HOGRIDER 115 : JULY-SEPTEMBER 2007
PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS, EARLY DAY MOTIONS AND MPS’ VIEWS
MAJOR CHANGES ON SOUTH WEST TRAINS SINCE STAGECOACH WAS AWARDED A THIRD FRANCHISE IN SEPTEMBER 2006
MAJOR ROLLING STOCK DOWNGRADE ON THE PORTSMOUTH LINE : UPDATE ON THE AFTERMATH OF A GREAT PRIVATISATION SCANDAL
PHYSICAL DISCOMFORT AND STRESS ON SWT - COMPARISONS
CUSTOMER SERVICE THE SWT WAY
WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF SOUTH WEST TRAINS
LETTER TO MPS IN THE SOUTH WEST TRAINS AREA – 15/08/07
LETTER PUBLISHED IN THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO – 06/09/07
LYMINGTON TRANSPORT PROBLEMS
DIARY OF A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER –13
POOR PERFORMANCE, A MAJOR CAUSE OF OVERCROWDING ON SWT [see also: trandelays.co.uk]
NEW TIMETABLE FROM 9 DECEMBER 2007
(Source: National Rail - Journey Planner)
Many weekday train times in Hampshire will change from 9 December 2007. Sunday services are relatively unchanged.
Southern is introducing a new semi-fast hourly service between Southampton Central and Brighton. These trains are timed to provide good connections at Brighton with the direct services to and from Lewes, Eastbourne, Hastings, Rye and Ashford International station. This is an exciting development which will help make rail travel along the South Coast corridor much more attractive.
The existing hourly service between Southampton Central and London Victoria via Gatwick Airport will be retimed, and re-routed via Horsham and Crawley instead of via Hove and Haywards Heath.
Virgin Trains’ hourly services between Bournemouth, Southampton, and the North of England or Scotland via Oxford and Birmingham are transferring to Arriva Cross Country during November. The service will remain broadly the same in December, but some services will have different final destinations compared with the current timetable. In the longer term, the Department for Transport has specified that the timetable should be redrafted on the basis of an hourly Bournemouth-Manchester service, but Arriva has pledged to maintain a direct daily Newcastle service as well.
First Great Western’s hourly service between Portsmouth, Southampton, Salisbury, Bristol and Cardiff will remain, but local trains between Southampton and Westbury will largely be replaced between Southampton and Salisbury by an hourly South West Trains’ service, as below. There will also be two direct trains a day from Brighton to Worcester via Southampton and Bristol, with the morning service extending to Great Malvern.
South West Trains’ hourly service between Romsey and Totton via Eastleigh will be modified to run on a ‘figure of 6’ route from Romsey via Eastleigh, Southampton and Romsey to Salisbury. It will no longer serve Totton. This change applies every day of the week.
South West Trains’ off-peak and Saturday services between Southampton, Bournemouth and Weymouth will be changed significantly but, as currently scheduled, are non-compliant with the service pattern specified by the Department for Transport as part of the recent re-franchising exercise.
The existing Waterloo-Weymouth service was supposed to be accelerated by omission of some stops and, although stops at Wool, Moreton and Upwey have been cut, new stops at Branksome and Parkstone have been inserted in their place. The hourly Waterloo-Poole service was simply specified to extend to stations beyond Poole to Weymouth, but South West Trains has axed the stops at Totton and Ashurst. As a result, these trains will serve the remote industrial halt at Holton Heath and the tiny hamlet of Moreton, but not the 60,000 people who live in Totton and the adjacent Waterside area.
Totton and Ashurst will be served by extension of the current Waterloo-Southampton stopping service to Poole, with a 30 minute layover at Brockenhurst for the westbound train. This means that direct journeys between Totton and Waterloo will take about 30 minutes longer, whilst the journey from Totton to New Milton will take a staggering 50 minutes; at an average speed of 19mph this is virtually the slowest train service in Britain. By way of comparison, the remote Central Wales line from Llanelli to Shrewsbury averages about 30mph.
