leaving the competition to concentrate on their existing franchises. That said, MTR, First and Arriva are still bidding against Stagecoach so, in theory, there is a 75% chance of getting a more customer-focused operator.


As this edition came to a close, the familiar pattern of big SWT service cuts at holiday times, due to train crew shortages, has made a dramatic reappearance: AT LEAST 27 TRAINS AXED ON SATURDAY 01/07/06 DUE TO NO CREW, AND ANOTHER 4 ON SUNDAY 02/07/06: (Saturday) 12.23/13.23/14.53/15.53/16.53/17.53/ 20.23 Ascot-Guildford; 13.31/14.31/15.31/ 16.31/ 17.01/19.01/ 20.01 Guildford-Ascot; 21.31/22.31 Guildford-Aldershot; 23.38 Aldershot-Guildford; passengers on the 15.23 Ascot-Guildford thrown off at Aldershot; passengers on the 18.23 Waterloo-Alton thrown off at Farnham; 19.05 Waterloo-Poole; 19.14 Alton-Waterloo; 19.52 Waterloo-Weybridge; 20.14 Alton-Waterloo; 20.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke; 21.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo; 21.33 Weybridge-Waterloo; 22.53 Waterloo-Alton. What is really damning is that the cuts on the Guildford-Aldershot-Ascot line were announced at about 09.00 in the morning. There are no peak commuter services on Saturdays, so where are the standby train crews? These cuts were followed on Sunday by the 19.17 Guildford-Ascot, 20.13 Ascot-Guildford, 22.17 Guildford-Ascot and 23.13 Ascot-Farnham.


Each summer there is a huge outcry about duff air-conditioning on SWT trains and the serious discomfort and possible safety risk to vulnerable passengers which this can cause. Stagecoach’s response has been to blame warmer summers and passengers being thoughtless enough to breathe out warm air. The real reason is pretty obviously a poor maintenance regime. How would hot breath and hot summers account for arctic and tropical conditions in adjacent carriages?

By way of an example, in the heatwave conditions of 4 July, passengers arrived at Waterloo to find the 16.35 Wessex Electric to Weymouth with a “Do not move” notice attached. This was removed by maintenance staff. The guard then apologised for the extreme heat in the front coaches and the buffet area. Those who switched at Southampton Central to the 17.56 Desiro service to Bournemouth found the guard waiting on the platform to warn them not to join the rear coach due to the extreme conditions.


As our snapshot reports show, short formations due to duff stock are endemic on SWT. For example, at least 10 evening peak trains ran in short formation on 23 May. On 3 May the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo failed at Southampton Central. On 4 July it failed at Bournemouth depot. This caused huge inconvenience and discomfort for passengers. With such a sparse half-hourly peak service between Southampton and London, there needs to be standby arrangements. Brighton-London passengers, who enjoy a walk-on service, would be amazed by such rubbish. As for the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil, which feeds the 05.45, this must be one of the least reliable services in Britain. Dates of cancellation include 3 May, 5 May, 18 May, 7 June, 9 June, 13 June.

The 05.45 is a 10-coach Wessex Electric train. On both 3 May and 4 July another 10-coach Wessex Electric, which used to form the 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo, carried its thin air from Bournemouth to Southampton and entrapped it in Southampton sidings until splitting into two local services after 07.00. This seems perfectly in tune with SWT’s indifference to long distance commuters as clarified by Stagecoach Director Rufus Boyd to the Hampshire Economic Forum in February 2005.


Meanwhile, profits have reportedly soared 38% at SWT over the past year (Evening Standard 28/06/06). This allowed Stagecoach to quadruple to £11.7 million the amount it has spent on trying to retain SWT and put in bids to win new franchises. Presumably the expenditure included its failed bids for Greater Western, Thameslink and South Eastern, on which it squandered millions. Pity it hadn’t invested the money in SWT, for example in employing and motivating enough train crews to run a robust service, or on proper maintenance of its train fleet .


Our Group has made a 75-page submission to every MP in the South West Trains area, reminding them of Stagecoach’s shameful record and failure to deliver on SWT. This is based on wide-ranging documentary evidence, to ensure that it reflects the views of passengers generally and not just those of members of the Group.

As Stephen Norris said after the first SWT franchise was awarded to Stagecoach, if his Government had wanted to dress privatisation in its most acceptable form, it would have been better to award the franchise to almost anyone else. And as a member of the public e’mailed to Paul Clifton, the BBC’s transport correspondent, the award of the second franchise to Stagecoach was the cruellest betrayal of passengers from Southampton since the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic set sail. Recently released statistics show that, although Stagecoach has had the considerable advantage of 10 years' continuous operation on SWT, the franchise is still down at 15th place in the league of passenger satisfaction. And that's with the advantage of 'improved punctuality' through greatly inflated schedules!

In the first franchise, services were reduced and ‘achieved’, in normal parlance, total unreliability. In the second, less than 85% of a promised, pared-down, new train fleet was hired, and the Southampton main line was finally downgraded to a 60 mph railway like the Brighton line, despite the well recognised economic advantages of high speed rail. When the Southampton line was the fastest in the South, with London reached at an average speed of around 70mph, the city flourished and was regionally pre-eminent. Now there are many complaints in the press that it is struggling in its traditional rivalry with Portsmouth.

Stagecoach has made a tremendous effort to sweep its past under a heavy PR carpet. But with the race to the finishing post for the third franchise, there is little evidence that it has really changed. Former directors Brian Cox and Graham Eccles both made clear that Stagecoach wouldn’t hesitate to walk away from the SWT franchise if it didn’t get its own terms. Now the company is set to walk away from its bus operations in the comparatively regulated London scene.

The predatory nature of the Stagecoach ethos, once sharply condemned by the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, is in evidence in the West of England, for example in territory served by First Group’s innovative, good-quality X53 service which goes some way towards compensating for the gap in the rail map between Weymouth and Exeter. On the Manchester-Stockport service, bus rivalry is causing official concerns about public safety and traffic congestion. In Scotland, Stagecoach’s activities have caught the attention of the Office of Fair Trading.


The views of ‘Rail’ columnist and Stagecoach lobbyist Barry Doe continue to provide SWT commuters with wry smiles. Mr Doe was always full of praise for GNER until they decided to bid against Stagecoach for the SWT franchise. GNER then became, in Mr Doe’s eyes, not quite the service it was previously. After Go Ahead withdrew from the bidding, Mr. Doe sampled their service on Southern and found it pretty good. Yet now he seems to have changed his mind. In ‘Rail’ No 541 he opines that the former BR Southern Region has got closer to a tramway over the years, with the ‘noble exception’ of Stagecoach’s SWT. The rest of the area is franchised to Go Ahead.

Coincidentally, note this report in the Financial Times of 24 June: “Macquarie, the acquisitive Australian bank, has made its first venture into UK land operations by agreeing to pay £264 million for Stagecoach Group’s London bus operations…. Stagecoach, which also owns the Megabus fleet of coaches, said it would use the payment to reduce net debt. However, there was speculation that Stagecoach, led by Brian Souter, chief executive, might now be in a stronger position to buy another of the big five bus and train operators. As a result, shares in Go Ahead Group, the most likely target, rose more than 7 per cent to £19.34”. Acquisition of Go Ahead would give them the Southern and Integrated Kent rail franchises. It would be ironic if Stagecoach were to profit from running high-speed Channel Tunnel Line domestic services after downgrading Southampton-Waterloo to a 60 mph railway.

Going back to Mr Doe’s basic point, a tramway varies from a railway principally in terms of speed. It is on SWT, not Go Ahead’s Southeastern or Southern, where services have been downgraded. By way of example, in 1990 Brighton-Victoria fasts required 52 minutes and Southampton-Waterloo fasts 66 minutes, each with one intermediate stop. This represented average speeds of about 60mph and 70mph respectively. Currently, the times are Brighton-Victoria 51-52 minutes with two intermediate stops and Southampton-Waterloo 79 minutes with three intermediate stops. The average speed is now about 60mph in both cases.

Or did Mr. Doe have comfort in mind – the fact that suburban stock on SWT is having seats ripped out so that more passengers stand, whilst identical trains on Southern are keeping their seats? The movement in service quality appears to be precisely the opposite of what Mr. Doe implies. Southern is maintaining its standards whilst, under Stagecoach, SWT has continued to decline.

Meanwhile, Alan Williams, Modern Railways columnist, having spent decades complaining about train services from Effingham Junction, now seems to have discovered that they are not that bad after all, despite admitting that they are slightly fewer and slightly slower since Stagecoach changed the timetable in December 2004. So he opines in the July 2006 issue that “Overall, if sparkling new Secretary of State Douglas Alexander is as keen to distance himself from the less than impressive reputation of his predecessor… he might well be tempted to go for the safe option. Something about better the devil you know [Stagecoach].” May we take this opportunity to congratulate Mr Williams on the plaque which Stagecoach has placed on Effingham Junction station to commemorate his thirty years in railway journalism?



Competition over a bus route is putting passengers at risk and causing serious traffic problems, it is claimed. Concerns have been raised about the 192 Manchester to Stockport service at Piccadilly bus station. The problem has arisen over congestion at the depot between rivals UK North/GM Buses and Stagecoach.

Manchester City Council and Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive (GMPTE) say the situation is "totally unacceptable".

Supervision increased

Both bus companies have increased the number of buses on the route and passengers say the volume of vehicles has made boarding buses dangerous.

A statement from the council and GMPTE said competition between the companies was leading to "acute problems of traffic congestion at Piccadilly and we are concerned about the potential impact on the safety of pedestrians and bus passengers.

"The current situation is totally unacceptable. We are doing what we can to address the problem and ensure public safety."

It added: "We have increased the level of supervision in the area by parking attendants and transport officers. We are calling on the Traffic Commissioner to use her powers to resolve the situation without delay."

Ray Cossins, Commercial Director of Stagecoach Manchester, said it had always observed the Manchester CityPLAN agreement - the city centre code of conduct for bus operators - to avoid unnecessary congestion.


Stagecoach has registered a new Exeter-Okehampton service in place of Devon County Council-supported services operated by First. Stagecoach now plans to start a thrice-daily service between Exeter and Barnstaple, deep inside First’s territory. It has also introduced another front against First in the Seaton-Lyme Regis-Bridport area.

Stagecoach’s recent burst of takeovers and mergers has once again excited the competition authorities. The Office of Fair Trading has asked the Competition Commission to investigate the merger of Stagecoach and Scottish Citylink’s express services into a joint venture owned 35% by Stagecoach and 65% by Scottish Citylink. In the 1990s the OFT referred far more Stagecoach acquisitions to the then Monopolies and Mergers Commission than those by any other emerging group. It now wants the Competition Commission to investigate whether the joint venture will result in a ‘substantial lessening of competition in the market for the supply of scheduled long-distance coach services in Scotland’. Despite this reference, the joint venture is launching new services. (Source: Buses magazine, May 2006 – the magazine which once condemned Stagecoach’s behaviour in driving a rival company off the road in Darlington as a ‘gross act of piracy’.)

'BUS HIT US DELIBERATELY AS WE CROSSED ROAD’ (Source: The Huddersfield Daily Examiner 2 June 2006)

A mother says a bus driver deliberately drove into her and her young daughter as she walked across a `green man' crossing. Sarah Lodge, who is 21, says the driver of the Stagecoach bus yelled that she was not fit to be a mother after hitting the pair and another woman at the corner of High Street and Market Street in Huddersfield town centre. Sarah complained to the police and an investigation is under way.

She said that when she first told the bus company what had happened she was told there would be a full internal investigation and they would get back to her. But she has heard nothing since and phoned up twice more to try to find out what was happening. Also, she has seen the driver back behind the wheel.

Sarah, of Grange Moor, was pushing two-year-old daughter Trinity when the incident happened at 11.50am on April 28. She said: "The bus was already halfway across the crossing and had stopped because there was another bus stopped in front. "I was sure the green man was displayed on the crossing and the woman in front had set off, so I followed. "The driver looked right at me and then the bus veered forward. "It hit the other woman, then Trinity and then me.

"The bus in front of him was still stopped, so there was nowhere for him to go. "When I got to the other side of the crossing he shouted that I wasn't fit to be a mother and drove off." The other woman was shocked, but told Sarah she was in a hurry and had to go. Trinity suffered a bruised knee and Sarah had a slight hand injury. Stagecoach commercial manager Mike Power said: "The matter is being dealt with by our accident investigation team."


Tycoon launches court access bid (Source: BBC)

One of Scotland's richest women is seeking a landmark legal ruling to ban ramblers from entering the grounds of her Perthshire estate. Stagecoach tycoon Ann Gloag has already angered walkers by erecting a fence around the Kinfauns Castle estate. She has now lodged court papers seeking to become the first private individual in Scotland to exempt her land from right-to-roam legislation. The Ramblers Association Scotland is fighting the court bid.

Mrs Gloag, who bought the grade A listed Kinfauns Castle a year ago, wants a ruling that all land within the fence be designated out of bounds when the case is heard later this month at Perth Sheriff Court. The association said that the wooded part of the estate should remain open to the public. But Mrs Gloag said the castle was now her permanent residence and therefore the legal status of the land surrounding her home had changed and was no longer open to the public.

'Access rights'

The organisation's director Dave Morris, who described Mrs Gloag as a "maverick", said the woodland contained rare trees. He said: "We are treating the situation very seriously. She has already enclosed the land. The fence has a couple of gates in it and it is our position that there should be a public right of access to the wooded area. We say that ramblers should be able to open the gate and go into the wooded area of the estate. But the gates are locked and they are planting in front of them to obscure them". Mr Morris said the association, which has 7,000 members, had no desire to use the garden area surrounding Mrs Gloag's Perthshire mansion.

Mrs Gloag's 7ft-high barbed wire-topped security fence caused controversy when it was erected and the multi-millionaire, who set up Stagecoach with brother Brian Souter, had to obtain retrospective approval for it from Perth and Kinross Council. Her court bid, if successful, would effectively ban walkers from her estate. She "seeks declarator that... the land enclosed by the security fence at Kinfauns Castle is not land in respect of which access rights under the 2003 Act are exercisable."

A spokesperson for Mrs Gloag said: "Even before the castle became a private home, there were no rights of access through the grounds. Access to the remainder of the 23-acre estate is not affected and remains as it was when the castle operated as a hotel. Mrs Gloag's privacy, and that of her family, are guaranteed under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code." Perth and Kinross Council said it was satisfied that the new fence did not unreasonably restrict public access.

Leisure club plan

Meanwhile, Mrs Gloag's plan to create a luxury golf course and leisure club at her Highland estate has been put in doubt. Council officials have recommended that the £20m scheme for the grounds of Beaufort Castle be rejected.


A passenger who caught a Southampton-Romsey train on Easter Monday reports that the doors in the rear carriage failed to open at St Denys. He was one of about 15 people waiting to alight. The guard appeared and, when told what had happened, immediately replied, “Did you press the button to open the doors?". He said the passengers could get off at Swaythling and catch the train back to St Denys. They got off and watched as the return service left. As there was no other service for an hour, one of the passengers used the passenger assistance button to ask for the next passing train to stop for them. This request was ignored and a service shot past them. He then walked back to St Denys and assumes SWT’s “glittering array of awards” must be for the Jobsworths among their staff!  

The same passenger reports that, on his daily commute to London one morning, the guard walked past and noticed that one of the light fittings was making a banging noise. She said with a smile, "That would really annoy me!" Presumably she did nothing about arranging a repair.

Passengers using the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil experienced 50 per cent reliability during the week commencing with the May Day bank holiday. From the December 2004 timetable, this train replaced the 06.05 departure from Totton to Waterloo (the 05.34 from Bournemouth). The 10-coach train which formed the 05.34 now runs empty from Bournemouth to Southampton where it stands for an hour before splitting into two stopping services, as Stagecoach turns its back on long-distance commuters and drops taxpayers’ money down the drain.

On Wednesday 3 May, the 06.07 was axed between Totton and Southampton Central owing to an overrun of engineering works (the coaches travel to Totton empty). In past days, the Totton station manager would have arranged taxis to Southampton, or a Totton stop by the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo. However, since he retired at the end of January, the station had never been staffed before 06.30 (the ticket office is advertised on the platform as opening at 05.40) and has been left unstaffed for whole weeks. Some London commuters therefore drove to Southampton Central and had to pay SWT’s spiralling car parking fees. This didn’t do them much good as the London train was declared duff on arrival at Southampton, with scores of passengers thrown off. They were invited to join the 06.45, which reaches London long after the 07.00.

Interestingly, the Saturday equivalent of the 05.45 from Poole arrives at Brockenhurst and departs from Southampton at precisely the same time, but stops intermediately at Totton, even though there are likely to be fewer passengers early on Saturday mornings. This well illustrates SWT’s huge deficit of focus on passengers.

On Friday 5 May, the 06.07 suffered door failure on arrival at Totton (there have long been questions about the adequacy of SWT’s maintenance regime). The train crew struggled to resolve the problem but, at about 06.08, passengers were told to alight. The crew assured them that SWT’s control had been informed and the London train would stop. The 06.07 departed to the sidings.

Passengers noted that the promised stop by the London train was not advertised on the information screens. They therefore used the help point. A woman with a foreign accent answered. She seemed to have difficulty in understanding the problem or, indeed, that Totton and Southampton Central were not the same place. She eventually stated that the London train would not stop at Totton, and conceded that the controllers had lied.

The London train then roared through the station as furious passengers waved at the driver. The station manager arrived at 06.30, for the 05.40 opening of the ticket office. At 06.35 the 06.07 returned to the platform with the doors now working. Passengers told the driver that he had been lied to, which he noted. They then spoke to the station manager who contacted SWT’s control. They said they knew nothing of the problem and couldn’t say why the passengers had been thrown off. That seems risible. SWT is always bragging of its SWT / Network Rail integrated control, and Network Rail signals the trains. The integrated control works well enough day after day for the purposes of terminating late trains short of destination or omitting booked stops, causing huge inconvenience to passengers, especially those who are disabled.

So having got up before dawn to go to work, the Totton passengers were delayed half an hour for a second time in 4 days, knew they had been lied to, but weren’t quite sure with whom the lies originated.

Getting a coffee on SWT on Sundays can be a tour de force. Passengers are used to travelling two and a half hours from places like Christchurch to Waterloo without any refreshment facility. Even on major stations, the service is in fast decline. The buffet on platform 4 at Southampton Central now closes at 18.00. The buffet on platform 1 officially closes at 19.00, but on 21 May it was closed by 18.00, with staff sweeping the floor. So wasn’t the recent refurbishment more money down the drain?

If SWT were to have a slogan, how about “No time for passengers”? On 9 June the considerable slack in the schedule of the 20.01 Totton-Romsey allowed the service to reach Southampton Central at 20.07, the time it should have been leaving the previous station, Millbrook. (Source: National Rail live running facility)

On 21 June SWT’s website showed that an additional train would leave Gillingham at 15.45 for Waterloo, arriving there at 17.45. What it didn’t say was that the 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo, which should depart Gillingham at 15.45 and arrive at Waterloo at 17.45, was running 28 minutes late.

On 23 June, trains were using their normal platforms at Southampton Central. Passengers off the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil were therefore surprised to see their train shown on the platform 3 customer information screen as the 06.21 to Portsmouth, which was standing as usual at platform 2A. A train despatch officer stared blankly at the screen, which eventually changed to show the Yeovil train as the 06.35 to Totton. The Yeovil service then departed. Next, an announcement was made that the Portsmouth train would depart from platform 3. The train departed during the announcement. As it approached Southampton tunnel, it was announced that there was a platform alteration and it would now depart from platform 2A.

Also on 23 June, the on board announcement as the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth approached Southampton Central failed to mention that the train would split. At 18.23 the guard of the rear portion informed passengers that the train had now split and the Weymouth portion was standing in front. At that moment the Weymouth portion departed.

On 27 June the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth overtook a late running Virgin train west of Basingstoke. After departure from Winchester (where passengers for Eastleigh would have changed) it was announced that the train would stop additionally at Eastleigh. It duly did so and the Virgin train overtook. After the Poole portion of the 17.05 left Southampton, 5 minutes late, the guard announced that the delay was due to a late running Virgin train. So the Eastleigh stop was clearly for operational convenience only. Makes a change from the more usual Stagecoach practice of omitting stops for operational convenience! In fact, about 12 hours later, the Eastleigh and Winchester stops of the 05.00 Poole-Waterloo were axed in true Stagecoach fashion.

Passengers understand the delays and cancellations when there is a tragic fatality on the line; what they don’t accept is suffering a double whammy when this leads to stops being omitted and services terminated short of destination for operational convenience. With the 17.05 Waterloo-Poole over 80 minutes late on 29 June, passengers were speculating whose turn it would be to be thrown off. The guard repeatedly announced the stops as if the service would honour its normal stopping pattern but, with Stagecoach running the service, no regular commuters believed that. The indicators at Winchester station confirmed their view, by showing that the train would run from Southampton as fast and stopping portions to Bournemouth rather than fast portion to Weymouth and stopping portion to Poole. On the approach to Southampton, the guard finally announced that the front would be for Bournemouth only, and the rear would be the stopping service to Poole. Nothing was said about passengers travelling beyond Poole, so presumably they could get stuffed. The platform indicator at Southampton Central agreed with the guard’s last announcement; passengers for Poole therefore joined the rear stopping portion. As soon as the Bournemouth fast had departed, it was announced that the rear portion also would terminate at Bournemouth (as had been advertised at Winchester some 30 minutes earlier).

At last! The tables which were ripped out of Wessex Electric unit no 2414 have been replaced after months of inconvenience for passengers. And the customer information screens at Millbrook failed for the last of many, many times on 29 June. By June 30, they had been stripped out and a television-type monitor was in place.


On 17 May a Totton commuter narrowly the missed the 16.05 from Waterloo so went to ask at the concourse help desk which platform the 16.35 would leave from. This train officially has a Totton connection from Southampton Central, though SWT makes no effort to maintain the connection when the 16.35 is late. By coincidence, three passengers in front of him – who appeared to be grandmother, mother and daughter – asked for the time of the next train to Totton and were told 17.05. He therefore told them of the 16.35 and they were duly grateful. When he asked the help desk attendant why the three passengers had not been told of the 16.35, the answer was that he had been asked the time of the next train to Totton. If they had asked if there was a quicker way of getting there he would have told them of the 16.35.

So if you ask at Waterloo for the time of the next train to Romsey, which has no direct service, you will presumably be told there are no trains to Romsey. How low can customer service standards sink under Stagecoach?


“On top of the well-aired problems with the new £200 million grandstand at Ascot, top-hatted and befrocked punters who dared to use the train have been humiliated this week. The normal gentle downhill stroll to the station is barred to London-bound passengers, who are sent off on a trek to the station car park. There hordes of barriers, all sponsored by BlueSq.com, snake passengers around in a long queue. Then comes a veritable army of police, South West Trains and MacLellan Attlaw Security jobsworths telling punters just where they may stand on the platform. It’s more like Berlin than Berks.” (Source: Evening Standard 23 June 2006)


The award of ‘secure station’ status is critically dependent on the (subjective?) view of the British Transport Police’s local Crime Reduction Officer as to whether “on the whole, passengers feel secure when using the station”. Once awarded, accreditation lasts for two years. Pity, therefore, that almost as soon as Hampton Court station was accredited, it was highlighted in the Evening Standard that some people don’t feel safe using it.


Despite the Railway Inspectorate’s historic visit to Bournemouth depot, where they confirmed that there were dangerous finger traps at the end of coaches on the Wessex Electrics, owing to worn rubber seals which needed replacement, the position remains very patchy. The popular buffet trolley attendant, who badly gashed her hand in this area of the train during an emergency stop, was sacked for having too much absence for medical reasons (she was reinstated following correspondence from commuters).

For weeks, unit 2403 ran with a huge gap at the edge of the external door nearest to the entrance to the buffet compartment. As this is at low level, it would be very easy for a child to wave an arm out of the train. Since Stagecoach was clearly failing in its duty of care, a member of our Group photographed the gap and e’mailed the Office of Rail Regulation.

ORR contacted SWT and has confirmed that, in this case, the seals were worn and damaged by the ramp that is used to bring supplies to the buffet compartment and also help disabled passengers board the train. The seals are frequently damaged and replaced, and were due to be replaced again on 30/5/06. This appeared to be a wider issue that South West Trains was presently tackling and, now that HM Railway Inspectorate is aware of the problem, it will be monitored through their local liaison meetings with SWT. ORR was grateful for having the problem brought to their attention.

If you spot a danger on a SWT train, the ORR contact is:

Julie Boorman, Railway Inspectorate Contact Officer, Office of Rail Regulation, Priestley House, Priestley Road, Basingstoke, Hampshire, RG24 9NW. Tel: 01256 404068


Highlight for South Hampshire is the introduction of a new 05.11 Southampton-Manchester (arrive 09.23) train on Mondays-Fridays.

Very few changes in our area otherwise. Note that the Mondays-Fridays through Portsmouth Harbour- Penzance train will now terminate at Plymouth. The winter-only Saturday service to Par will run from 16 September.

SWT appears to be in chaos. On Mondays-Fridays the 15.35 from Waterloo is shown as having a stopping portion to Weymouth and the 16.35 a stopping portion to Bournemouth. However, the timetable supplement shows these trains as continuing to run as separate services from Southampton. SWT’s contemptible practice of slamming doors in passengers faces as they run for their connection at Southampton will no doubt continue.

The national timetable book is to be discontinued after the May 2007 edition. Operators’ timetables and Acrobat files will be all that is available.


First is introducing an improved advance purchase fares structure on Great Western.

* The booking deadline for all advance purchase fares will be brought forward to 18.00 on the day before travel.
* Customers who need only a one-way single ticket will pay half the price of the return fare.
* Customers can ‘mix and match’ standard class and first class, business and leisure tickets for each direction of travel.
* The new one-way advance purchase fares include Oxford-London from £4; London-Plymouth from £13; London-Bristol from £10; and Portsmouth-Cardiff from £7.

The Evening Standard of 29 June focused on the continuing complexity of the fares system. There are currently 57 fares from London to Exeter from a First Minute Fare Leisure Standard Single for £12.00 to a First Open Return for £239.00. However, it seems remarkable that many fares are the same for First’s high-speed Paddington-Exeter service as for Stagecoach’s decelerated stopping service from Waterloo.

News that First is also to bar cheap tickets north of London on First Capital Connect (formerly Thameslink) in the peak has immediately won them friends on SWT. In an ideal world, there would be adequate capacity for all on the rail system. Given that there is not, it does seem sensible to revert to this element of BR practice. It seems quite unethical that Stagecoach received increased subsidy to run extra evening trains which often carry a fair amount of thin air, whilst returning day trippers rival commuters, already paying about the highest fares in Europe to travel between home and work, for limited seating. How many thousands of unhappy kids have we seen over the years, their day out ‘treat’ ruined by sitting or standing crushed together in a Stagecoach vestibule during the evening peak?

Nonetheless, fare increases will contribute nothing to the Government’s policy on greenhouse gases, since in some cases passengers will switch from electric trains to road transport. There has been a predictable public outcry. The severe capacity problems on Thameslink would in all probability not exist if the Thameslink 2000 project had gone ahead to the original timescale. And the overcrowding on SWT could have been mitigated if Stagecoach had actually taken delivery of all 785 replacement coaches which it ordered, rather than wasting money on PR to deceive the public into believing that they had done so.


Cross Country is to be re-franchised from November 2007, with a new timetable from December 2008. Services to Brighton are to be removed, plus all services through Manchester and Crewe to Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow, along with Glasgow-Edinburgh. Birmingham-Stansted Airport will be incorporated along with Nottingham-Birmingham-Cardiff.


The House of Commons Transport Committee has launched a second inquiry into passenger rail franchising. The background is that earlier this year, the Government announced its aim to publish a long term strategy for the development and direction of the railways over the next 20-30 years. This long term strategy will be accompanied by a more specific 5-year plan, the High Level Output Statement. It is likely that these broad strategic documents will set the framework for passenger rail franchising for years to come. The committee is looking at things like the purpose of passenger rail franchising; how well the process for awarding franchises works; whether franchise contracts are the right size, type and length; and whether more competition and vertical integration are needed.


Thanks to the RMT Parliamentary Group for the invitation to attend their seminar at the House of Commons on 12 June.


The background to the seminar, as explained by the RMT Parliamentary Convenor, John McDonnell MP, was the Prime Minister’s letter to the new Secretary of State for Transport, Douglas Alexander, which stated that “The benefits transport can deliver must also be measured against its impact on the environment; in particular transport will be critical to our long-term goal of reducing carbon emissions”. Next year, together with a new railway White Paper, the Government will publish their strategy for the rail industry for the next 20-30 years and environmental considerations will be essential to their new thinking. The seminar was an opportunity to discuss how the railways can contribute to the Government’s environmental objectives.

TUC paper

Frances O’Grady, TUC Deputy General Secretary presented the first paper. The TUC believes that it is essential to plan for an expanded rail network if the challenging targets to cut carbon emissions are to be reached. Equally, a range of transport initiatives are required, including the successful development of a UK biofuels industry and the inclusion of aviation’s carbon emissions in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme at an early date. The road transport sector currently emits 21% of our CO2, and is the second largest CO2 emitter after energy industries (37%). Since 1990, road transport emissions rose by 9%; domestic emissions rose by 12%; but energy and other industries each reduced their emissions by 12%.

The problem is not unique to the UK. The European Environment Agency reported a 23% increase in greenhouse gas emissions from transport since 1990, largely offsetting emission cuts from other sectors. Decoupling transport from economic growth is a central aim of EU transport policy.

Government figures show average CO2 consumption per passenger travelling from London to Edinburgh as 12 kgs by electric train; 70 kgs by car; and 100 kgs by air. Paradoxically, motoring costs have fallen in recent years but rail fares have increased steeply.

A recent assessment by the Tyndall Centre assumes that aviation will grow at current rates until 2015, then more slowly; CO2 increases will be limited to 550 parts per million by 2050 (consistent with the UK’s emissions strategy); and average aircraft fuel efficiency will increase by 1.2% a year. On that basis, aviation would emit about 32 million tones of carbon by 2050, or 50% of total UK carbon emissions. The House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee has reached a similar conclusion.

The TUC supports the Government’s efforts to capture fully EU aviation emissions within the EU Emissions Trading Scheme by 2008, and believes that this should occur at the earliest opportunity. It also believes that tax raised through the Air Passenger Duty should be used to mitigate the industry’s environmental costs. The Budget decision to freeze the Duty for a further year may send the wrong environmental signals to the industry.

RMT General Secretary Bob Crow

The RMT favoured an integrated transport system. Rail was not the only thing. The school run could be replaced by a system of yellow buses as in the USA; more freight could go by rail – freight terminals were opened and then ripped up; the canals were built for freight; disappointing that since National Express lost the WAGN franchise they have been running coaches to Stansted to compete with rail. Freight should run outside passenger hours – the track maintenance regime should be looked at as people want fast freight delivery. Air to Scotland is cheaper than rail. Increases in fuel prices resulted in demands for lower taxes. Political will needed on congestion charging and putting long-term interests of the environment ahead of the interests of motorists.

Address by Derek Twigg MP, Rail Minister

Mr Twigg said rail performance was the best since 1999, and Britain had one of the youngest rolling stock fleets in Europe. The Government was committed to long-term planning and strategy, but could not subsidise trains to carry thin air. Environmental, efficiency and accessibility considerations in issue. Rail was energy efficient, brought carbon benefits and was very safe. Case for more efficient environmentally-friendly trains. Reduce train weight? Different fuels – fuel cells – instead of diesel? Further electrification? Provision for cycles on East Midlands and West Midlands franchises. Successful industry, but still faced big challenges like capacity. Government not complacent.


90% of people in Bristol go to work by car – yet council told it could only get funding for busways.

Concerns about services around Exeter and Plymouth. How to get good, affordable local rail services?

Bedfordshire is hub of road transport. Rail reconstruction needed to Dunstable, between Oxford and Cambridge and from Bedford to Northampton.

Mr Twigg said there was consultation on the South West. Balance needed in regional plans. Cost benefit and economic cases to make. Proposals to improve First Great Western performance. West of England sleeper retained. Most service changes welcomed. Suggested cuts on Northern Rail not agreed. Milton Keynes to get link into East-West Route. Northampton to get a better service.

The TUC thought the playing field was tilted. The Government needed to come out more strongly as a champion of rail. Questioners thought that cars carried more thin air than trains. Stations were being lost in the Midlands, including Etruria which was in the centre of Stoke-on-Trent and the nearest station to Newcastle-unde-Lyme.

Mr Twigg said much of the Government’s phenomenal spending had gone on the backlog of work. Number of costed options in new franchises, for example for East Midlands Parkway station. Early service from Worcester. Etruria wasn’t well used. A lot was happening at stations.

Questions about lack of integration and why the Dutch are so much further ahead. £8-£10 million wasted on development of the stillborn South Hampshire Rapid Transport system. Too many trains replaced by buses – over 25,000 additional bus movements because of signalling problems at Northwich. Bedford-Northampton line should be reopened. Aviation is an unpriced waste.

Mr Twigg concluded by saying rail freight has doubled since 1995-96. The Government wants to improve the passenger experience, and wants growth in community rail.

Institute for European Environmental Policy paper

Mr. Malcolm Ferguson of the IEEP said that the green credentials of rail compared with road transport are often taken for granted. It is doubtful whether diesel trains retain the advantage over road transport in some respects. Need to compare like with like. Rail has less impact on the environment than other transport modes, but road accounts for 92% of passenger kilometres of domestic travel, and 83% of freight tonne kilometres. Rail contributes only 6% and 11% respectively.

The suggestion that rail produces more sulphur dioxide than road is due to the fact that the diesel fuel in road transport is of a much higher quality than that used in trains. However, recent figures suggest that transport accounts for no more than 2% of sulphur dioxide emissions in the UK. In the case of carbon monoxide and volatile organic compounds, the most common rail traction compared favourably with road. Nitrogen oxides and particulates at present give rise to most concerns about human health, but emissions in London do not appear significant compared with other sources, although the City of Westminster has highlighted problems at Paddington.

The most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. Rail’s contribution to emissions in the UK is only about 1%, even after including its contribution to emissions at power stations. Road transport makes up about 26% of UK emissions.

In terms of noise and vibration, electric trains are considerably quieter than diesels, and newer diesels quieter than older diesels.

75% of commuters reach London by rail. Remove rail and there would be 4 times as many vehicles on the roads, which is unimaginable. For passenger travel overall, the UK currently has the largest modal share in favour of cars out of any EU state. This is because in other EU states other modes of transport are made more attractive to the individual. For example in Germany, the modal split of cars is lower than in the UK and the level of car usage is low despite high levels of ownership.

In Munich a modal shift has taken cycling from 6% to 15% within 16 years. Karlsruhe’s innovative tram system, along with bus services provides a coherent service over long hours and has flexible ticketing. France and the UK have comparable populations, but the French travel more by train than the British. The French travel less by both road and air than the British. High speed rail has seen little development in the UK. By 2010, Europe will have 6,000 kms of high speed line, with Britain contributing just 109 kms through the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. The economic and social benefits of high speed rail are significant. Since Lille joined the high speed network, it has become France’s third most powerful financial, commercial and industrial centre.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and the Environmental Audit Select Committees have both drawn attention to the lack of joined up policy in the UK since the demise of the DETR in 2001. The regeneration policies of the ODPM are not reflected in those of the Department for Transport, who focus their sights on long-distance improvements – long cross-country routes and London commuter services at the expense of suburban and local rail.