South West Trains’ Managing Director, Stewart Palmer, wrote to Dr Julian Lewis MP in April, saying that the service west of Southampton was tightly specified by the Department for Transport. However, assuming no relevant documents were withheld, a Freedom of Information access request by our Group has established that such a poor service was never specified and was therefore never subject to formal consultation, unlike other changes. On the basis of the available information, it arises solely from the failure of South West Trains to schedule a satisfactory service. We have asked the Department for Transport to impose a compliant timetable.
The other principal changes on South West Trains involve withdrawal of local services between Brockenhurst and Wareham, direct services between Basingstoke or Reading and Brighton via Eastleigh and Fareham, and direct weekend services between South Hampshire, Exeter and Paignton via Salisbury. This will be only the second timetable in half a century without any direct Southampton-Exeter service.
SOUTH WEST TRAINS CASHES IN ON FLOOD MISERY
It has always been the case that passengers are allowed to use their tickets on other available routes when sections of line are closed, for example because of severe weather or rail accidents. However, South West Trains decided to cash in on the closure of the Virgin Cross Country route between Reading and Oxford because of severe flooding. They instructed their staff to issue tickets to Cross Country destinations only via London. This meant a substantial increase in revenue for Stagecoach which has a 49% share in Virgin trains from Euston as well as in Virgin Cross Country, and runs SWT services to and from Waterloo. When exposed by the Evening Standard of 27 July, South West Trains offered refunds to passengers who contacted them. But how many passengers would have realised they had been cheated? Transport 2000 condemned the opportunism as “disgusting”.
SOUTH WEST TRAINS TO SHUT TRAVEL CENTRES
South West Trains intends to close all its travel centres except Waterloo. This will involve a huge downgrade of customer service, and means that complex enquiries will have to be dealt with at ticket windows, with inevitable increases in the long queues that all ready form and many more missed trains. Following on the 20% increases on some SWT fares, Stagecoach is clearly intent on taking more and giving less, a point made by the General Secretary of the Transport Salaried Staff’s Association. (Source: Southern Daily Echo 2/10/07)
SOUTH WEST TRAINS SEVERELY CRITICISED OVER REFUSAL TO ACCEPT OYSTER CARDS
Automatic barriers are to be installed at hundreds of stations so that London commuters can avoid ticket queues by using Oyster cards. South West Trains has been heavily criticised by the Chairman of London Travelwatch for refusing to introduce the scheme on grounds of set-up costs. (Source: Evening Standard 1/10/07)
STAGECOACH PROFITS BOOMING, BUT CHAIRMAN MOANS ABOUT RAIL CAPACITY AFTER DUMPING WESSEX ELECTRIC TRAINS
In the 12 weeks to 21/07/07, Stagecoach’s profits from its British bus operations were up 7.6% compared with a year earlier, whilst its rail profits were up 15% (Metro 23/08/07). Chairman Brian Souter, meanwhile, complains about the railways running out of capacity and government policy of “minimizing taxpayer spend” (Glasgow Herald 25/08/07).
[Comment: The recent bonus of £175,000,000 which Mr Souter and his sister shared would have bought 35 new five-car trains outright, with no subsequent leasing charges. 120 Wessex Electric coaches were dumped by South West Trains and will be idle until December 2008, when most of them will be brought into service by Southern after refurbishment. Meanwhile, as our performance reports show, the cheaper-to-hire Desiro and Juniper trains are failing with eye-watering regularity. This is leading to regular losses of thousands of seats through cancelled and short-length trains.]
FARES OUTCRY – STAGECOACH UNLIKELY TO WIN FURTHER FRANCHISES?
The Department for Transport intends to simplify the complex rail fares structure by enforcing a range of ticket names: “Anytime”; “Off-peak”; “Super off-peak”; and “Advance”. This sounds good, but not if other companies follow South West Trains’ example of raising some off-peak fares by 20 per cent, and calling the remainder “super off-peak”.
The Guardian of 30/08/07 reports that the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) is to raise concerns with the Department for Transport that leaving passengers to carry an excessive share of the costs of running the railway could breach competition law. Actions by an operator could raise questions about excessive pricing. The ORR can use its powers to intervene, and is drawing up guidelines to clarify when a breach may occur.
The Guardian of 17/08/07 quotes a Department for Transport spokesperson as saying, “We are aware of concerns around unregulated fare increases, which is why we will give passenger representatives more of a role in the franchising process.” Passenger Focus is definitely to be involved. This is very welcome news and could presumably result in no more franchises going to Stagecoach.
COMMUTERS FACE FURTHER HUGE FARE INCREASES IN JANUARY 2008
London rail commuters face fare increases of up to 7% from January, despite overcrowding levels being expected to rise even more and further increasing operators’ profits. Monthly seasons from Guildford and Southampton to Waterloo will rise by 4.8% [despite poorer quality rolling stock having been introduced]. (Source: London Lite 16/08/07)
STAGECOACH LOSES STAKE IN CROSS COUNTRY TRAINS
The current Cross Country franchise, in which Virgin has a 51% stake and Stagecoach a 49% stake, is to transfer to Arriva. This will mean a very welcome reduction in Stagecoach’s involvement in Hampshire and South Dorset rail operations. Virgin and Stagecoach have also failed to win the East Coast franchise, which goes to National Express.
The new Cross Country franchise will run from 11 November 2007 until 31 March 2016. The Department for Transport’s specification means that the Cross Country map and service pattern will be somewhat different, but the franchise will still cover an area stretching from Aberdeen to Penzance, and serve over 100 stations on around 1,500 route miles. There will be a 35% increase in capacity, and new initiatives like home printing of tickets and tickets being sold via mobile phones.
Arriva is working on the radically changed timetable which will come into effect from December 2008. There will be some interim changes from December 2007 to meet Department for Transport requirements. There is a possibility of Swansea being returned to the Cross Country map through an element of integration with Arriva Trains Wales.
SOME SOUTH WEST TRAINS’ SERVICES SLOWER THAN A CENTURY AGO
Research by the London School of Economics has established that some London commuter services are slower than in 1910. Hampton Court to Waterloo in the peak took 31 minutes compared with 36 minutes now. In 1972, the average speed from Wimbledon to Waterloo was 33mph, compared with 27mph now. Over the same period, Richmond to Waterloo has slowed from 38mph to 32mph. If all trains achieved an average speed of 48mph, as on First Great Western’s Ealing-Reading line, commuters could see their journeys cut by 10 minutes. [Source: Evening Standard 03/09/07]
SOUTH WEST TRAINS FLOPS IN NATIONAL RAIL AWARDS
South West Trains performed poorly in this year’s rail awards. The SWT website claims of their only significant success, “Our maintenance team was crowned Maintenance Team of the Year at the prestigious National Rail Awards”. “Crowned”? “Prestigious”... How many people actually know of these awards or care? What about the daily dose of disruption due to duff stock? And aren’t all the Desiro trains maintained by Siemens under contract? In any case, the judges were seriously misinformed because they are quoted as saying: “It is rewarding to know that the total replacement of the train fleet has taken place without any hiccups, a tribute to the design and outstandingly high standard of engineering maintenance. Good management is part of this and South West Trains is a worthy winner of the Maintenance Team of the Year award.” Hang on! What total replacement? The whole inner-suburban fleet was inherited from British Rail. The whole diesel fleet was inherited from British Rail. And Stagecoach is the only company which still operates ex-BR slam-door trains (between Brockenhurst and Lymington). Chiltern won the ‘Operator of the Year’ award. The business is likely to be sold and Arriva has expressed a strong interest in acquiring it.
SERIOUS ASSAULT ON SWT PASSENGER
After all the PR about secure (until 22.00 when gates are unlocked) stations and Travelsafe officers (thinly spread and seemingly employed randomly as on Weymouth station on quiet Sunday evenings) a Waterloo-Shepperton passenger was badly attacked by nine young people who left his train at Teddington, having broken his nose, bruised him and stolen his mobile phone. He was left shocked and traumatised, and is now apprehensive about getting on trains. (Evening Standard 27/09/07)
STAGECOACH LEAVES TOTTON STATION AND SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL CAR PARK TO THE RATS
The erratic staffing at Totton station continued during September (see our Totton-London commuter’s diary) . Food and other waste collects on the platforms and the rat trap has been reinstated. Meanwhile, drivers who use the downside car park at Southampton Central complain of the plague of rats apparently attracted by SWT’s overflowing skips.