In conclusion, rail remains more benign than road or air transport. It can be cleaner and more fuel-efficient, takes less land, impacts less on habitats, raises more-localised noise issues than road or air, and consumes less resources. There is a clear strategic benefit in improving the share of journeys undertaken by rail. The caveats are pollution from poorly maintained diesel trains and waste from empty stock workings.

Transport 2000 paper

Director Stephen Joseph contended that railways are now more important than at any time in the past 50 years. Rail underpins the prosperity and quality of life of most Britons, even those who don’t use it every day. Last year passenger journeys exceeded one billion, the most since 1959. Operators estimate that demand will grow by two thirds over the next 20 years. Freight moved in 2004-05 was 20.66 billion net tonne kms, the highest for 20 years. Rail freight plays an important role in power generation, 85% of aggregates used for construction in London go by rail, and nationally a fifth of all building materials go by rail. Yet there are no plans to increase capacity. The Government has announced plans to expand road and air transport instead.

It is predicted that road congestion will increase by up to 37% between 2000 and 2010. A study by the RAC indicates that even a road-building programme 20 times larger than that in the Government’s 10 year plan would not contain congestion and would create traffic flows in towns beyond road capacity. In urban areas particularly, rail has to be part of the solution. The Government’s Sustainable Communities Plan envisages 200,000 new homes in the South East. 60% more households are planned for Cambridge but there are no plans to increase rail capacity to London or reopen services to Milton Keynes or Oxford. Unless rail capacity is improved, commuters will be forced on to the roads.

Railways also have an important role to play in social inclusion. The Government has frozen or rejected tramways schemes in Northern England, but public transport is often the only way to travel for many disabled, elderly, young and low-income people. Railways could also do more to relieve social exclusion in rural areas.

Without a growing rail network, businesses will face increasing difficulty getting their employees to work or meeting customers. If average commuting times in London and the South East and urban areas were to double, it would cost the economy £15 billion annually. Tourist areas, choked by traffic, increasingly want people to travel by public transport. Branch lines can help to sustain and boost rural economies. Rail also supports the development of our ports – ports would like to increase the proportion of their rail traffic but are restricted by the rail network.

Rail makes a vital contribution to protecting the environment, and helping the Government meet its climate change targets. Average emissions of carbon dioxide per passenger between London and Edinburgh are 11.19 for rail, 71 for car (assuming 1.56 passengers per car) and 96.4 by plane. Between London and Bristol the figures are 10.6 by rail and 21.3 by car [presumably the lower advantage for rail, compared with the Edinburgh journey, arises from the use of thirty-year-old diesel traction].

Overall, rail is at least nine times safer than road per passenger mile. Rail travel eliminates many of the threats and dangers on the road, like inappropriate driving and speeding.

The Government should ensure that existing expenditure is used more efficiently; create a long-term investment planning framework; promote partnerships between the rail industry and other interests; review its appraisal methods so that there is a level playing field; integrate the railways with other travel modes; plan for an expanding rail network; and include all these measures in its strategy for rail.

Address by Kelvin Hopkins MP

Mr. Hopkins outlined the case for a dedicated Euro-rail freight route, linking Glasgow with the Channel Tunnel and linked to the major industrial areas of Britain. The scheme has been developed and promoted by two dedicated railway engineers, a leading Scottish road haulier, an ex-BR railway consultant and himself. It is hoped that it will be included in next year’s Government White Paper. The promoting team have had informal meetings with experts from across the freight and rail industries to ensure that the scheme is feasible and the details correct.

The scheme would start with a North Thames Terminal, travel round the east and west of London to a second terminal to the north west of the capital. It would then follow the old Great Central route to an East Midlands Terminal, and a branch to a Birmingham/West Midlands Terminal. Further north, it would link to the Tynsley freight terminal in South Yorkshire and cross the Pennines through the disused Woodhead tunnel to a South Lancashire Terminal between Liverpool and Manchester. It would then use the Settle and Carlisle line en route to Glasgow. Branches to the North East and South West would follow and a new Thames crossing would eventually be built to accommodate the considerable volumes of freight anticipated.

The key features of the scheme are a gauge capable of carrying 9’6” double-stacked containers as well as full-sized road trailers; constructed almost entirely on old trackbed and underused lines; terminals will be in major industrial areas and close to motorways; over 5 million lorry journeys taken off the roads each year; link with the major network of rail freight routes being constructed in continental Europe; and phased construction starting with just a North Thames Terminal linked to the Channel Tunnel line.

Rail Safety and Standards Board paper

Chief Executive Len Porter said sustainable development is the only thing that stands between us and an utterly miserable descent into ecological collapse, resource wars, worsening inequality and social implosion. The global population doubled from 3 billion to 6 billion in the second half of the twentieth century, and is expected to increase by another 3 billion in the first half of this century.

The Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser considers climate change the most severe problem we are facing today.

The peak of oil discovery was in 1965. The last year we discovered more oil than we consumed was a quarter of a century ago. We need to live within environmental limits and eliminate wasteful consumption. Road is getting cleaner. The route map to a rail sustainable development strategy is being progressed. Rail being benchmarked against other transport modes. Sustainable development strengths and weaknesses of all modes are being summarized through data gathering and background research.

Future cases for rail over the next 10, 20 and 30 years to follow. This will lead to a draft 30 year sustainable development strategy for rail, which will be tested against various scenarios and finalized.


John McDonnell proposed a further seminar in 12 months to review progress. The Government was desperate to deliver success. Derek Twigg is already a regular rail user and the case for rail needed to be made to the Secretary of State.


The meeting, held at Appletree Court in Lyndhurst, was about the results and options from the New Forest Area Transport Review, which deals with the future of bus routes and interchange with rail routes. The principal items were:-  

Lymington Hospital  

The main review material was about transport links to and from the new Lymington hospital which will open in January 2007.  As previously reported, there is an urgent need to ensure that all Lymington bus routes serve the hospital.  Future bus resources will try to incorporate a through Southampton - Bournemouth fast bus without the need to change at Lymington. Feedback has indicated that there would be a need for an evening service to be re-instated on the current Wilts and Dorset 56 route to assist with evening visiting at the hospital. The routes may be referred to as "Coast and Forest Link".  

Lymington Branch Line  

The question of re-opening Ampress Station was still on-going and Network Rail and Hampshire County Council have already inspected the site.  It will have to conform to current disability access regulations.  To build a new halt on flat land would be too expensive and the adaptation of Ampress was the chosen option. A delegate tried to pour cold water on the subject, stating that SWT were not interested due to having to depart from the clock-face timetable [Comment: another reason to get rid of Stagecoach].  However, the meeting was re-assured that a Community Rail Partnership was being formed and the re-opening of the station, although subject to final costing,  was certainly a reality,  but would not happen until well after the hospital was open. NFCC and HCC are fully supportive of the now Lymington "Heritage Line".   

Other Rail Items  

A delegate enquired if more use and publicity for the New Forest could be made at Ashurst (New Forest) station, as well as at Brockenhurst.  The reply was very supportive. The review includes looking at timings of the current 56/56A bus routes and also if the existing X34 / X35 buses make the best use of resources.  The Rail Partnership was focused on improved station facilities, better train services and improved integration. Practical initiatives were a key issue of the Partnership for a more sustainable local railway.  


The Sway - Lymington Cango and the Fordingbridge Cango services have been very disappointingly used and a decision has been made to withdraw them.  The services will be replaced by a new taxi-share scheme.  Dorset CC will provide transport for Alderholt residents. (Delegates were disappointed to learn of this but pointed out that dial a bus isn't always a convenient alternative to a conventional stage service).  

Minstead and Fritham  

It is proposed to withdraw the costly very infrequent W & D 31 and 31A services between Southampton - Fritham and Southampton - Lyndhurst via Minstead, due to poor patronage. (It was understood that college and school buses would not be affected and a delegate from Bramshaw enquired if the public will be allowed to travel on them and  the response was providing it was advertised in a public timetable, then yes, including Hampshire passes).    

Totton West Services  

Services on Solent Blue Line Routes 30 and 30A  to be re-scheduled to run via Calmore Road and Michigan Way (Morrisons), Woodlands, Bartley to Cadnam every hour subject to permission for new route and bus stop sightings. Also for an hourly Southampton - Cadnam via Tatchbury Mount service.   

Waterside Routes  

Solent Blue Line had gone ahead with a recent complete re-scheduling of its routes and HCC/NFDC do not expect to make any alterations.  However, the success of the new routes will be analysed and alterations may take place where or if required.    


Delegates were concerned that there has been poor publicity for public transport.  Reply that there was a plan to link real bus times to mobile SMS texting services.  SBL had already done a lot of door to door marketing in the Waterside area and in many cases new timetable leaflets available on the buses.  More free timetables available from Tourist Information Centres.    

Key Dates

18 May - 16 June - Further Work on local issues.
30 June - Tenders issued.
16 August - Tenders due Back.
17 Aug - 15 Sept - Tender Analysis
5 October - Report to Committee
31 October - Award of tenders

Hythe Ferry

The ferry is used by 420,000 passengers a year, of whom 80% are New Forest residents.  The County Council and Southampton City Council provide ongoing financial support.

Other services

’Non-conventional’ road options being looked at for Ringwood - Bransgore; Bransgore – Burley;   Milford on Sea – Hordle;  Blackfield - Calshot.

David Mead  


18/04/06 Totton ticket office shut. The 17.05 from Waterloo reached Totton on time at 18.30, but the guard started closing the doors before everyone had got off.

19/04/06 Totton ticket office shut. 06.14 from Portsmouth & Southsea arrived 14 minutes late at Southampton. 06.26 from Southampton to Weymouth running 10 minutes late. Despite the late running service from Portsmouth & Southsea arriving at Southampton Central at the same time as the 06.30 to Waterloo, the doors on the latter service were closed 30 seconds before its advertised departure time leaving very little time for connecting passengers to cross the footbridge.  17.05 from Waterloo arrived at Winchester 4 minutes early, with the guard making an announcement about it! He then made announcement just outside Southampton that we had been delayed for a couple of minutes due to "waiting for signals".

20/04/06 Totton ticket office shut. There has been a noticeable increase in graffiti at Totton, happily only in chalk at the moment, but contributing to the run-down atmosphere. Similarly, some brick debris appears to be accumulating in one of the parking bays on the mini-roundabout at the station. The 06.07 from Totton pulled up to the platform without the internal carriage lights on and a passenger had to shout along to the guard to get them lit. 06.30 from Southampton Central left 5 minutes late due to a "slow moving train in the New Forest area" which itself had been announced to passengers on the train at Brockenhurst as running late due to an "axle counter at Branksome"; 6 minutes late at Waterloo. Just before 18.00 the departure screens on the Southampton Central footbridge were showing "Dr Watson for Windows NT: An application error has occurred".

21/04/06 Totton ticket office was open at 7.15. 07.18 from Totton arrived 7 minutes late at Waterloo due to "speed restrictions at Raynes Park and Clapham Junction due to engineering works". When the 18.35 from Waterloo reached Southampton Airport Parkway there was a large rush of passengers down the carriage - presumably because a door had failed to open.

24/04/06 Totton ticket office shut and the station resembles a council tip - lots of general litter, discarded cigarette cartons, the base of a smashed glass with glass fragments nearby and a plastic tray containing what looked like the remains of a kebab. On Southampton Central station, I was approached by a market research company who asked if I would agree to a telephone interview to answer questions for South West Trains about their "new franchise". I wonder whether other bidders would have the same access to the station? A fellow passenger informed me that SWT had relented on their daft refusal to sell season tickets for the car park outside the platform 4 entrance to Southampton Central. 06.30 from Southampton Central arrived at Waterloo 12 minutes late with no reason given for the delay.

25/04/06 Totton ticket office shut, but the worst of yesterday's litter had disappeared. 06.07 from Totton was already leaving the platform by the advertised departure time. A fellow passenger mentioned that he had tried the SWT Help button on the station at Totton around 6am several times and no-one had ever answered! 06.30 from Southampton Central provided passengers with the dubious pleasure of a broken seat and a broken armrest in a single group of four seats around a table. A passenger tried to do what SWT failed to do and reinserted the seat bottom into its fixings. Two minutes early at Winchester. Delayed outside Basingstoke due to "being held at a caution signal". Later also delayed due to "track circuit failure at Queenstown Road". Arrived at Waterloo 6 minutes late. A passenger had to sit on a broken seat on the 17.05 from Waterloo. At Southampton Parkway the passenger sitting next to me asked me if she was in the rear five carriages.

26/04/06 My Visa debit card was declined by SWT's ticket machine twice this morning, but a Mastercard credit card was accepted. On checking with my bank, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the account and I could make purchases at other places with no problem. Market researcher at Southampton said that they have to collect 23 names per day for telephone interview, with two researchers for 14 days, which makes 644 names, and Southampton is one of 10 stations where names are being collected. As the survey is on behalf of SWT, presumably to assist them with their franchise application, I declined to take part - if others feel the same way the results will of course be skewed because of who is paying for the survey. At 14.49, the SWT website was saying "Internal server error" and then "Service unavailable" before becoming available again a couple of minutes late. On the 20.35 from Waterloo there was a loud argument between a man who said he had asked for a 5-day return when buying his ticket at a ticket office and the guard who told him that he only had an expired one-day Travelcard. The guard obviously felt the man had been trying to avoid him and he said "police officers are on the train" and offered to involve them.

27/04/06 Totton station littered with beer cans, McDonalds litter and cigarette cartons. Totton ticket office shut and the self-service ticket machine had an indicator showing "Coins only. No notes accepted". As the peak day return to London All Zones is shown on the machine as £57.20, this is a shade impractical. The 05.48 from Totton was two minutes early at Southampton Central despite the very short run from Totton where we had left on time. Two minutes early at Basingstoke. On the 17.05 from Waterloo passengers were asking each other whether they were in the front or rear 5 coaches - one at Southampton Central said "I keep getting told different things".

28/04/06 Totton ticket office shut. Arrived two and a half minutes early at Southampton Central. Departure indicators at Eastleigh not working, just showing "Welcome to Eastleigh". Two and a half minutes early at Winchester and had to wait a full 2 minutes at the platform after alighting and boarding had taken place. Two minutes early at Basingstoke. 18.05 from Waterloo 3 minutes early at Southampton Central, having already waited for a time at Southampton Parkway before departing.

02/05/06 06.07 from Totton to Waterloo left the station about 10 seconds early. At Southampton Central the 06.26 to Weymouth was announced as running 5 minutes late due to "awaiting replacement carriages at Basingstoke". Slow running on the journey to London with the delay due to "some signal problems at Basingstoke". Guard announced we were arriving at Waterloo 16 minutes late, but it was actually 19 minutes late when we pulled into the platform. At 21.55 the "secure station" ticket barriers were left open as staff went off shift at the platform 4 exit of Southampton Central. The 21.56 arrival on platform 1 was shown on arrival displays as being from blank.

03/05/06 Totton ticket office shut. Self-service ticket machine "not in service". At 06.00 the 06.07 from Totton was shown as running on time. At 06.02 this was changed to "cancelled". Pressing the "help" button on the platform help point resulted in a ringing tone for about a minute and a half and then disconnection - a fellow passenger said that it never gives a response at this time of day. The next service was shown as the 06.46 departure, with no indication and no way of finding out, given the absence of station staff and the failure of the "no help at all" point, whether SWT would provide what is a regular Saturday stop on the 06.30 from Southampton Central and have it call at Totton at 06.21. Given this, and no sign of any replacement taxi service, I took up the offer from a fellow passenger of a lift to Southampton Central where we had to scramble for change to feed £5.50 into the up-side car park machine. The 06.07 from Totton was shown as a cancelled arrival, but at Southampton Central as an on time departure, but about 5 minutes after its scheduled departure time this was updated to show an 11 minute delay. The 06.21 Portsmouth & Southsea departure was delayed 15 minutes due to "overrunning engineering works in the Portsmouth area" - a fellow passenger reported that the incoming service had been cancelled but then the stock was run empty along the line into Southampton Central to position it for the outgoing service. The 06.30 service from Southampton Central to Waterloo was shown initially as running 2 minutes late, then updated to "delayed" and then to running 9 minutes late. However, before its arrival a station announcement was made that the service would terminate at Southampton Central due to "a fault on the train which cannot be rectified". Passengers then received very poor advice to transfer to the 06.45 departure from Southampton Central to Waterloo - a stopping service which arrives in London well after the following 07.00 fast service. Some automated announcements about the 06.30 departure continued even after it was marked on the departure screens as "terminates here". Passengers now waiting for the 07.00 were joined on the platform by passengers thrown off the 06.30 as the train pulled into platform 1 and then returned the way it came. The 07.00 was full from Southampton Central and the guard announced that "due to an earlier cancellation" the service would have "a few more passengers than normal". Passengers from Southampton Airport and Winchester had to stand - at least passengers at Winchester could choose to take a service following 6 minutes later as the departure board showed our service with the message "reported as full and standing".

04/05/06 Totton ticket office shut. The screens at Southampton Central over the platform 1 and 4 exits, which normally show videos celebrating how well Network Rail does its maintenance work, have instead been showing a window saying "End Program - Untitled - gadget" for the past three days. A fellow passenger reports that the telephone questionnaire being undertaken at Southampton and 10 other stations by SWT is regarding variable pricing for particular trains into Waterloo and this is of particular interest to the DfT. So why aren't they doing the survey instead of SWT? SWT declined a perfectly good debit card again!

05/05/06 Totton ticket office shut. 06.07 from Totton to Yeovil failed at Totton and all passengers were thrown off. Train staff explicitly stated that "control" has been informed and the following Waterloo service (which normally only stops at Totton on Saturdays, although no-one can give any reason why it shouldn't stop at Totton on weekdays as the Saturday service runs with exactly the same timings) would stop to pick us up. There was considerable scepticism about this, based on previous experience, and SWT did not disappoint! The attempts to get the 06.07 working had meant that there was no time for passengers to drive to Southampton and pay the extortionate car parking charges in order to get to work on time. Shortly after the 06.07 cleared the platform back into Totton Yard, the following Waterloo service thundered through Totton without stopping. So we were blatantly lied to. The "Help" Point was answered at 06.20 and we were told by the person in London that "control" were not aware of the 06.07 cancellation and we would have to wait for the next scheduled service at 0646. At 0637, the Yeovil service turned up again, having apparently been repaired in Totton Yard (making it therefore a delay rather than a cancellation). It was put to the train driver that we had been told they had lied to us and his response was "we told the signalman and expected him to tell control". Totton ticket office was opened at 06.30 by a staff member providing temporary cover, his journey being to cycle to Cosham, take a train to Southampton Central and then a different train to Totton. After opening up, he came out onto the platform to confirm that no-one had apparently been aware of the problems with the 06.07. He also indicated that a permanent member of staff for Totton would start on 21 May (almost 3 months after the previous incumbent retired).

08/05/06 Totton ticket office shut. 05.48 left Totton 2 minutes late, but arrived at Southampton Central on time. Delayed outside Basingstoke - guard apologised but said "I don't know the reason" - then we heard "Can the guard please contact the driver" - guard then announced the delay as due to "late running track improvement services". As we pulled into platform 4 at Basingstoke, passengers for the train were streaming up the stairs, so obviously there had just been a late change of platform. Five minutes late at Basingstoke, 2 minutes late at Waterloo. Comment from a passenger on the 17.05 from Waterloo: "A lot of people get off at Totton".

09/05/06 Totton ticket office shut. Three passengers On the 17.05 from Waterloo discussed whether they were in the rear 5 coaches. At Totton the 18.43 arrival from Romsey and the 19.01 departure to Romsey were both shown as cancelled.

10/05/06 Totton ticket office shut. The 06.30 from Southampton Central halted outside Basingstoke due to being "held at a red signal" - causing some comment regarding content-free announcements, then updated as being due to "signalling difficulties in the Basingstoke area" - 4 minutes late at Waterloo. On the 20.05 from Waterloo the guard apologised for running 8 minutes late due to "following a slow train from London Waterloo". Later in the journey, the guard walked through the carriage saying "there is a problem with the PA system at present - the next station is Southampton Central". 8 minutes late at Southampton and 10 minutes late at Totton, where the 21.43 arrival from Romsey was shown as running 7 minutes late.

11/05/06 Arrived at Totton at 05.48.13 (13 seconds late for the 05.48 to London Waterloo. Fortunately, the train was still standing at the platform. Unfortunately, the guard had already shut the doors and, after the train driver mumbled "Sorry" through his open window, the train departed without me, racing up the line to be two minutes early at Southampton Central due to the slack in the timetable. Totton ticket office shut. On the 06.07 from Totton to Yeovil, the guard's announcements were inaudible due to the noisy diesel motor underneath the "quiet zone" carriage. At Southampton Central, the screens which normally promote how well Network Rail thinks it does its maintenance, and which last week were showing a Windows "End Program" dialog box for at least 3 days, are now switched off. The 06.26 service to Weymouth was shown as running 3 minutes late due to "signalling problems" presumably, as has been happening most days recently, at Basingstoke. On the 06.30 from Southampton the guard made an announcement about the "100% no smoking policy". As the 17.05 from Waterloo approached Southampton Parkway, the guard apologised for the train running 10 minutes late due to "engineering works between Woking and Basingstoke". 11 minutes late at Southampton Airport, 9 minutes late at Totton.

12/05/06 Totton ticket office shut. 05.48 to Waterloo was reported by fellow passengers to be running about 10 minutes late at Totton. Due to "emergency engineering works at Brockenhurst" no trains are running (apparently until midday) from Southampton Central to Brockenhurst, with replacement bus services from Southampton. The 06.24 arrival from Basingstoke, now terminating at Southampton, was announced as a platform change and pulled into platform 1 instead of its usual platform 4 - passengers were then directed back across the footbridge to the platform 4 exit to join the replacement bus service. Just after Southampton Airport, the 06.30 from Southampton stopped and the guard apologised for the "short delay" due to an "unknown reason, the driver will let me know when he has spoken to the signaller". Arrived at Waterloo 3 minutes late. SWT website reported that the Southampton to Brockenhurst line reopened at 14.10. At Waterloo this evening there was an announcement "due to signal failure outside Waterloo, some services are subject to delay".  At 17.50, the 18.05 from Waterloo was displayed as leaving from platform 14, which was crowded as the stock for the service had not yet arrived. At 17.58, a platform alteration was announced and everyone had to move to platform 15 (which meant going out onto the station concourse or back down to the platform underpass) - at 18.00 the incoming stock arrived at platform 15 where there was a scrum as the wave of passengers moving from platform 14 met the wave of delayed passengers coming off the train. Guard on the 18.05 apologised for the late departure saying "at the present time I have been advised there is a points failure outside the station". Shortly afterwards reported that "due to a number of platforms being closed" he was "unable to give a time of departure". Left Waterloo 7 minutes late. Eleven minutes late at Winchester, 8 minutes late at Totton. A fellow passenger reported that there were power problems at Waterloo before the signal and points failures were announced, so he hadn't the faintest idea what the real reason for the delays were.

15/05/06 Totton ticket office shut and the ticket machine has a sign lit to say "Use coins only. No banknotes accepted" - not much use for tickets to London. Lots of litter on the station including a discarded pizza box, two beer bottles sitting on a window ledge and two smashed bottles, one scattered by the platform entrance. 06.07 from Totton to Yeovil had the heating turned up too high. At Southampton Central the 06.21 to Portsmouth & Southsea had been cancelled due to "a fault on this train which cannot be rectified" - a passenger who had made his way independently to Southampton said that the incoming train had been cancelled at Portsmouth, so he wondered why replacement stock was not used from Portsmouth yard. The Network Rail "aren't we good at maintenance" screens at Southampton Central remain sadly unmaintained - they are showing an End Program dialog box for the "gadget" program. The 06.30 from Southampton comforted passengers with a loudly rattling overhead shelf all the way to Waterloo. Four ticket inspectors at Totton this evening.

16/05/06 Totton ticket office shut and the ticket machine is still showing "Use coins only. No banknotes". Noted that the table latch on the airline style seating in Desiros’ standard class, which makes the use of laptops on the drop-down tables difficult if not impossible, is not present on the seating in first class - was this then a deliberate decision to provide inferior facilities rather than the gross oversight that was thought previously? At Basingstoke the guard of the 05.48 from Totton apologised for the "delay on leaving Basingstoke" due to "awaiting signal to proceed". Pretty obvious announcement made subsequently "we have now left Basingstoke" with a verbose and gushing apology for the delay (which was just 2 minutes). A passenger was overheard to say "I hate it when they have been on their customer care courses".

17/05/06 At Southampton Airport station this morning a passenger remarked "I didn't realise it cost so much to park for a day" - £6.90. Even at that price one ticket machine was out of order (with no sign, just a blank display) and another in sight was covered over. There are no marked footways from the car park to the station and, with cars speeding into the car park, a second passenger described the walk to the station as "dicing with death". Having just missed the 16.05 from Waterloo due to a 10-minute gap in services on the Northern Line, I went to the information desk on the Waterloo concourse to check the platform for the 16.35. Overhearing the family group in front of me asking when the next train to Totton was, I was very surprised to hear the customer adviser telling them to wait for the 17.05 departure. I approached them on the platform and after checking what they had asked, told them that they could travel on the 16.35 from Waterloo and change at Southampton Central to get to Totton half an hour before the 17.05 does. Wanting to hear why the customer adviser had given such poor advice, I went back to him for an explanation. He said that the passengers had asked for the next train to Totton, so he had told them when the next train was, but if they had then asked if there was a quicker way to get there, he would have told them about the connection. Obviously they didn't ask about a quicker way to get there as it wouldn't enter anyone’s head that an adviser would not mention the quickest way of getting to their destination. Incredible!

18/05/06 The 06.07 from Totton was cancelled again this morning (was later told by a fellow passenger that it was announced at Southampton as due to "no crew"). However the 06.30 from Southampton was already shown as making an additional stop as the 06.21 from Totton. Even though it arrived almost 3 minutes late at Totton, and it took some time to load bicycles onto the train, it was only 1 minute late at Southampton - so why can't it stop at Totton every day of the week instead of making Totton commuters waste 70 minutes a week standing around on Southampton station? Totton ticket office opened at 06.00 - the temporary member of staff reported that a permanent staff member should be starting next week (and expressed surprise that the ticket office had not been open at 06.00 for the last few months). On the 18.05 from Waterloo, a fellow passenger reported seeing a badly broken door seal on unit 2403 - so bad that you can see right down to the track through it - three weeks after previously seeing it. He commented that it shows how much Stagecoach maintains the trains.

19/05/06 As luck would have it, the same set (2403, the "New Forest") was the stock for the 06.30 from Southampton Central to Waterloo and a photo was taken. A child could easily put an arm through the gap, so it was reported to those responsible for rail safety at the Office of Rail Regulation (www.rail-reg.gov.uk). Totton ticket office was again closed at 06.00 with the ticket machine saying "Use coins only. No banknotes". At Southampton Central, the Network Rail screens that have recently been showing an End Program dialog box were switched off.

22/05/06 Totton ticket office still closed at 06.00 - temporary ticket office staff last week thought that the new permanent staff member would start this week, but there is no sign of him/her. Temporary staff member was then seen at 06.20 at Southampton Central - he said that the permanent staff would start next week. At Southampton Central the display over the platform 1 entrance was showing the name of the station manager as blank, but they were apparently still "Happy to Help". Network Rail screen was switched off. The 06.30 from Southampton Central arrived early at Waterloo.

23/05/06 Totton ticket office closed. Ticket machine still showing "No banknotes" - a pretty useless service if you are wanting a weekly season ticket to London as this costs £95.80. Even if you have enough change, the ticket prices on the machine are incorrect as it asks for £3.00 for a single to Romsey but £4.10 for a single to Chandlers Ford through which you have to travel to get to Romsey. Noted broken glass in the station parking bays around the Station Road North roundabout and very recent graffiti on the down platform station sign which now reads "Welcome to The S--t Hole" instead of "Welcome to Totton". At Southampton Central, the 06.26 to Weymouth was reported as running 5 minutes late due to "an earlier fault with the signalling equipment at Eastleigh". After delays on the Northern line, I got to the platform a few seconds before the scheduled departure time of the 17.35 from Waterloo but the doors were already closed and the train pulled out of the station. The 17.48 from Waterloo included unit 2403 "The New Forest" with the unsafe door seal still not repaired - yet another passenger has said that they have seen this door with the missing seal for about a month now. 18.05 from Waterloo was 7 minutes late by Southampton due to "a fault on a preceding train at Farnborough Main".

24/05/06 Totton ticket office closed, but at least the ticket machine is now accepting banknotes again. It remains a tribute to somebody's sense of irony that the "quiet coach" on the 06.07 from Totton to Yeovil Junction is situated above a noisy diesel engine. The Network Rail screens at Southampton Central are still switched off. The 06.30 from Southampton Central to Waterloo included the now infamous unmaintained "The New Forest" 5-car unit. At Waterloo the platform clocks, displays and the concourse train information screens were all blank and the platform subway was closed due to problems with the power supply. At 18.00, the platform subway was open again, but none of the train information displays in the subway were working, so you had to guess which platform to go to for your train. Passengers on the 18.05 from Waterloo were "entertained" by a group of young ladies who were loudly announcing on their mobile phones that they were going sailing on the Isle of Wight and were noisily comparing how badly they had done in their A level results. At Totton, the departure indicators were not working properly, showing the 1st train as being a terminating train from Romsey instead of the train actually at the platform.

25/05/06 Totton ticket office closed and (it couldn't last!) the ticket machine is not accepting banknotes again. The broken glass seen in the parking bays on the Station Road North roundabout is still there, but the graffiti on the "Welcome to Totton" sign has been removed. The notice displayed at the station about weekend engineering work is two weeks out of date, giving information about the weekend of 13/14 May. Train slowed down before Eastleigh with the guard apologising for the short delay due to "just being held at a caution signal". Arrived on time at Waterloo but passengers were held on the train for two minutes before the guard managed to get the doors open. The train information screens in the platform subway at Waterloo were blank in both the morning and evening peaks. 18.05 from Waterloo left 8 minutes late due to "an incident at Southampton with a passenger taken ill"; 11 minutes late at Southampton. During the journey a fellow passenger mentioned the excessive vibration in our carriage to the guard, but didn't feel his concern was taken seriously, so at Totton I approached the guard and asked him to report the problem, which he said he would do - the affected carriage was the standard class carriage at one end of unit 2420 ("City of Southampton").

26/05/06 Totton ticket office closed. The Network Rail screen at Southampton Central which advertises Network Rail's maintenance programme is finally working again. The train information screens in the platform subway at Waterloo were blank in both the morning and evening peaks. 17.05 from Waterloo included unit 2420 where some vibration was felt but not as much as yesterday - perhaps it depends where in the carriage you are. A passenger who had just got onto the rear five carriages at Southampton Central asked if this was the Weymouth section - when told it wasn't she got off again, saying, "they keep giving me different messages". Noted that the front five carriages were waved off from Southampton immediately the rear five coaches were detached, even before the guard in the rear five had made an announcement about the stations served by that portion of the train.

30/05/06 Totton ticket office open! At Southampton Central, the departure screen alongside the Network Rail display (which has rarely been working recently) is not working. On the 17.05 from Waterloo, the guard's announcement was drowned out by that of the buffet steward. Despite leaving Southampton Airport on time, it was announced on the approach to Southampton Central that "due to early arrival we are being held in the tunnel awaiting a platform". When we got to Southampton Central, there were only 2 minutes to split the train before the scheduled departure time of the front 5 coaches which were sent await a minute late, just as the guard in the rear 5 coaches announced the stations served by the rear portion of the train. A party of passengers were overheard to be booking a taxi from Brockenhurst station to Lymington - strange, I thought there used to be a train service there!

31/05/06 Totton ticket office open (and the station was being cleaned) and all displays working at Southampton Central. On the 06.30 from Southampton there was only one buffet steward and no buffet trolleys in service, the steward being located in the fixed buffet in the rear 5 carriages. The 17.05 from Waterloo ran slow through Woking; 5 minutes late at Southampton Airport. The front 5 carriages were waved off so quickly after the train was split at Southampton that 5 or 6 people who wanted to catch it were left behind and had to join the slower-running rear 5 carriages; 2 minutes late at Totton, the 3 minutes saved at Southampton having been at the expense of the passengers missing the correct portion of the train.

02/06/06 The 06.30 from Southampton Central was shown on the departure indicators as leaving on time, but after it arrived a few minutes late we found it had been running behind schedule for some time due to "signalling problems at Branksome". The guard announced a revised arrival time at Waterloo of “07.46 hundred hours". Lots of confusion on the 17.35 from Waterloo which arrived at Southampton Central a few minutes late - a large group of passengers heading for Brockenhurst were sure they were in the correct half of the train, then unsure whether they were, and then were sure again. A woman passenger heard the discussion and realised that she should be in the front half of the train to travel to Bournemouth, but the train was in the process of being split and by the time the doors were released and she got onto the platform, the front half had already been waved off and was leaving the station.

05/06/06 Arrived at Totton 30 seconds late to find the 06.07 from Totton still at the platform, but the doors had been closed by the guard and the train pulled out of the station with the driver knowing that he was leaving a passenger behind. The new ticket office manager expressed surprise at the amount of rubbish that had been left on the station over the weekend - this must make use of the station unpleasant for weekend travellers. The 06.30 from Southampton Central was delayed 8 minutes at Winchester due to "signal problems further down the line" (up the line?) and was 13 minutes late at Waterloo. Guard on the 17.05 from Waterloo apologised for a 5-6 minute delay due to "a tall lorry striking the underneath of a railway bridge in the Hersham area earlier this afternoon".

06/06/06 1705 from Waterloo 5 minutes late at Totton - no reason given.

07/06/06 06.07 from Totton was cancelled and replacement taxis provided to Southampton Central. At Southampton Central a fellow passenger was annoyed that a badly behaved passenger, who the staff on an incoming service knew only had a ticket to Southampton Central, was allowed to join the 06.30 from Southampton despite station staff being informed. Just missed the 17.05 from Waterloo due to delays on the two Underground lines I have to use while the Waterloo & City line is closed.

08/06/06 Wondered at the usefulness of the wheelchair ramp sited on platform 2 at Totton - as there are 45 steps between it and main station entrance (and disabled parking space) on platform 1.

09/06/06 06.07 from Totton to Yeovil was cancelled at Southampton Central (where it was described as the service to Salisbury) - no idea why as the on-train announcement was indistinct and Southampton platform staff did not know the reason for the cancellation of the rest of the service. This is the second time in 3 days that the service has been cancelled. Again tube delays meant I missed an evening train at Waterloo.

12/06/06 Exchanged my extremely faded, almost blank season ticket for a newly printed copy - just less than half way through the validity period of the ticket. A bad start for passenger information on the first day of the summer timetable - at Totton the departure indicator just said "Welcome to Totton" and the posters showing departure times were now out-of-date; at Millbrook one indicator reported a fault while the other (or the platform where our train was standing) reported "STAND CLEAR. This train does not stop at this station"; at Southampton Central the displays on the bridge between platforms showed "An application error has occurred.....FIDSMON.exe", while the departure and information screens by the platform 1 entrance were just showing "Welcome to Southampton Central", and the departure indicator on platform 1 was showing "We regret that train running information can not be displayed at present" until immediately before the 06.30 to London Waterloo arrived. The same message was displayed at Southampton Airport, Eastleigh and Winchester. As the 17.35 from Waterloo was approaching Southampton the guard announced that all services in and out of London Waterloo were currently suspended due to a lineside fire at Raynes Park. Shortly afterwards he asked over the intercom for both buffet stewards to check the guard's van doors in their section "as one may be ajar". At Totton the 18.05 from Waterloo was shown as running 51 minutes late and the 18.35 from Waterloo was shown as arriving 1 minute behind it.