STAGECOACH DUMPS DARLINGTON BUSES
A shareholder who asked why Stagecoach had disposed of Darlington Buses without notice was told by Chairman Brian Souter that the Stagecoach Group had “no specific emotional attachment” [euphemism for “commitment”?] to any part of the business (Glasgow Herald 25/08/07). Stagecoach gained notoriety by its ethical deficit in driving the incumbent Darlington operator off the road, action which the then Monopolies and Mergers Commission famously described as “predatory, deplorable and contrary to the public interest”. [A case of “Stagecoach”: “g” before “e” = greed before ethics?]
STAGECOACH INCREASES FUNDING OF THE SCOTTISH NATIONALIST PARTY
Stagecoach Chairman Brian Souter has given the Scottish Nationalist Party £325,000 to add to the £300,000 he gave them in the previous quarter. By pure coincidence, the Nationalist’s manifesto omitted the expected commitment to bus regulation, which was anathema to Mr Souter. It is not clear whether these amounts, quoted in the Glasgow Herald of 22/08/07, are in addition to the £500,000 which Mr Souter gave to the Nationalists to boost their election funds.
NETWORK RAIL FINED FOR PORTSMOUTH RESIGNALLING FIASCO
Network Rail has been fined £2.4 million for the 9-month overrun of engineering works in the Portsmouth area, which has caused huge disruption for passengers. The work began last Christmas and is now scheduled to be completed during the next school half term (24-28 October).
FRANCHISE AWARDS TAKE DELIVERABILITY INTO ACCOUNT
The East Midlands franchise award (to Stagecoach) and East Coast award (to National Express) reportedly didn’t go to the highest bidder, apparently because of concerns about the deliverability of the highest bids (Source: Guardian 10/09/07). This has inevitably raised speculation that the SWT franchise fiasco, with all the disadvantages for passengers from the award to Stagecoach, may no longer be a politically acceptable scenario.
At the deadline for entries to this edition of Hogrider, it was looking as though the long-hoped-for cross-London rail link between Paddington and Liverpool Street would be approved. Funding arrangements have reportedly been agreed between the Government, the City of London and Canary Wharf. This would bring much needed relief to the London Underground as well as providing direct trains from Maidenhead and Heathrow to Shenfield and Abbey Wood. The project would take at least a decade to complete.
PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS, EARLY DAY MOTIONS AND MPS’ VIEWS
* Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent meetings her Department has had with train operating companies to discuss pricing structures for the railways; who attended; what the outcomes were; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transport has been discussing with the Association of Train Operating Companies about how a simple national fares structure could be introduced, with standardised ticket names, terms and conditions. Discussions are ongoing. [Hansard 4/7/07]
* Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the terms of South West Trains’ franchise are on penalty fares; what assessment she has made of the company’s compliance with its franchise on penalty fares; and if she will make a statement.
Mr. Tom Harris: The Railways Act 1993 Section 130 is the basis for charging penalty fares on National Rail. The subsequent (Penalty Fares) Regulations 1994 allowed for by the 1993 Act in turn provided for the creation of Penalty Fares Rules. These Rules were last revised in 2002 and under them any operator wishing to charge penalty fares must submit a scheme for the approval of the Secretary of State. South West Trains currently have an approved penalty fares scheme. [Hansard: 9/7/07]
* “Susan Kramer: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate she has made of the percentage change in real terms of the cost of travelling by (a) private car, (b) bus and (c) train since (i) 1977, (ii) 1987 and (iii) 1997. 
Jim Fitzpatrick: The following table shows the percentage change in real terms of the cost of travelling by car, bus and train since 1977, 1987 and 1997 compared to 2006.
1977-2006: Private car -10%; Bus +55%; Train +52%
1987-2006: Private car -7%; Bus +29%; Train +28%
1997-2006: Private car: -10%; Bus +13%; Train +6%
Source: Retail Price Index—Office for National Statistics.
Comparisons with average household disposable incomes are as follows: Between 1977 and 2006, average household disposable income increased by 125 per cent; between 1987 and 2006, average household disposable income increased by 70 per cent; and between 1997 and 2006, average household disposable income increased by 25 per cent. (Hansard 17/07/07)
[COMMENT Against this background, the public inevitably perceives the Government’s plans for rail fares to rise above inflation year after year as (1) totally out of step with its green agenda, (2) a widening of the disparity between rail fares in Britain and those on the Continent, and (3) poor value for money.
Official statistics show that about one peak time commuter in five on South West Trains thinks the service represents value for money. Shadow Transport Secretary Theresa Villiers has commented to the Rail Minister, “You have claimed real achievement and success. Tell that to the commuters – it would be a criminal offence to transport animals in the same condition they have to endure”.
Britons make about 80% of journeys by car, the same proportion as in 1995. However, Transport for London has established that half of all car journeys in outer London are of less than two kilometres, a distance that most people can easily walk in 25 minutes. Car ownership is forecast to rise from 27.8m to 33.5m by 2031 according to the environmental group, Campaign for Better Transport (Sources: various, including principally the Guardian of 25/07/07, 31/08/07 and 10/09/07, and Metro of 30/07/07)]
EARLY DAY MOTION 2019 OF 25 JULY 2007 – MR MIKE HANCOCK
“That this House believes that the decision by South West Trains to replace the Wessex Electric trains with 450s on the Portsmouth mainline route to Waterloo was a cynical move to increase profits at the expense of customer comfort; notes that Stagecoach has made little effort to remedy the situation and to accept that 450s are unacceptable on long journeys; believes that their attitude to passenger comfort, their aggressive policy on penalty fares, and the increases in off-peak fares further show that there must be a long-term solution to the problems on Britain's railways that puts passengers first and not the profits of franchisees; and urges the Government to take action to bring the whole of the rail network back into public ownership.”
ARTICLE BY MRS SANDRA GIDLEY MP - SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO, 19 JULY 2007
“The recent decision by South West Trains to increase fares by 20 per cent for those travelling from Southampton and Winchester and arriving in London between 10 and 12 in the morning has angered many passengers. The move seems doubly cynical, coming so soon after the company was awarded the re-franchise. According to the minister, fare levels are no concern of the Government and to regulate would be a burden to the taxpayer. This shows little regard for the burden on the fare paying passenger and I struggle to see how the Government, which claims to want to increase usage of public transport, is content to ignore the issue of pricing.
What is even worse is that passengers from Basingstoke, which is on the same line, do not have to pay the increased fares. The simple reason for this appears to be that, on this part of the line, there is competition from First Great Western. So, South West Trains does not have a monopoly and realizes that passengers will desert their trains in droves if there is competition.
I frequently travel at the time of day affected by the new fares and the trains are not overly full. Rather than put passengers off I would have thought that it would have made sound business sense to market the line and increase the passenger numbers. There is another factor that comes into play here though because after the car parks have filled up with commuters there are often no car parking spaces after about nine in the morning, so increasing passenger numbers would probably increase the number of complaints about car parking.
All this is depressing because it highlights the lack of joined-up thinking between town planners, train companies and central government. There is lack of transparency to the consumer and while I have always found the station staff to be helpful there are many occasions when people buy a more expensive ticket than they need to – especially if they use one of the new machines.
I love train travel but increasingly see why many prefer the alternatives – and I’m going to sign off now before I start on a rant about how uncomfortable the new trains to London are!”
MAJOR CHANGES ON SOUTH WEST TRAINS SINCE STAGECOACH WAS AWARDED A THIRD FRANCHISE IN SEPTEMBER 2006
* Morning off-peak fares to London from stations without competing services increased by 20%.
* Premium for first class season tickets increased from 50% to 80%.
* Huge increases in station car parking charges.