13/06/06 A passenger on the 18.05 from Waterloo last night reported that it was actually 80 minutes late when it finally reached Totton. The 06.07 from Totton to Yeovil Junction was cancelled again today, now the third cancellation in 5 consecutive weekdays. The new ticket office manager at Totton quickly arranged for taxis to take passengers to Southampton Central (having previously been advised that this was better for SWT than stopping the 05.45 from Poole additionally at Totton), so he was somewhat surprised to find that the 05.45 appeared on the departure board as stopping. Advised him that the previous incumbent had said that the two marked parking bays on the Station Road North roundabout were for passenger use, which he said he would check with his management as he was not aware of this. The additional stop at Totton caused no delay whatsoever to the 05.45, which reached Winchester two minutes early.

14/06/06 At Southampton Central this morning the 06.26 to Weymouth was shown as cancelled and the 06.35 to Totton as running 14 minutes late. Subsequently the Weymouth service was announced to be leaving from platform 2B. The rear half of the 17.05 from Waterloo was overtaken in Southampton Central station by a freight train - slow running into Totton for which the guard apologized, and 5 minutes late.

15/06/06 As we passed through Walton-on-Thames, I admired the verdant green forest on the unused platform between the tracks, Esher just could not compete with its low-level weeds and worn-out signs. New Malden had some attempt at flower beds on its unused platforms but the brown weeds around them were not an attractive background. Perhaps there is a new SWT award here for the most overgrown station!

16/06/06 The 06.30 from Southampton Central arrived at London Waterloo 2 minutes early. The 17.35 was full to overcrowding, but I managed to get some folks in the buffet car to squeeze up to make room.

19/06/06 Two station car park spaces at Totton taken up by locally-based commercial vehicles. The ticket machine at Totton is again refusing to accept banknotes. One of the departure indicators at Millbrook is showing "Due to a fault no train information can be displayed at present". 5 minutes late at Waterloo - no announcement. Only one buffet open on the 17.05 from Waterloo.

20/06/06 Two station car park spaces at Totton taken up by locally-based commercial vehicles. The ticket machine at Totton is refusing to accept banknotes.

21/06/06 06.35 from Southampton Central to Totton cancelled. Platform displays at Southampton Central show the station manager as blank (but "Happy to Help"). The 16.05 from Waterloo is only 5 carriages and was full to Basingstoke, where more got on than got off.

22/06/06 Totton ticket machine not accepting banknotes.

27/06/06 Totton ticket machine not accepting banknotes. 17.05 from Waterloo arrived at Winchester 4 minutes early, then stopped additionally at Eastleigh, 8 minutes late at Southampton Airport - no reason given by the guard who doesn't appear to have seen the "as soon as we know, you'll know" posters. Guard subsequently described the service as "delayed leaving Southampton Central" due to "a late incoming service following a late Cross-Country service". 6 minutes late at Totton.

28/06/06 A fellow passenger reported that the 05.48 from Totton to London Waterloo hadn’t left until 06.04. The only gate in the ticket barrier at Southampton Central platform 4 that was available for incoming passengers was not accepting tickets. On the 06.30 from Southampton Central to London Waterloo a seat broke underneath a passenger, but a Winchester traveller was sufficiently desperate for a seat to sit in it anyway. Slow running into London Waterloo due to "congestion in the Clapham Junction area" - arrived at Waterloo 10 minutes late. At London Waterloo the 20.05 service was not shown on the screen by the platform entrance and the destination indicator on the train said "Not in service". Noted that the departure indicators at Millbrook were faulty.

29/06/06 Arriving just before the advertised departure time of the 06.07 from Totton to Yeovil Junction, I found that the train doors had been closed 30 seconds before departure but were being reopened due to the kind intervention of Totton station staff who had seen my arrival in the car park. Millbrook departure indicators still faulty. Travelling on two tube lines in the evening peak, due to the closure of the Waterloo and City line, found sauna-like conditions not helped by the distinct impression that the Northern line platform at Tottenham Court Road had the heaters switched on. Arrived at Waterloo to find that so many trains were delayed that the departure screens in the platform subway were full of trains that should have left (with each entry taking up 3 lines on the screen instead of one line normally) that passengers could not find the details of trains that were timetabled to leave in the next few minutes. Made my way to the main concourse to find that stock for the 18.05 to Poole had not yet arrived with delays and cancellations to services through Woking due to "a body on the line at Hersham". While information about other services was given, no announcement about the 18.05 was made for 25 minutes while I was standing on the concourse - eventually we were told that the incoming stock was passing through Earlsfield and would be at Waterloo in 12 minutes time. Shortly afterwards, the 18.35 to Weymouth was announced to be cancelled. Passengers were then told that the 18.05 would depart from platform 14, with those for stations beyond Southampton Central with short platforms needing to be in the front 5 carriages. As the incoming stock was just pulling into the station, with the platform crowded with passengers, it was then announced that the next departure from platform 14 would be the 18.35 to Weymouth, mysteriously resurrected (with the 18.05 presumably silently cancelled) - this meant that passengers for stations between Southampton and Bournemouth now had to be in the rear 5 carriages. Left Waterloo 45 minutes late (in relation to the 18.05) but the end of the train had barely cleared the platform before we stopped again for a short while. After we had reached Earlsfield, the guard apologised for the "15 minute" delay due to a "fatality at Hersham". Arrived at Totton 41 minutes late (in relation to the 18.35), making the delay in relation to the 18.05 to be 1 hour 17 minutes. At Totton the 19.05 from Waterloo was shown as running 28 minutes late, where also Station Road North appeared to have a large amount of broken glass over the road, apparently from at least one vodka bottle smashed into the tarmac.

30/06/06 After thanking Totton station manager for his assistance yesterday, he mentioned that someone would be doing a "boundary check" ie confirming what is and isn't railway property as the previous staff member was strongly of the view that two parking spaces on the Station Road North mini-roundabout were actually part of the station car park. Distressingly, it also appears that a suggestion has been made that a ticket machine could be installed for the 11 space car park, but Totton staff had pointed out that as almost all the users were season ticket holders it would involve far less cost to just give these users a card to show in the windscreen (without guaranteeing a space) - this would ensure that spaces were used by genuine railway passengers (with the occasional non-season ticket holder assisted by station staff). He also said he was trying to get a cleaning team to visit Totton over each weekend given the amount of rubbish that has been left on the station by Monday morning, potentially left there for 2 and a half days from Friday afternoon. We also discussed the amount of litter, rubbish, discarded furniture and supermarket trolleys in the area outside the supposed station boundary - which gives a very poor impression of Totton - apparently the street cleaner does not come beyond the railings in Station Road North, leaving the mini-roundabout untouched. At Southampton Central, the 08.27 to Bristol Temple Meads was cancelled and an announcement was made "this is due to ... We are sorry for the delay to your journey" with the reason for the cancellation simply omitted.


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.

Sunday 16/04/06 08.42 Chessington-Waterloo axed.

Monday 17/04/06 So slack were schedules on this bank holiday that, for example, the 18.45 Salisbury-Waterloo was advertised by National Rail as expected to arrive in London 12 minutes early. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late and reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 22.35 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock.

Tuesday 18/04/06 06.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed between Weybridge and Staines due to duff stock. 08.12 Reading-Waterloo axed. 08.17 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 16.15 Gillingham-Waterloo axed between Gillingham and Salisbury due to duff stock. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.01 Totton-Romsey axed due to duff stock. 20.42 Waterloo-Shepperton only 11 minutes late but all intermediate stops before Kingston, plus Kempton Park, axed for operational convenience. 21.00 Romsey-Totton 16 minutes late.

Wednesday 19/04/06 04.55 Southampton-Waterloo 25 minutes late due to engineering works; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke axed for operational convenience. 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 05.15 Salisbury-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton 14 minutes late, reaching its destination at about 06.28; the doors of the 06.30 from Southampton to London closed 30 seconds early and it appeared that some people off the Portsmouth train lost their connection. 15.24 Basingstoke-Brighton delayed 5 minutes outside Winchester due to duff train (presumably the 14.30 Waterloo-Weymouth) occupying the platform. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. It appears that SWT were juggling stock to disguise shortages: the National Rail website showed the 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth as departing at 17.43 and the 18.09 as departing at 17.39!

Thursday 20/4/06 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 16.01 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed. 16.12, 18.12 and 18.16 Waterloo-Shepperton all reduced to 4 coaches.

Friday 21/04/06 16.57 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill reduced to 4 coaches and delayed, due to duff stock. 18.31 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.38 Winchester-Southampton 13 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Guildford delayed by delay to previous service. All intermediate stops before Raynes Park omitted for operational convenience.

Saturday 22/04/06 Weekend of major disruptions through engineering work, with SWT’s website showing the mysterious closure of Earlsfield station throughout the weekend due to “a police related incident”. Timings so slack that the National Rail website revealed for example that the 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo left Andover 2 minutes early. 13.25 Fareham-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 14.34 Havant-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 14.40 Chessington-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 16.39 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 4 coaches.

Sunday 23/04/06 Another day of remarkably slack schedules, with the National Rail website showing Waterloo trains leaving Clapham Junction and Queenstown Road up to 5 minutes early. 09.20 from Exeter expected to arrive at Waterloo 9 minutes early, having been allowed 16 minutes for the final lap from Clapham Junction. 09.48 from Weymouth expected to reach Waterloo 10 minutes early. Overrun of engineering works: 17.50 Weybridge-Waterloo axed. 17.54 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Virginia Water. 18.24 Reading-Waterloo 42 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines axed for operational convenience. 18.54 Reading-Waterloo 23 minutes late.

Monday 24/04/06 05.15 Yeovil-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.53 Windsor-Waterloo 13 minutes late.

Tuesday 25/04/06 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late; subsequent mainline arrivals at Waterloo similarly late. Dangerous spike protruding beneath a seat on the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth; the guard’s announcement correctly told Branksome and Parkstone passengers to use the front five coaches; he then issued a “correction”, wrongly telling these passengers to use the rear five coaches - at Southampton Central he started to make an announcement but gave up. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. Passengers on the 21.55 Reading-Portsmouth to be thrown off at Fratton, but reason not advertised, so clearly operator at fault.

Wednesday 26/04/06 05.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. Passenger left behind at Southampton when the doors of the 08.18 to Romsey shut in his face 30 seconds before departure time; thoughtful staff then played the standard tape about not getting caught out by early door closure. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 12.35 Waterloo-Weymouth stopped at Winchester for 5 minutes due to all toilets on the train being out of use. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 12 minutes late.19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. Passengers on the 21.55 Reading-Portsmouth thrown off at Fratton, just as they were two evenings earlier – no reason given so operator at fault.

Thursday 27/04/06 Despite its normal early departure, on this occasion the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil did not arrive from Totton sidings until departure time, and still displayed the “Sorry, not in public use” destination. 07.52 Epsom-Waterloo axed. As the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth/Poole approached Southampton Central, the guard first made a correct announcement, and then made a wrong “correction” telling Branksome and Parkstone passengers that they needed to move to the rear 5 coaches. 18.07 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 22.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Twickenham axed for operational convenience.

Friday 28/04/06 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton 9 minutes late. 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth 7 minutes late. 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.48 Effingham Junction-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches.

Saturday 29/04/06 07.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 42 minutes late. 07.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 38 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth axed for operational convenience. 08.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 57 minutes late. 10.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 38 minutes late. Passengers on the 10.01 Poole-Waterloo thrown off at Pokesdown due to duff stock. 11.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 41 minutes late. 11.01 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 12.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 47 minutes late. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 41 minutes late. 15.39 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 45 minutes late. 16.00 Romsey-Totton 15 minutes late. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 17.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 18.01 Totton-Romsey 13 minutes late. 18.05 Dorking-Waterloo axed between Dorking and Ashtead. 18.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Fulwell. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 39 minutes late. 19.01 Totton-Romsey 14 minutes late. Delayed 19.33 Waterloo-Guildford 19 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 19.44/20.14/20.44 Lymington-Brockenhurst axed due to no driver. 19.59/20.29 Brockenhurst-Lymington axed due to no driver. 20.53 Windsor-Waterloo 12 minutes late. Passengers on the 20.59 and 21.59 Wareham-Winchester thrown off at Bournemouth due to no driver. 21.07 Waterloo-Twickenham axed due to no driver. Hounslow line closed due to a fatality: 22.22 Waterloo-Weybridge and 22.50 Waterloo-Reading axed. 23.16 Winchester-Poole axed due to no driver.

Sunday 30/04/06 00.12 Winchester-Poole axed due to no driver. 07.35 Southampton-Portsmouth axed due to no guard. 08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth delayed to duff stock. 08.09 Waterloo-Reading 14 minutes late due to delay to previous service. Broken down train at Clapham Junction: 09.25 Waterloo-Windsor 16 minutes late. 10.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 11.54 Reading-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 18.07 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 18.26 Guildford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 20.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late.

Monday 01/05/06 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 13.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late.

Tuesday 02/05/06 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 5 minutes late. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 19 minutes late. Doors of 06.07 Totton-Yeovil closed 33 seconds early; train departed 15 seconds early. 06.12 Waterloo-Wareham 23 minutes late due to duff stock. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 07.06 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.37 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. O7.50 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 07.52 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.31 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.46 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. For the umpteenth time the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth reached Winchester over 4 minutes before it was due to depart. 17.24 Basingstoke-Southampton axed between Basingstoke and Winchester. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 9 coaches. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 4 coaches. 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.32 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches.

Wednesday 03/05/06 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton delayed by engineering works and then ran empty for operational convenience. Passengers on the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo thrown off at Southampton Central due to duff stock; SWT website showed it as having left Brockenhurst (11 minutes late according to the National Rail website) and then it was too much bother to update the information. 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo started 10 minutes late; Godalming and Haslemere stops axed for operational convenience. 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed between Totton and Southampton. 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 06.54 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to broken down train in front. 06.55 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke. 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 07.49 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late due to broken down train in front. 08.05 Waterloo-Poole axed due to duff stock. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 9 coaches. Passengers on the 19.05 Waterloo-Poole thrown off at Bournemouth due to duff stock. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton replaced by a bus between Farnborough and Winchester due to engineering works; so slack were the schedules that there was 17 minutes delay between the bus arriving at Winchester and the train departing.

Thursday 04/05/06 07.44 Alton-Waterloo 22 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops after Aldershot axed for operational convenience. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Exeter due to duff stock. 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke. Parts of the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth blistering hot due to duff air conditioning. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Kingston axed for operational convenience. 18.59 Effingham Junction-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. National Rail website showed the 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo as 11 minutes late at Parkstone; it then “disappeared”.

Friday 05/05/06 06.07 Totton-Yeovil failed at Totton with duff doors. Too much trouble to stop the London train at Totton, so commuters delayed for 30 minutes. The Yeovil train then managed to get away. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 25 minutes late.

Saturday 06/05/06 11.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 12.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 12.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 13.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 13.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 13.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 14.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 16.14 Alton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.44 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham due to duff stock. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 21.50 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late due to duff stock.

Sunday 07/05/06 07.10 Salisbury-Exeter 10 minutes late due to duff stock. 10.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 63 minutes late due to duff stock. 13.42 Portsmouth-Southampton axed between Portsmouth and Fareham due to duff train. 20.54 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late.

Monday 08/05/06 BBC TV South’s breakfast time news reported no major delays on the railways, but: 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 05.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 22 minutes late; 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late; 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late – guard announced that this was due to duff rear unit; 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 12 minutes late; 05.54 Weymouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late; 06.11 Poole-Waterloo 21 minutes late; 06.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 19 minutes late; 06.42 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking; 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo 10 minutes late; 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 14 minutes late; 06.55 Reading-Brighton 17 minutes late; 07.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 19 minutes late; 07.23 Waterloo-Alton axed due to duff stock; 07.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 26 minutes late – Surbiton, Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge stops axed for operational convenience; 07.52 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to duff stock; 08.05 Waterloo-Poole 23 minutes late – stops at New Milton, Christchurch and Pokesdown axed for operational convenience; 08.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late; 08.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock; 09.14 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches and axed between Alton and Farnham due to duff stock; 09.44 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 09.20 Basingstoke-Brighton 32 minutes late due to delay on previous journey. 09.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking axed for operational convenience. Passengers on the 09.55 Southampton-Waterloo thrown off at Winchester due to duff stock. Morning fatality in the Portchester area involving the 09.57 Brighton-Reading; big disruption to trains via Fareham. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late due to rolling stock shortage; all intermediate stops after Southampton Central axed for operational convenience. 15.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 15.57 Brighton-Reading axed. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole advertised as axed and then reinstated. 18.55 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke.

Tuesday 09/05/06 16.56 Havant-Waterloo axed. Some evening Romsey-Totton trains axed between Southampton and Totton due to level crossing problems. 18.54 Waterloo-Dorking axed.

Wednesday 10/05/06 06.12 Reading-Waterloo 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines axed for operational convenience. 07.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 07.46 Effingham Junction-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 08.02 Dorking-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 08.10 Chessington-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 08.42 Waterloo-Shepperton started 10 minutes late. 08.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 18 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops before Barnes axed for operational convenience. Passengers on the 09.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo thrown off at Wimbledon due to duff stock. 11.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops before Barnes axed for operational convenience. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 34 minutes late. 20.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 6 minutes late. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 7 minutes late. 21.01 Totton-Romsey 8 minutes late.

Thursday 11/05/06 14.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 15.42 Reading-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines axed for operational convenience. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 8 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 8 minutes late. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo delayed; North Sheen and Mortlake stations axed for operational convenience. 19.05 Alton-Waterloo 30 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.35 Alton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.