* Less reliable rolling stock returned to Waterloo-Reading services.
* Long-distance rolling stock on the Waterloo-Weymouth service replaced with hard-seated quasi-suburban units with severely inadequate luggage space. Safety issue about big baggage being put on high-level racks, which was forbidden on the displaced trains. Rough riding at speed increases risk of injury. Speed limit has been introduced at Worting Junction, west of Basingstoke, presumably in response to complaints of passenger trauma from severe jolting.
* Portsmouth-Waterloo commuters switched to such cramped suburban trains that many prefer to stand, with increased risk of injury in the event of an accident or sharp braking.
* Programme of reducing seats in suburban trains progressed, similarly risking greater passenger injury in the event of an accident or sharp braking.
* Permit to travel machines removed, making it more difficult for passengers to avoid penalty fares.
* Passengers treated as fare evaders for misunderstanding the complex fares system and buying the wrong ticket.
* Passengers threatened with penalty fares even at unstaffed stations with no ticket or permit issuing machines.
* Passengers unable to obtain tickets are no longer advised to buy on boarding, but risk penalty fares if they leave ticket purchase until reaching their destination.
* Journeys disturbed by continual threatening announcements about having to buy tickets before boarding.
* Staffing of some booking offices during advertised opening hours is moving from erratic to rare.
* Travel centres to close making it more hugely more difficult to get responses to complex enquiries, and making even longer queues at ticket offices inevitable.
* Some of the slowest train services in Britain threatened for the December 2007 timetable.
MAJOR ROLLING STOCK DOWNGRADE ON THE PORTSMOUTH LINE
UPDATE ON THE AFTERMATH OF A GREAT PRIVATISATION SCANDAL
The misery of Portsmouth-Waterloo commuters, squashed into high-density class 450 suburban Desiro carriages, continues. It can reasonably be assumed that the financial savings from running such a cheapskate service would have been taken into account when the two Stagecoach founders took their £175,000,000 bonus. Given Chairman Brian Souter’s view that “ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed”, it is not surprising that the No 450 campaign (link from our website) is having an uphill struggle in dealing with SWT.
It was clear from the Portsmouth Line Rail Users meeting at Liphook on 3 October that huge anger persists among affected commuters, and that the SWT representative at these meetings simply relays their comments to SWT’s Managing Director who promptly dismisses them. Also, views were strongly expressed that the Department for Transport and Stagecoach were blaming each other for the fiasco and that Tom Harris, the rail minister, was being misled by official briefing. Quite: one could say much the same of the timetable downgrade due to be implemented on the Southampton-Weymouth line from December. One can only wonder at Stagecoach’s deceptive cynicism in the PR document it used in support of its bid to keep the SWT franchise: “Stagecoach’s success has been built on listening to customers and using their special insight to improve services even further.”
So how did we get here? To understand the present position, you need to read chapter 8 of “Stagecoach” by Christian Wolmar and Roger Ford’s article in the October 2006 issue of ‘Modern Railways’ magazine.
When the three rolling stock companies were set up, the government of the day allowed them to lease old trains to operating companies at premium rates, in the expectation that they would make big profits and invest in new stock. However, the government failed to introduce any regulatory regime to ensure that profits were reinvested rather than creamed off. And they never envisaged that a train operating company and a rolling stock company would come under common ownership. The National Audit Office reckoned that the under-pricing of the rolling stock sale to the three rolling stock companies cheated taxpayers of at least £700 million, and probably much more.
The intended regime was shattered when Stagecoach, already running South West Trains, made an audacious takeover of the Porterbrook rolling stock company. The Conservatives were aghast. With no controls on what Stagecoach did with the massive profits, Steven Norris lamented: “Souter now has a source of financing. He has bought his own financing company with its own access to banking sources”. Mr Souter was ecstatic and entertained a group of bigwigs with a song ridiculing transport ministers Sir George Young and John Watts.