Friday 12/05/06 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 05.26 Poole-Brockenhurst axed. MORNING SERVICE BETWEEN SOUTHAMPTON AND BOURNEMOUTH THEN AXED DUE TO TRACK PROBLEMS: HUGE PASSENGER ANGER AT INADEQUACY OF REPLACEMENT BUS SERVICES WAS REPORTED IN THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO OF 13 MAY. Passengers on the 08.40 Chessington-Waterloo thrown off at Raynes Park due to duff stock. 15.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late due to no crew. 16.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 16.21 Chessington-Waterloo 21 minutes late due to no crew. 16.46 Waterloo-Chessington axed. 17.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed. MAINLINE EVENING PEAK SERVICE COLLAPSED DUE TO SIGNALLING PROBLEMS AT WATERLOO; TYPICAL EFFECTS: 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton reduced to 5 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 11 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth was reduced to 5 coaches and 45 minutes late; furious passengers for intermediate stations to Bournemouth thrown off at Southampton – with typical Stagecoach incompetence, those for Totton were told the first service would be the train from Romsey, so they then lost a further five minutes at Millbrook for a faster Totton service to overtake. Other examples: 19.05 Poole-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 19.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 23 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking axed for operational convenience. 19.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 20.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 34 minutes late. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late.

Saturday 13/05/06 08.01 Totton-Romsey 13 minutes late. 09.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to duff train. Fatality at Bedhampton: 12.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 145 minutes late. 12.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 173 minutes late. 12.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 12.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 95 minutes late. 13.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 125 minutes late. 13.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 163 minutes late. 13.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 135 minutes late. 13.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo 133 minutes late. 13.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 27 minutes late. 13.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 162 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking for operational convenience. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 14.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 137 minutes late. 15.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 27 minutes late. 15.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 68 minutes late. 15.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 126 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 15.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 16.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 39 minutes late. 16.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 44 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Haslemere axed. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 16.33 Barnham-Eastleigh axed. 16.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Haslemere. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 36 minutes late. 20.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Havant. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 48 minutes late. 22.12 Barnham-Salisbury 29 minutes late.

Sunday 14/05/06 12.13 Ascot-Guildford axed between Ascot and Aldershot. 12.15 Alton-Woking axed between Alton and Aldershot. 13.25 Yeovil-Andover 28 minutes late. 15.13 Ascot-Guildford 40 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Aldershot for operational convenience. 16.17 Guildford-Ascot axed between Guildford and Aldershot.

Monday 15/05/06 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton axed due to duff stock. 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 06.07 Totton-Yeovil grossly overheated. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late; no explanation. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 12 minutes late.

Tuesday 16/05/06 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 5 coaches. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury reduced to 3 coaches. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.15 Waterloo-Havant axed. 19.25 Waterloo-Alton axed. 21.14 Alton-Waterloo axed. Passengers on the 21.00 Romsey-Totton thrown off at Southampton due to no guard. 22.01 Totton-Romsey axed due to no guard. 23.00 Romsey-Southampton axed due to no guard.

Wednesday 17/05/06 06.11 Poole-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 06.32 Woking-Waterloo 10 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 07.14 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 16.05 Waterloo-Reading 13 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Staines and Bracknell, except Ascot, axed for operational convenience. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines axed for operational convenience. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 3 coaches. 16.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Feltham axed operational convenience. 16.39 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to delay on previous journey; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Clapham Junction axed for operational convenience.

Thursday 18/05/06 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed due to no guard. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 22 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 21 minutes late. 19.25 Waterloo-Alton axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff stock.

Friday 19/05/06 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 9 minutes late. 07.42 Waterloo-Shepperton axed between Waterloo and Kingston due to duff stock. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.41 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.46 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant reduced to 8 coaches. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches.

Saturday 20/05/06 06.13 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops to Wimbledon inclusive axed for operational convenience. 06.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 06.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed. 07.09 Waterloo-Guildford 9 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Worcester Park axed for operational convenience. Passengers on the 09.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo thrown off at Guildford due to duff stock. 09.58 Guildford-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 09.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 10.28 Waterloo-Windsor 20 minutes late. Passengers on the 12.03 Waterloo-Guildford thrown off at Wimbledon due to duff stock. 13.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 13.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 14.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Fulwell due to duff train. 15.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to delay on previous journey.

Sunday 21/05/06 14.46 Barnham-Exeter 18 minutes late. Trackside fire despite rain falling most of the day: 16.24 Reading-Waterloo 118 minutes late; 16.54 95 minutes late; 17.24 82 minutes late; 17.54 46 minutes late; 18.24 31 minutes late; 19.54 20 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late.

Monday 22/05/06 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. General morning delays due to signalling problems in the Overton area. 16.28 Waterloo-Windsor delayed by signalling problems. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Exeter due to duff stock.

Tuesday 23/05/06 08.05 Portsmouth-Reading axed due to duff stock. 10.04 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke due to duff stock. 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil advertised as delayed. REDUCED TO FOUR COACHES: 16.01 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo; 16.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court; 16.50 Waterloo-Woking; 17.30 Waterloo-Epsom; 17.42 Waterloo-Shepperton; 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton; 17.50 Waterloo-Windsor; 18.09 Waterloo-Guildford; 18.31 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo; 18.54 Waterloo-Dorking.

Wednesday 24/05/06 10.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 14 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Waterloo and Norbiton axed for operational convenience. 14.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 34 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Queenstown Road on the outward journey. 14.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to no crew; North Sheen and Mortlake stops axed for operational convenience. 15.54 Waterloo-Dorking delayed 7 minutes by duff stock. 16.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 20 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.50 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late due to delay on previous journey. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 5 coaches. Passengers on the 20.28 Waterloo-Windsor thrown off at Staines due to an electrical fault. 20.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 21.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed between Windsor and Staines. 21.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed between Waterloo and Staines.

Thursday 25/05/06 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches.

Friday 26/05/06 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to duff stock. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.46 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. 17.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court reduced to 4 coaches. 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches.

Saturday 27/05/06 07.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late.

Sunday 28/05/06 07.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late.

Monday 29/05/06 10.32 Reading-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 17.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late; intermediate stops between Haslemere and Guildford axed for operational convenience.

Tuesday 30/05/06 06.48 Hounslow-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.02 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.03 Weybridge-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.07 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 11.42 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 13.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.55 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 4 coaches. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late. 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot reduced to 4 coaches. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Guildford. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 19.07 Weybridge-Waterloo 19 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Waterloo, except Putney and Clapham Junction, axed for operational convenience. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo 18 minutes late.

Wednesday 31/05/06 07.02 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8coaches. 07.07 Guildford-Waterloo axed between Guildford and Earlsfield due to duff stock. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 15.37 Haslemere-Waterloo 11 minutes late. Passengers on the 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter thrown off at Woking due to duff stock. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot reduced to 4 coaches.

Thursday 01/06/06 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading axed between Waterloo and Staines due to no crew. 07.58 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.02 Dorking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo axed between Poole and Bournemouth due to duff stock. 16.03 Woking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.50 Waterloo-Woking reduced to 4 coaches. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 17.20 Waterloo-Woking reduced to 4 coaches. 18.39 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches.

Friday 02/06/06 Duff train caused huge delays for mainline commuters: 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 51 minutes late; 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late; 06.45 Southampton-Waterloo 58 minutes late and all intermediate stops after Basingstoke axed for operational convenience; 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo axed; 07.15 Southampton-Waterloo 37 minutes late; 07.36 Southampton-Waterloo 17 minutes late; 08.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 40 minutes late and all intermediate stops before Southampton Central axed for operational convenience. 08.22 Epsom-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.33 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 16.33 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. Duff train at Bookham: 18.05 Dorking-Waterloo 19 minutes late; 18.09 Waterloo-Guildford diverted and ran fast from Raynes Park and Effingham Junction. Announced on SWT’s website at 14.57 that the 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth would be axed between Bournemouth and Weymouth, but too much bother to give an explanation.

Saturday 03/06/06 08.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 08.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo delayed by duff stock; all intermediate stops before Norbiton axed for operational convenience. 10.07 Paignton-Brighton 18 minutes late. 10.58 Waterloo-Windsor 15 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops before Twickenham axed for operational convenience. 12.53 Waterloo-Alton 36 minutes late; ran non-stop to Woking and passengers thrown off at Farnham, for operational convenience. 13.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 13.50 Waterloo-Reading delayed due to no crew. 14.00 Fareham-Portsmouth axed due to delay on previous journey. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo 47 minutes late. 14.44 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 15.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 45 minutes late. 16.01 Poole-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 16.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo axed. 17.05 Waterloo-Poole 46 minutes late. 17.24 Basingstoke-Southampton 63 minutes late. 17.31 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 27 minutes late. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 34 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Southampton Central and Waterloo axed for operational convenience. 18.53 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 18.55 Southampton-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to crew. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo axed between Poole and Bournemouth. Passengers on the 20.00 Romsey-Totton thrown off at Southampton. 20.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton. Passengers on the 20.06 Weymouth-Waterloo thrown off at Southampton due to no crew. 20.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 20.59 Brockenhurst-Lymington axed due to no driver. 21.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no driver. 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 21.14 Lymington-Brockenhurst axed due to no driver. 21.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no driver. 22.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 23.31 Guildford-Farnham axed due to no driver.

Sunday 04/06/06 Usual slack Sunday schedules, for example the 09.08 Waterloo arrival from Salisbury advertised as expected to arrive at 08.54, and the 09.17 arrival from Portsmouth at 09.07. 14.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea.

Monday 05/06/06 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 27 minutes late due to duff stock; passengers thrown off at Bournemouth. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 06.07 Totton-Yeovil painfully overheated. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 07.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late and reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock. 08.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 10.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock. 17.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking reduced to 4 coaches.

Tuesday 06/06/06 10.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 5 coaches. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 18 minutes late. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 24 minutes late.

Wednesday 07/06/06 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed. 07.14 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 10.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 11.20 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 2 coaches. 15.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.58 Guildford-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Epsom axed for operational convenience. 16.08 Guildford-Waterloo 7 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late due to duff stock. 21.40 Chessington-Waterloo 10 minutes late.

Thursday 08/06/06 15.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 15.37 Haslemere-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.39 Waterloo-Fratton axed due to duff stock. 17.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late due to delay on previous journey. 17.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 36 minutes late; stops at Farnborough and Woking axed for operational convenience. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 18.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 18.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late due to no crew; stops at Petersfield, Haslemere and Woking axed for operational convenience. 19.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 22 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton and after Twickenham, except Richmond and Clapham Junction, axed for operational convenience. 20.15 Waterloo-Haslemere axed. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 20.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 17 minutes late.

Friday 09/06/06 SWT’s website reported at 05.40 that the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil would be axed between Totton and Salisbury. The screens at Totton were left showing that the train would run on time. At 06.02, the screens changed to show that the service would run to Southampton only, which it duly did before passengers were thrown off and it departed empty to Salisbury via the direct route. There seemed to be nothing wrong with the unit, so it is assumed that there was no guard due to Stagecoach’s inadequate crewing. 06.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed. 07.37 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late due to slow running and door problems at Winchester. 18.48 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 21.30 Southampton-Waterloo 11 minutes late.

Saturday 10/06/06 06.44 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 16.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 17.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 32 minutes late. 17.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 18.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed. 20.38 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late.

Sunday 11/06/06 Another day of hugely slack schedules, for example with the 08.48 Weymouth-Waterloo expected to end its journey 10 minutes early.

Monday 12/06/06 Duff stock on the 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo; stops before Kingston axed for operational convenience. 09.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 42 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Exeter. 12.42 Waterloo-Shepperton delayed due to duff stock. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo axed between Plymouth and Exeter. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late, 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.56 Havant-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 16.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 8 minutes late. Duff stock on the 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton; train eventually left at about 18.00 and arrived at Southampton 64 minutes late due to a trackside fire at Raynes Park. Passengers on the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole not told of the fire until 18.15; the train eventually left at 19.00 with terrible overcrowding, and was further delayed to 78 minutes late by Totton due to a signal failure at Basingstoke. The fire halted all movements at Waterloo from about 18.00 to 18.45 and services collapsed for the rest of the day.

Tuesday 13/06/06 Passengers reported several trains cancelled due to the SWT strike. 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed. The class 159 unit which should presumably have formed this service was seen passing Southampton Central empty towards Salisbury at 06.19. Late running 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo omitted Worplesdon and Woking stops for operational convenience. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 07.54 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to duff stock. 09.02 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff stock. 19.38 Guildford-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 19.46 Guildford-Waterloo 26 minutes late.

Wednesday 14/06/06 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth axed due to duff stock. 05.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. Passengers on the 06.07 Totton-Yeovil thrown off at Southampton. 06.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 08.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 11.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 30 minutes late. 11.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 11.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 11.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 23 minutes late. 11.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 11.50 Waterloo-Woking 27 minutes late. 11.53 Waterloo-Alton 17 minutes late. 12.05 Waterloo-Poole 19 minutes late; intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth axed for operational convenience. 12.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 12.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed between Waterloo and Raynes Park. 12.20 Waterloo-Bristol/Plymouth 19 minutes late. 12.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 12.24 Waterloo-Dorking 32 minutes late. 12.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 33 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Richmond and Waterloo axed for operational convenience. 12.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 12.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 22 minutes late. 12.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 12.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 16 minutes late. 12.46 Waterloo-Chessington 15 minutes late. 12.53 Waterloo-Alton 10 minutes late. 13.09 Waterloo-Guildford 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Epsom axed for operational convenience. 13.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed.

Thursday 15/06/06 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo 16 minutes late; Woking passengers reported no explanation whatever provided. A signalling failure in the Barnes area severely disrupted the morning peak service on the lines to Waterloo via Richmond and Brentford. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 31 minutes late; stops at Feniton, Whimple, Pinhoe and even Exeter Central axed for operational convenience. 15.05 Dorking-Waterloo 27 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Epsom axed for operational convenience. 15.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 15.46 Waterloo-Chessington 20 minutes late. 16.05 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 16.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Delayed 16.10 Chessington-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops from Wimbledon inclusive for operational convenience. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches. 17.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction reduced to 4 coaches. 17.16 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot reduced to 4 coaches. Duff stock on the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole which was 6 minutes late departing. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo delayed due to no crew. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton 12 minutes late. 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late due to no crew. 19.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 23 minutes late; all stops from Brookwood to Hook inclusive axed for operational convenience. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 13 minutes late.

Friday 16/06/06 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 06.32 Haslemere-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.10 Havant-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 07.53 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 9 coaches. 16.31 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 16.50 Waterloo-Woking reduced to 4 coaches. 17.12 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 18.00 Waterloo-Epsom reduced to 4 coaches. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late due to no crew. 18.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton axed due to duff stock. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 20 minutes late.

Saturday 17/06/06 15.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 10 minutes late.

Sunday 18/06/06 11.52 Woking-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 12.35 Hampton Court-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 14.54 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.51 Waterloo-Chessington axed due to duff stock. 19.09 Waterloo-Reading axed due to duff stock. 19.35 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.42 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.54 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.

Monday 19/06/06 17.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.53 Windsor-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.37 Weybridge-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton axed. 18.53 Windsor-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 19.23 Windsor-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 19.53 Windsor-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 20.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late.

Tuesday 20/06/06 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. Passengers on the 15.33 Weybridge-Waterloo thrown off at Addlestone due to duff stock. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Bracknell. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton 15 minutes late due to no crew. 18.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 18.59 Effingham Junction-Waterloo axed. 22.12 Waterloo-Shepperton failed at Clapham Junction due to duff stock.

Wednesday 21/06/06 05.41 Salisbury-Totton axed due to no driver. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 12.08 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 18.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to no crew.

Thursday 22/06/06 08.01 Totton-Romsey axed due to duff stock. Duff stock on the 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo; passengers thrown off at Exeter. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 4 coaches. 16.54 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to duff stock. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth called additionally at Basingstoke to ferry passengers for Salisbury line services; train badly overcrowded and 8 minutes late by Winchester. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke axed between Paignton and Exeter due to duff stock. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late. Some Waterloo-Guildford via Effingham Junction evening peak services diverted via Woking due to a road vehicle hitting a bridge.

Friday 23/06/06 17.42 Reading-Waterloo 10 minutes late.

Saturday 24/06/06 07.24 Basingstoke-Brighton reduced to 3 coaches. 09.57 Brighton-Paignton reduced to 3 coaches. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 70 minutes late due to delay on previous journey; ran non-stop from Portsmouth Harbour to Waterloo for operational convenience. 20.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 43 minutes late. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 22.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 30 minutes late.

Sunday 25/06/06 Overrun of engineering works. 06.14 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 06.18 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 06.36 Clapham Junction-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 06.44 Waterloo-Windsor 17 minutes late. 06.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 78 minutes late. 06.55 Southampton-Waterloo 44 minutes late. Passengers on the 07.26 Salisbury-Waterloo thrown off at Basingstoke. 07.48 Waterloo-Shepperton 24 minutes late. 07.48 Basingstoke-Bournemouth 29 minutes late. 08.07 Basingstoke-Paignton axed between Basingstoke and Salisbury. Passengers on the 08.13 Ascot-Guildford thrown off at Aldershot. 08.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 30 minutes late. 09.14 Basingstoke-Reading axed. 09.15 Waterloo-Paignton 23 minutes late. 09.17 Guildford-Ascot axed between Guildford and Aldershot. 10.15 Waterloo-Yeovil/Bristol axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 13.48 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Poole due to duff stock. 18.01 Windsor-Waterloo axed.

Monday 26/06/06 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton axed. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 7 minutes late at Hedge End; due to the slack timetable was on time at Waterloo. 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth axed – staff at Southampton sold an intending passenger a ticket and then had to do a refund. 06.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Southampton and Bournemouth axed for operational convenience. 08.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.37 Haslemere-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed. 18.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 14 minutes late.

Tuesday 27/06/06 07.11 Waterloo-Brighton axed between Waterloo and Woking due to no driver. 08.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to duff stock. 09.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late.

Wednesday 28/06/06 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late; stops at Eastleigh and Winchester axed for operational convenience. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 10.05 Fareham-Basingstoke 21 minutes late due to duff stock. Afternoon signalling problems in the Barnes area: massive delays, for example: 12.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 79 minutes late; 13.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 51 minutes late; 13.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 42 minutes late; 13.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 31 minutes late; 13.53 Windsor-Waterloo 13 minutes late; 14.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 16.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke and 10 minutes late. 18.52 Reading-Ascot axed.

Thursday 29/06/06 15.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to no driver; passengers thrown off at Kingston. 16.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed between Waterloo and Kingston due to no driver. Evening fatality at Hersham: no recognisable evening peak service out of Waterloo. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil 86 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Salisbury. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 17.57 and 84 minutes late by Winchester; passengers for stations beyond Bournemouth thrown off. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole axed. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 18.15 Waterloo-Yeovil (apparently a replacement for another service) 33 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Salisbury. 18.35 Alton-Waterloo 35 minutes late; intermediate stops after Woking axed for operational convenience. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 73 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 43 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 44 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 19.05 Alton-Waterloo 25 minutes late; intermediate stops after Woking axed for operational convenience. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 31 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 14 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 43 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Woking. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo axed between Poole and Bournemouth; all intermediate stops after Southampton Central axed for operational convenience. 20.23 Waterloo-Alton axed between Waterloo and Surbiton. 21.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. Three-car 22.20 Waterloo-Salisbury badly overloaded.

Friday 30/06/06 05.45 Poole-Waterloo delayed 20 minutes at Weybridge behind a duff 10-coach class 444 Desiro train. Hundreds thrown off the Desiro at Surbiton and watched all the spare standing space as the 05.45 crawled past them. 08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to the duff incoming train. 08.05 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late. 15.28 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.38 Winchester-Southampton axed due to no driver. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 9 minutes late due to door failure at Winchester; as the train approached Southampton the onboard announcement wrongly stated that the rear portion would call at all stations to Poole. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to delay on previous journey.


Tuesday 18/04/06 ROW OVER OIL FIRMS ROLE IN ARCTIC PROJECT. British scientists are at loggerheads with US colleagues over a plan to work alongside oil companies to hunt for fuel fossil reserves in the Arctic. The US Geological Survey (USGS) is lining up a project with BP and Statoil to find oil and gas in the Arctic Ocean, under the auspices of a flagship scientific initiative intended to tackle global warming. The head of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), which coordinates UK activity at the poles, says he very uncomfortable with the idea and has questioned its ethical and scientific justification. Tackling climate change and working out how it will affect the Arctic and Antarctic is a central theme of International Polar Year (IPY), a high-profile project to start next spring which involves thousands of scientists from 60 countries. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Scientists say the temperature there could rise by a further 4C-7C by 2100 and the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer by 2060. Documents on the IPY website show that BP and the Norwegian company Statoil are significant consortium members on a USGS proposal to assess energy resources in the circumarctic area including oil, gas coalbed methane and methane hydrates. Geologists estimate that a quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves lie under the Arctic and analysts have predicted a 21st century goldrush to tap them as the Arctic Ocean’s ice cover retreats. Chris Rapley, the director of the BAS, says that he would be very uncomfortable with a project that was simply out to log the hydrocarbon reserves of the Arctic as a geological activity. The Inuit people have filed a lawsuit against the US government claiming that greenhouse gas pollution is damaging their livelihoods. (Guardian)

Friday 21/04/06 SCIENTISTS FEAR NEW ATTEMPTS TO UNDERMINE CLIMATE ACTION. Britain’s scientists are planning to fight renewed attempts by sceptics and industry-funded lobby groups to derail international action on climate change. The Royal Society expects groups and individuals to question the science of global warming and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions. It predicts that lobbyists will try to undermine a report next year from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is expected to warn that global warming could drive the earth’s temperature to levels far higher than previously predicted. The document says the oil company Exxon Mobil has tried to influence public opinion about the threat of climate change. Articles in the Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph appeared to be directly influenced by information distributed by lobbyists. However it also criticises environmental campaigners for misrepresenting scientific evidence. Global warming could not be blamed for individual events like the 2003 heatwave, but it could make them more likely to happen. (Guardian)

Friday 28/04/06 AIR RAGE. Taxpayers’ money is being used to start even more air routes, undermining the Chancellor’s green credentials, despite his having told the UN that “Environmental sustainability is not an option, it is a necessity”. European rules prohibit subsidising air routes except where flights are socially important but carry too few passengers to make profits (as those to the remote Scottish islands). The air industry has found a way round the rules, with the Government creating “route development funds” to channel millions of pounds of extra subsidy into an industry which already enjoys the massive perk of tax-free fuel. RDF is meant for new route which wouldn’t be viable without subsidy. But 2 of the 3 new subsidised routes from Glasgow are to destinations already served from nearby Edinburgh. Cardiff is getting a new Brussels service which duplicates flights from nearby Bristol. Scotland is funding Aberdeen-Bristol flights – supposedly impossible without subsidy - whilst the airline which will operate them will also start flying from Aberdeen to Cardiff. Subsidised routes are also supposed to provide net economic benefit, including tourism, to the region providing the money, but Glasgow’s all-year subsidised flights include the booming tourist destinations of Dubai, Prague and Barcelona. Whilst the Chancellor preaches about global warming, his domestic policy is that local and national self-interest justify yet more air routes, bigger terminals and more runways with the result that aviation emissions go on growing. (Private Eye)

Thursday 04/05/06 SECURITY BREACH BY US OFFICIALS STEALS THUNDER ON CLIMATE CHANGE REPORT. A confidential draft of a high-level international report on the state of climate change has been posted on the internet by US officials before it was due to be made public. Effectively publishing the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has surprised experts, who say it could undermine the final report when it is released in February. Some see this as a deliberate attempt to reduce the impact of the final report. The Bush administration has been critical of the IPCC and its conclusions, which form the basis for international action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Kyoto protocol. The new report will underpin negotiations to extend the protocol beyond 2012. The report reflects a debate which has moved on from whether man-made climate change is real to what the effects could be. (Guardian)

Tuesday 16/05/06 HIGH POLLUTING COMPANIES. Five companies in Britain – EON UK, RWE Npower, Drax, Corus and EDF jointly produced over 100 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2005. By way of comparison, Britain’s 26 million private cars produced about 91 million tonnes. (Guardian)

Tuesday 23/05/06 READING IS HOTTEST SPOT FOR GREENHOUSE GASES. Affluent Reading is the worst greenhouse gas hotspot in the country. The average household emits 6,189kg of the damaging gas a year, equivalent to flying 20,000 km by Boeing 747 or driving a car 27,000km. However, in terms of local authority areas, Uttlesford in Essex has the worst record at 8,092kg a year. The figures in kilograms for Britain’s 23 biggest towns and cities are: Reading (6,189); Leicester (5,565); Bradford (5,539); Sunderland (5,504); Birmingham (5,424); Nottingham (5,419); Leeds (5,333); Greater London (5,318); Sheffield (5,247); Aberdeen (5,175); Newcastle (5,150); Edinburgh (5,142); Liverpool (5,073); Bristol (5,041); Cardiff (5,035); Coventry (4,911); Brighton and Hove (4,905); Manchester (4,862); Derby (4,814); Glasgow (4,611); Southampton (4,563); Plymouth (4,447) and Hull (4,395). Meanwhile Potsdam Institute for Climate impact Research in Germany believes that global warming may be up to 78% higher than predicted. (Metro)

Tuesday 30/05/06 RICHMOND IS NOT SO GREEN. Richmond, the Thameside borough renowned for its open spaces, produces more greenhouse gases than anywhere else in London. The average household emits 6,723kg of carbon dioxide a year, compared with the average for London as a whole of 5,318kg. The figures in kilograms for London’s 32 boroughs are: Richmond (6,723); Barnet (6,369); Bromley (6,233); Hillingdon (6,215); Redbridge (6,057); Sutton (5,988); Havering (5,922); Kingston (5,906); Croydon (5,831); Harrow (5,824); Enfield (5,771); Bexley (5,635); Newham (5,628); Brent (5,607); Haringey (5,588); Merton (5,500); Waltham Forest (5,381); Hounslow (5,310); Ealing (5,292); Lambeth (5,134); Hammersmith and Fulham (4,817); Greenwich (4,703); Wandsworth (4,680); Islington (4,679); Lewisham (4,649); Tower Hamlets (4,507); Southwark (4,432); Kensington and Chelsea (4,404); Barking and Dagenham (4,224); Hackney (4,036); Westminster (4,033) and Camden (3,255). The three greenest boroughs have a high proportion of flats and maisonettes; Camden and Hackney have large numbers of low earning families; and almost half of Camden’s households are people living alone. (Evening Standard)

Friday 02/06/06 RADICAL TURBINE FOR URBAN USE. A small company called XCO2 has designed and developed a wind generator for urban areas. The turbines, the first of which are to be installed in the next few months in London, Bristol and Swindon, promise to change the face of renewable electricity. The turbine’s triple helix form and vertical axis make it almost silent, and it is believed to perform better in urban areas, where wind direction can vary by the minute. Designers claim it can produce 10,000kWh a year on an average wind speed of 5.8 metres a second. The company claims this would provide energy for perhaps five energy-efficient homes. The combined cost and installation charge for a 6kW turbine would be about £28,000. Not only do the turbines generate electricity; they can double up as art or even advertising hoardings. (Guardian)

Tuesday 13/06/06 NUCLEAR CANCER SCARE FOR WOMEN. New research shows that cancer levels in women under 50 living close to the former nuclear power station at Trawsfynydd in North Wales are more than 15 times higher than the national average. Trawsfynydd lake is thought to be contaminated by radioactive waste but is regularly used for swimming, boating and fishing. Many victims have regularly eaten trout from the lake. (Evening Standard)

Wednesday 14/06/06 CARBON PRICING TO ENCOURAGE NEW NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS. Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks says the British nuclear industry will build new nuclear power stations without direct state subsidies so long as the government sets a high price on carbon-polluting electricity. He said a proposed carbon pricing framework will encourage use of all non-carbon electricity sources including renewable energy, nuclear and even micro wind turbines for home supply. His remarks are believed to clarify how the nuclear industry will be encouraged to make a huge capital investment to secure energy supplies. Thirty per cent of UK generating capacity needs to be replaced over the next 20 years. The carbon pricing framework will allow government to argue that it is not favouring nuclear over renewables. Critics of nuclear power claim the industry is not economic and will have to rely on state subsidies. (Guardian)

Thursday 15/06/06 NIGHT FLIGHTS TWICE AS BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. A project led by an environmental scientist at the University of Leeds has found that the warming effect of aircraft is much greater when they fly in the dark because of the effect of the condensation trails (contrails) they leave. Contrails enhance the greenhouse effect because they trap heat in the same way as clouds. During the day their warming effect is not as pronounced because contrails reflect heat back into space, which helps to keep the planet cool. Shifting all UK night flights to the daytime would save the equivalent of 2.5% of the UK’s annual carbon dioxide emissions. Although one in four flights was between 6pm and 6am, they contributed 60-80% of the warming that could be attributed to contrails. Winter flights had more effect than those in summer, contributing 50% of the warming despite providing only 22% of traffic. (Guardian)

Tuesday 20/06/06 PM ‘NOT LISTENING TO ADVICE ON NUCLEAR POWER’. Officials at the Environment Agency say the Prime Minister’s energy review is biased towards nuclear. They also cast doubt on the financial impact of investing billions in a new generation of reactors, fearing it would syphon resources away from greener policies. The PM had a “very aggressive timetable” for the nuclear energy review. The Liberal Democrat Leader Sir Menzies Campbell said nuclear power would require vast taxpayer subsidies, describing it as “the ultimate stealth tax”. (Evening Standard)

Friday 23/06/06 EARTH IS AT ITS HOTTEST FOR 400 YEARS. Research by the National Academy of Sciences, which advises the US Government on scientific matters, has provided a high level of confidence that the last few decades of the twentieth century were warmer than any comparable period in the last 400 years. Between 1 AD and 1850, volcanic eruptions and solar fluctuations were the main causes of changes in greenhouse gas levels. But those temperature changes were much less pronounced than the warming due to greenhouse gas levels by pollution since the mid 19th century. (Metro)


Thursday 20/04/06 GIFT-WRAPPED BIKE FOILS TRAIN BAN. South Eastern has been rigidly enforcing a ban on carriage of non-folding bicycles between 07.00 and 09.59 and 16.00 and 18.59. A BBC cameraman was stranded at London Bridge station at 16.30, even though the train he wanted to board was not full. He contacted the station master who agreed that there was no limit on carriage of bulky parcels, and that he could take his bike on trains provided it was gift wrapped, suggesting he made sure it had bows on it. He is now getting round the cycle ban accordingly. (Evening Standard)

Thursday 20/04/06 BRITISH TRANSPORT POLICE CHIEF SAYS STATIONS SHOULD BE STAFFED FULL-TIME. BTP Chief Constable Ian Johnston has called for full-time staffing of rail stations, claiming that some in London are “pretty grim”. Transport Minister David Twigg has said that bidders for the South West franchise will be required to provide round-the-clock staffing at 80 per cent of the network’s stations. National Express has now agreed to staff more of its Silverlink stations, including Kensal Green, close to which a passenger was murdered in January. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 25/04/06 CHARLES CLARKE CALLS FOR ALL STATIONS TO BE STAFFED. The (outgoing) Home Secretary piled pressure on train operators by backing calls for improved security at London stations. He agreed with the chief constable of the British Transport Police that stations should be staffed at all times. He considered that increased security would lead to increased revenue which would in turn pay for the security. 229 stations in Greater London are left unstaffed for part of the day and 30 are never staffed. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 25/04/06 RICHARD BRANSON THREATENS TO QUIT CROSS COUNTRY FRANCHISE. Sir Richard Branson has threatened to abandon the Virgin Cross Country franchise if government keeps to its policy of choosing cut-price rail operators that turn services into no-frills ‘bus-runs’. He was far from certain that Virgin would bid for the new Cross Country franchise, due to be offered by the Government later this year. He pointed to GNER’s recently awarded franchise, requiring the firm to pay a £1.3 million profit-sharing premium to the Government over a decade. He thought there was a danger that the Government would simply go for the biggest return for the Treasury and not be interested in overcrowding issues, the quality of food and quality of service. (Guardian) [Didn’t we read recently that taxpayers pay a huge subsidy just for use of the Virgin name? And isn’t overcrowding on Cross Country in part due to the replacement of Inter City 125 trains with 4- or 5- coach Voyagers? And doesn’t the involvement of Stagecoach, the operator most heavily fined for poor performance, somewhat tarnish the image of Cross Country, which in some respects (such as the approximation to a 7-day timetable) is very good?]

Tuesday 25/04/06 NATIONAL EXPRESS INTERESTED IN CROSS COUNTRY FRANCHISE. National Express would like to take over the CrossCountry franchise. It used to be the country’s biggest rail operator, and is currently bidding for redrawn East Midlands and West Midlands franchises. (Evening Standard)

Thursday 27/04/06 TOM WINSOR ATTACKS ‘INCREMENTAL NATIONALISATION’ OF RAILWAYS. The former rail regulator is delivering a savage attack on the Government for putting unfair pressure on his successor Chris Bolt, harming his ability to act as an impartial referee in ensuring that private rail companies are fairly treated. He believes that the regulator’s independence could be lost for good and that this would be the end of the privatised railway. Mr Winsor advised Grand Central on their bid to run London-Sunderland services, which was fiercely opposed by Transport Secretary Alistair Darling and GNER Chief Executive Christopher Garnett. (Guardian)

Wednesday 03/05/06 ALISTAIR DARLING APPLAUDS STATION SAFETY CAMPAIGN. The (outgoing) Transport Secretary told MPs that the Evening Standard’s three month campaign meant that train companies could not avoid the issue of safety at stations. They were now acutely aware that if we continue to see more and more people using trains, we must ensure that stations are safe. Different approaches need to be applied at different stations. Southern has pledged more security measures, including at Balham station. It is expected that Government will place far greater emphasis on staffing when it lets rail franchises to companies in future. (Evening Standard)

Wednesday 03/05/06 GREAT WESTERN UNRELIABILITY. Punctuality of the Inter City operators in February 2006 was Midland Mainline 92%; One 87%; GNER 83%; West Coast 83%; CrossCountry 81% and Great Western 75%. Critics point out that Great Western has been starved of funding while money has been pumped into the other routes, especially West Coast. The track was last upgraded in the 1970s, and there are problems with First Group’s new Adelante trains. (Guardian)

Wednesday 03/05/06 NEW HOPE FOR SOUTH HAMPSHIRE TRAM SCHEME? Michael Heseltine has been asked to investigate whether the South Hampshire Rapid Transport scheme could be revived under a future Conservative government. This is in the context of a wide-ranging review of how the Tories could revitalise Britain’s cities. Conservative leader David Cameron has put rapid transport at the heart of his ‘green’ agenda. Gosport MP Peter Viggers hopes that the current government may now be tempted to look at the scheme again. (Southern Daily Echo)

Monday 08/05/06 HIGH SPEED ROUTE TO SCOTLAND PROPOSED. Network Rail is to propose a £15 billion high-speed link between London and Scotland. It would mean 180mph half-hourly services from 2016. It believes the line should run parallel to the existing West Coast main line, stopping at Birmingham and Manchester before terminating at Glasgow or Edinburgh. The service could get passengers to Scotland within 3 hours. It could operate without public subsidy if it could attract passengers from the airlines.

Wednesday 10/05/06 OYSTER CARDS TO BE EXTENDED TO MAINLINE TRAINS. The Mayor of London and Government have reached an agreement which will allow Oyster readers to be fitted at a further 250 stations across the capital. This is the outcome of the Mayor’s two-year battle with 10 private train operators. In most cases, however, passengers will have to wait until 2008. Readers will be fitted at North London Line stations when they come under the Mayor’s control next year, and the Government has promised that the operator of the new South Western franchise will use them.