A condition of Stagecoach’s retention of Porterbrook was that it should provide 120 new coaches for its South West Trains franchise. Enter the class 458 trains which were distinctly sub-standard, for example in relation to the gangways between units which are difficult to operate when units are coupled and uncoupled, and the very small destination panels. Stagecoach’s ownership of Porterbrook was short-lived. However, had Stagecoach not undermined the intended private railway regime by its takeover of the company, and had the class 458s not seen the light of day, the present position could never have been reached. In effect we now have tiers of disadvantages for rail users and other taxpayers, and tiers of profiteering by Stagecoach.
So unreliable were the class 458s, that Stagecoach had virtually completed a programme of withdrawal by the advent of the latest re-franchising exercise. It bolstered its bid by proposals to bring the 458s back into service, cram Waterloo-Portsmouth passengers into suburban units, and transfer the new Portsmouth line units, described by Rail Gazette International as ‘more commuter than inter-city’ to the long-distance Waterloo-Weymouth line. This cost-cutting would allow disposal of the Wessex Electrics, comfortable main line units which SWT had neglected to the extent that they were the only trains in Britain which carried hazard warning tape in every carriage as a permanent feature.
The Wessex Electrics are wasting away in store for two years. From December 2008, at least 17 of the 24 units will go to Southern to provide long-distance comfort on short-distance runs after some refurbishment. Stagecoach’s profits meanwhile are soaring.
Here’s a thought – suppose Southern put some of these units on their longest run (Victoria-Southampton via Gatwick and Horsham) and promoted them as a high-class alternative to SWT services? Privatisation was supposed to be about getting a better railway through competition.
In issue 114, we reported that an inquiry which SWT had commissioned on the health and safety aspects of using class 450 suburban units on long-distance journeys had completed its report at the beginning of June. Some findings were eventually released in early August at the height of the holiday season. No passengers had been interviewed by Interfleet Technology, which carried out the inquiry. This seriously undermined the report’s credibility, and unsurprisingly SWT forbade the founder of the No 450 Group to contact the researchers.
The report addressed only the potential effect the seating might have on passengers’ health, on which it gave an all-clear. This contradicted the experiences of many commuters who have been complaining of sciatica and other back related illnesses.
Turning to comfort, the report states that 59% of the population exceed their seating envelope with their elbows in the 450 seats. This means that, whether in a block of two or three seats, any passenger is more likely than not to be sitting next to someone who exceeds their envelope. Interestingly, the Metro of 17 September 2007 states that Network Rail has virtually ruled out double-decker trains because the lower deck is quite small and Britons “are getting taller and wider”. Compare that with the fact that the class 450 units are likely to be around until mid-century, and the current commuter nightmare darkens further.
The report also finds that the seat back tilt is 9.9 degrees – which falls outside the recommended best practice. It makes no mention of the fact that floor space is restricted by the window where, to make space, a passenger regularly has to place a foot on the heater panel, thus twisting his/her spine and encouraging a slouch position.
The report relates the shortcomings of the Desiros to comfort rather than health issues. Yet the Guardian of 29 September reports that a study by the EU and Government has found that air travellers are more than three times as likely as others to suffer potentially fatal deep vein thrombosis. This was a major study, covering 8,755 employees of major companies. It also found that people who are particularly short or tall are at greatest risk.
Interestingly, a spokesman for British Airways responded:
“Immobility as a causative factor in DVT has been recognised for many decades, as has the existence of certain groups who are at increased risk…whether seated on a train, bus, theatre, car or at an office desk. We encourage passengers to remain active during flight and have even developed a series of exercises …which can be undertaken without leaving the seats.”
Doesn’t this imply that tall people sitting next to a window on the class 450s are very likely to run a serious health risk? And how on earth could passengers crushed into a class 450 do exercises? Remember that a Portsmouth-Waterloo commuter can spend nearly 17 hours a week on these trains because of Stagecoaches slow schedules.
None of this even touches the issue of the huge waste of time for commuters who previously had space to use their laptops. Nor does it address stress, long-established as a serious risk for commuters. How much is stress increased by being squashed next to other people on some of the roughest-riding trains in Britain?