Friday 12/05/06 PRIVATE EYE MISCELLANEA. Transport for London has fallen into the trap of assuming there is a link between the private finance initiative and the public good. It took Croydon Tramlink, PFI operator of Croydon’s trams in a deal which lasts 99 years, to get them to plan for increased passengers. The case was thrown out as absurd, so environmental benefits are lost to Tramlink’s sole concern of profit. The Government insists on PFIs for tram projects and has blocked every new scheme in England on grounds of cost. // MPs and local government in Sheffield want bus regulation, as in London where passenger numbers are increasing. Such moves are routinely blocked by the Confederation of Passenger Transport, so the big bus companies continue to pocket big profits. // Network Rail has refused to allow a TV company to make a documentary about the Ladbroke Grove crash, on the grounds that it is intended for the US market and might put tourists off using the rail network. The film-makers will now find their footage elsewhere.

Saturday 13/05/06 MAJOR TRAINS CHAOS. Some 150 people were stranded at Brockenhurst station the previous day due to a dislodged live rail. Some were relying on connections and even heading for Paris by Eurostar, and were unhappy at the long delays they experienced while waiting for replacement buses. (Southern Daily Echo)

Friday 19/05/06 DAMNING REPORT ON FARES FROM TRANSPORT COMMITTEE. The Commons Transport Committee has severely criticised rail fares as too expensive and too complicated, with the train operators more concerned with making money than with giving passengers the best deals. They make huge profits but have adopted a “see how much we can get away with” attitude. Passengers are held to ransom by a system which is deeply flawed. Rail firms have the thumbscrews on those who have no option but to travel on peak-hour trains. There are 34 different fares between London and Manchester, from £6.00 to £317.00. (Evening Standard)

Monday 22/05/06 SOUTH HAMPSHIRE RAPID TRANSPORT. Hampshire transport chiefs are to reopen the debate with the Government over the failed tram scheme. The council believes its proposals were good value for money and has not ruled out attempting to win support for a fresh scheme. The transport committee is studying proposals to boost local councils’ powers to allow them to raise their own cash to fund major transport schemes in future. The committee’s report will be published in the autumn. (Southern Daily Echo)

Tuesday 23/05/06 MAYOR OF LONDON PRAISED FOR BUS SERVICES. The Public Accounts Committee has praised Transport for London’s bus policies. The number of bus passengers in London has soared by a third in the past 5 years contrary to the decline in numbers everywhere else in Britain. 6.25 million bus journeys are made in the capital every weekday. The success is attributed to more public subsidy, better services and congestion charging. London is the only region where government goals on increasing bus and light rail use are being met. The North East has recorded the largest fall (10%) in passenger numbers in the past 5 years. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 23/05/06 GNER TAKES RAIL REGULATOR TO COURT. GNER has taken the Rail Regulator to court over plans to allow competition on its routes between London and Scotland. GNER is upset that Grand Central Railway is to be allowed to run 3 services between Sunderland and London while GNER has been denied permission to run 12 extra trains from London to Leeds in line with its franchise commitment. (Metro)

Thursday 25/05/06 RICHARD BOWKER TO HEAD NATIONAL EXPRESS. The former chairman of the SRA is joining National Express as chief executive. Whilst at the SRA he handed the company the Greater Anglia franchise and controversially gave National Express a further £115m in subsidy for its Scotrail and Central Trains businesses. (Guardian)

Thursday 25/05/06 NETWORK RAIL MAKES £232 MILLON LOSS. Network Rail has revealed that it lost £232 million last year. Preliminary results showed an operating profit of £468m, but the interest cost on the company’s massive debts dragged it into the red. Rail chiefs say that it is making so much money that income in 2006-07 should cover all its debts and allow it to post a profit. (Evening Standard.

Friday 26/05/06 TRAIN OWNERS REFUSE TO CUT THEIR PRICES. The handful of financial institutions that own almost all Britain’s trains are likely to be investigated for anti-competitive behaviour after failing to quash government concerns that their profits are excessive. Today is the Department for Transport’s deadline for the three rolling stock companies, Porterbrook (owned by Abbey), Angel Trains (owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland) and HSBC Rail (owned by HSBC) to cut their prices. Angel Trains are still in talks with the Department whilst the other two are refusing to negotiate. Unless a last-minute deal is struck, the Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander is likely to make a formal complaint to the Office of Rail Regulation. If it decides the companies are abusing their position, it can refer them to the Competition Commission, which can impose fines or order divestments. The rolling stock companies make combined profits of £150m - £200m a year. They say this is modest as they have assets worth £7bn. Critics argue that they have a stranglehold on the market and bear little risk because they pass responsibility for day-to-day maintenance to the train operators. The original cut-price privatisation of the three companies prompted a scandal investigated by the National Audit Office, which said taxpayers had been short-changed by £1.1bn. (Guardian)

Friday 26/05/06 NETWORK RAIL CHIEF’S PAY passes £1 MILLION. Head of Network Rail, John Armitt, is to receive a pay package of more than £1m after the company beat its targets for improving the upkeep and reliability of the railways. He will get a £240,408 cash bonus and a long-term incentive payout of £112, 320 on top of a salary of £504,000. Three other directors will get similar six-figure bonuses, and the entire workforce will receive a payout of £954 each. The number of delay minutes blamed on Network Rail fell by 8.7% to 10.5m, well within the target of 11.3m set by the Office of Rail Regulation. Taking maintenance in-house to be paying off: the weekly cost of hiring a chainsaw has fallen from £27 to £4.60 by cutting out the middle man. The shadow transport secretary pointed out that commuters are still routinely forced to stand on packed trains; Network Rail was failing to get to grips with the biggest challenge – overcrowding. All the forecasts suggest that overcrowding will get worse. (Guardian)

Friday 26/05/06 PRIVATE EYE MISCELLANEA. New Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander failed to mention the need for a high-speed North-South rail link during his maiden speech. Labour has agreed to big increases in air travel which the Secretary of State describes as a sustainable policy, even though it means pumping more and more greenhouse gases into the air – does this mean sustaining the airlines’ profits? Mr Alexander was ill-briefed when he said that we have the fastest-growing railway in Britain. Last year passenger numbers in Britain grew by 3.9%, behind 11 other countries including Bosnia Herzegovina (up 65.9%); Ireland, Germany, France and Spain. Passenger kilometres, GB (up 2.9%) was behind 12 others including Estonia (up 29.3%), Ireland (up 12.6%), Greece and France. GB also trailed in the growth of rail freight. Northern Ireland Railways (still nationalised) saw bigger growth in passenger numbers and kilometres than GB in 2005. Mr Alexander’s first engagement as Transport Secretary was to view the “future of travel”, new First Group buses in York. These are bendy buses designed to look more like trams. The Acomb-York station bus is allocated 31 minutes, an average speed of 4mph. Meanwhile the Government is spending nothing on tram schemes, and motoring revenues will continue to pour in if “future of travel” remains the alternative to trams.

Tuesday 30/05/06 CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF NATIONAL EXPRESS. The “strange appointment” of ex-SRA boss Richard Bowker as National Express chief executive came with a resounding testimonial that “RB is the man for the job”. But he has no experience of working for a stock market company. Could the right RB in fact have been Richard Brown, reckoned to be a top railwayman with his turnaround of Eurostar and previously employed by National Express? (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 30/05/06 STRIKE CHAOS ON SWT. Thousands of rail commuters faced disruption because of strike action by drivers at Waterloo. SWT were making the drivers meet the tax burden on early morning taxis to work. SWT introduced the taxis when they axed staff trains. The “burden” on SWT is now only £91,000 a year. (Evening Standard)

Friday 01/06/06 FURTHER STRIKE THREAT AT SWT. ASLEF has accused SWT of using managers to drive trains during Tuesday’s strike. Managers are supposed to be used as drivers in emergencies and according to clear guidelines. SWT’s action could lead to a ballot about further strikes. (Evening Standard)

Friday 02/06/06 TORIES CONSIDER CROSSRAIL TOO COSTLY. Cross-party support for the long-running Crossrail project was undermined today as secret e’mails revealed that the Tories consider the project too costly. Tory leader David Cameron has been advised that the prospect of the £16bn scheme ever coming to fruition is minute and that the proposed route is wrong. In public the Tories have supported the project and voted for the Bill now going through Parliament. The revelation will infuriate businesses and Transport Groups who support Crossrail. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 06/06/06 STEEL SHIELDS AT VICTORIA AND WATERLOO. Three-ton blocks of steel are to protect Victoria and Waterloo railway stations from terrorist lorry bombs. They will be installed this week across the main vehicle entrances to stop lorries packed with explosives being crashed on to the main concourse. Commuters will have to walk through a four-foot gap between the blocks. Similar barriers protect the House of Lords. The Secretary of State said the barriers formed part of a “much broader package” of security measures “for the short and long-term protection of the public at rail stations”. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 06/06/06 CHEAP DAY TICKETS ON FIRST CAPITAL CONNECT. From 12 June, passengers will not be able to use the return half of cheap day tickets on First Capital Connect trains going northwards from Moorgate, Kings Cross, Kings Cross Thameslink or St Pancras between 16.30 and 19.01 inclusive on Mondays to Fridays. The restriction also replies to cheap day returns, off-peak one-day Travelcards, Family Travelcards and DaySave tickets. Other stations on the lines within the London Travelcard area are also affected, along with City Thameslink and Blackfriars. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 06/06/06 MAYOR SAYS CROSSRAIL IS VITAL TO THE ECONOMY. Ken Livingstone is today spearheading the biggest-ever campaign for the long-delayed Crossrail project. He has been joined by an influential group of senior politicians, trades union leaders, City financiers and business chiefs in appealing to the Government to fund this “national priority”. The Government is backing an enabling Bill which is going through Parliament. The City attracts 300,000 commuters every day. City businesses see transport as their biggest concern and identify it as a significant threat to London’s competitive position. Supporters claim that the project will bring benefits to the whole South East, including many of its most deprived communities, particularly in East London. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 06/06/06 FIRST GROUP PRAISED. A Southampton resident heaps praise on First Group for improvements to the No 16 (Southampton-Netley) bus service. (Southern Daily Echo) [The service is certainly needed, with such a poor alternative provided by Stagecoach’s South West Trains]

Friday 09/06/06 PRIVATE EYE MISCELLANEA. When Richard Bowker, former head of the Strategic Rail Authority, was put in charge of the Government’s £45 billion school building programme last August, he emphasised his commitment to public service. He received a £300,000 pay-off from the SRA before becoming chief executive of Partnerships for Schools on £200,000 plus a first year bonus of £50,000, most of which he has been paid. He has now become head of National Express Group on a reported salary of £1 million. NEG say he “led the UK rail industry through the successful delivery of the multi-billion pound West Coast main line route modernisation”. On 23 May, Douglas Alexander reported that “Much complex work remains to be done [on the project] for the end of 2008”. Passengers on the Crewe to Stockport part of the main line might also disagree with the verdict of “successful delivery”, having endured replacement buses since December. Others are enjoying a wallet-warming trend in the industry. Jim Steer and Nicola Shaw hopped from American consultancy firm Bechtel to the SRA to First Group. Tom Winsor started as legal advisor to the first Rail Regulator, then advised Virgin Trains on how to exploit the rail labyrinth he helped create, then became Rail Regulator himself, and is now advising Fraser Eagle, backer of Grand Central Trains. As Regulator, he blocked GCT’s original proposal but the company’s revised plans have sailed through the Office of Rail Regulation, despite objections from GNER and the Government. Former franchising director John O’Brien left to chair Connex’s UK train and bus firms. He kept the job even though Connex soon had no UK trains or buses. Now Connex (renamed Veolia) is buying obscure bus firms and O’Brien reckons it will return to the rail industry.

Monday 12/06/06 GNER DROPS BID FOR SOUTH WEST TRAINS. GNER has been forced to pull out of its bid for the South West Trains franchise because of the financial crisis at its parent company Sea Containers. GNER Chief Executive Christopher Garnett was bitterly disappointed. GNER’s partner, Hong Kong Metro company MTR, will continue as a solo contender. (Evening Standard) [Mr Garnett’s bitter disappointment will be shared by thousands of commuters, the more so if this helps Stagecoach retain the franchise. After 10 years, we deserve much better.]

Tuesday 13/06/06 JUDGE TO LOOK AT GNER’S CASE AGAINST RIVAL SERVICE. A high court judge has agreed to hold a judicial review into the rail regulator’s decision to allow Fraser Eagle to use the East Coast Main Line in competition with GNER. The hearing will start on 10 July and is expected to last a week. (Guardian)

Tuesday 13/06/06 WATERLOO IS HIT BY THIRD WALKOUT. Train drivers at Waterloo staged their third 24-hour walkout in the dispute over taxis taking them to and from work. ASLEF, the train drivers’ union is furious that qualified managers are being used to drive trains and claims that safety standards are being threatened. Their district organiser said that managers are only supposed to be used as drivers in emergencies. The union is now escalating the strike. It is holding a ballot among 1,000 drivers at other depots and is confident of a “yes” vote which could lead to more widespread strikes next month. It says SWT is reneging on a deal to provide taxis for drivers when passenger services have not started or finished and that this is an outrageous way to treat people. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 13/06/06 CROSSRAIL NEEDS SOME SPEED. A former transport engineer argues that the big problem with the Crossrail scheme is that it has been downgraded to a slow Underground-type operation, with important lines deleted at the last minute. Compare that with Thameslink 2000, which will link Peterborough, Cambridge and Luton through Central London to Brighton, Gatwick and Dartford. Crossrail would have the same 48 trains per hour, but they would all be slow trains covering 1,308 miles whilst the Thameslink trains would cover 4,226 miles. London needs to look much wider in strategic rail planning. A regional Crossrail would use the same central tunnels, but make much better use of high quality rail networks into London, linking Reading and Milton Keynes to Stansted and Ipswich. (Evening Standard)

Tuesday 13/06/06 CALL TO REOPEN SOUTHAMPTON TERMINUS STATION. A Southampton vicar argues that Portsmouth, unlike Southampton, has retained its railway access to its port from a station in the heart of the shopping and commercial area. Southampton needs the reopening of Southampton Terminus station to serve the great upsurge of residential development in the old town and in Ocean Village. The docks have seen an increase of passenger activity, with commuters to and from the Isle of Wight, as well as the influx of the sailing fraternity. Would not reopening of Terminus station, along with a new Northam station to give easy access to St Mary’s stadium, be beneficial to the city? (Southern Daily Echo)

Tuesday 20/06/06 GOVERNMENT BACKS £400 MILLION RAIL LINK TO TERMINAL 5. The Government has given crucial backing to the Airtrack rail link to Heathrow’s Terminal 5, benefiting millions of passengers a year. It has bid for £1 million of funding from Brussels for a study of the proposal, and rail industry experts say this shows that it is taking the project seriously. BAA were happy to put in the bid themselves but the Government was content to do it. The link could be used by 13 million commuters and air travellers a year. It would take 5,000 cars off the M25 and M4 every weekday rush hour. Journey times would be 40 minutes from Waterloo (calling at Clapham Junction, Richmond, Twickenham, Feltham and Staines); 35 minutes from Guildford (calling at Woking, Chertsey and Staines High Street); and 48 minutes from Reading (calling at Wokingham, Bracknell and Staines High Street). The link could be ready in time for the Olympics in 2012. (Evening Standard).

Friday 23/06/06 PRIVATE EYE MISCELLANEA. Transport for London introduced Oyster cards to its Tube, bus and light rail services, but had no authority over the private rail operators. The latter claim to be customer-focused, but resisted participation. TfL has now provided £20 million of public cash to install smartcard scanners for Oyster Cards at stations on the train firms’ behalf. The train operators are First Group (annual turnover £3 billion); National Express (£2.2 billion); Go-Ahead (£1.3 billion); Stagecoach (£1.5 billion) and John Laing (£400 million). The £20 million spent on Oyster Card equipment would have been a whopping 0.2% of their annual turnover. / Scottish ministers appear to be unhappy that First Group has banned Saver tickets in the morning peak. The company has also banned discounted tickets from evening peak trains on First Capital Connect. / First Group’s high bus fares in Bristol are blamed for worsened traffic congestion. First say fares would come down if the “right infrastructure” for buses were provided, citing Leeds as a shining example where roads had been dedicated to buses. Since the public funded bus infrastructure went live in East Leeds in 2001, fares have risen by 50 per cent. / The top speed promised from the Euston-Glasgow upgrade was 140mph; the actual top speed from the £8 billion upgrade is 125mph. The top speed at Rugby this month when the sun shone on upgraded tracks was 5mph.

Tuesday 27/06/06 CONGESTION RETURNING TO CENTRAL LONDON. Congestion in central London is returning to pre-charge levels, according to official Transport for London figures. Some journeys such as Trafalgar Square-Victoria, Piccadilly Circus-Aldwych/Marble Arch/Holborn station or Oxford Circus-Euston are likely to be faster on foot than by bus. The problem is not due to increased traffic but to reduced road space and the number of buses, particularly bendy buses. Bus travel in London rose only slightly last year, with the increase attributable to 200 million free journeys by children. Fared journeys recorded a drop, for the first time since 1993, by 170 million.

Wednesday 28/06/06 GOVERNMENT ORDERS PROBE INTO TRAIN LEASING ‘RIP OFF’. Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Abbey National are overcharging the train operating companies by as much as £100 million a year and could be acting as an anti-competitive cartel, according the Department for Transport. The Office of the Rail Regulator has been asked to launch an independent inquiry. An Evening Standard investigation shows the three train leasing companies together made profits of £345 million on annual revenues of £875 million leasing out 12,500 trains and carriages. Haydn Abbot, the £400,000-a-year managing director of RBS owned Angel Trains hinted that Government intervention could halt the banks’ future funding of the industry. (Evening Standard)