SWT now seems to regard the 450 issue as a PR matter. Their PR Director Jane Lee (who notably passed misleading information about past and present service levels to the Southern Daily Echo when resisting huge aspirations for a new football stadium halt in Southampton) has seen fit to ask No 450’s founder why he doesn’t like the trains, when distribution of a mere 85 leaflets resulted in 1,350, in many cases detailed, complaints about them to the No 450 website.
Ms Lee considers that 1,350 is a small number compared with total class 450 users. She also claims that Reading line passengers liked the trains before the even-cheaper class 458 units were reinstated. We wonder whether she has 1,350 signatures to support this. In any case, Reading and Windsor residents have the option of commuting on vastly faster First Great Western services. The typical SWT Reading line commuter is likely to be travelling between Staines and Waterloo (journey of about 40 minutes compared with 100 minutes plus between Portsmouth and Waterloo).
Finally, those hated hard seats on the Desiros. Ian Walmsley, an engineering development manager with the Porterbrook leasing company sets out his views on modern train seating at some length in the October 2007 edition of ‘Modern Railways’ magazine. He explodes the myths that seats have to be hard to be fireproof, and that hard seats are good for you. “No”, he says, “they have to be hard to be cheap”. As to seats being designed for the optimum support of the human body, he says, “No, seats are actually designed to look cool”. And as to the accusation that the disability lobby has ruined train design, he says the lobby has protected passengers from the worst excesses of interior design.
In this scenario, Portsmouth line commuters will continue to have a huge uphill struggle and we wish them every success. They already have firm support from Havant Council, and MPs Mike Hancock and Michael Mates. The meeting at Liphook on 3 October passed a motion of dissatisfaction with SWT’s health and safety report and called for a review of the process. The feeling was that the sole purpose of the report was to protect SWT from medical litigation. There was particular anger that no commuters had been interviewed. They want SWT to engage in meaningful consultation with passengers (rather than writing preposterous PR about Stagecoach building it’s success on listening to customers and using their special insight to improve services even further?) Of course, SWT consults as little as possible, unlike companies like Arriva, National Express, First Group and Go Ahead which put consultation at the heart of their ethos. Remember how SWT produced a glossy leaflet proclaiming it had consulted rail user groups on the 2004 timetable? Just before he departed, Managing Director Andrew Haines admitted to Dr Julian Lewis MP that they hadn’t. And so it goes on.
Is it not the case that Stagecoach is undermining democracy by not listening to passengers, by undermining government policy, and by misrepresenting facts? After all, the government line is that the railways are a public service, publicly specified and privately delivered.
PHYSICAL DISCOMFORT AND STRESS ON SWT - COMPARISONS
During July and August, the South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group’s organiser travelled on trains operated by Arriva Trains Wales, Central Trains, First Great Western, First Scotrail, First TransPennine, GNER, Merseyrail, Midland Mainline, Northern Trains, Southern, South Eastern, South West Trains, Virgin Cross Country and Virgin West Coast. Stations visited included Barrow-in-Furness, Bournemouth, Brighton, Buxton, Cardiff Central, Carlisle, Charing Cross, Chester, East Croydon, Edinburgh, Glasgow Central, Glasgow Queen Street, Hazel Grove, Inverness, Kettering, Kirkby, Lancaster, Manchester Piccadilly, Manchester Victoria, Nottingham, Rochdale, Rose Hill, Salisbury, Southampton Central, Southport, Sutton, Totton, Warrington Bank Quay, Warrington Central, Waterloo, Waterloo East, Wigan North Western, Wigan Wallgate and Wilmslow.
By any standards, South West trains provided by far the most stressful journey experience. The other operators allowed their passengers to travel in peace for most of the time without SWT’s constant drone of irritating, threatening and electronic ‘big brother’ announcements on stations and/or trains about penalty fares, quiet coaches(!), beggars, skateboards, cycles, video recordings etc. On-board announcements about station stops were without exception correct – an unimaginable scenario for regular SWT passengers. Only the bus-bodied Pacer units used on a few local routes could match the atrocious riding qualities of SWT’s Desiro trains with their sideways movements and violent lurches on crossovers.
Interior train lighting and décor were generally more restful than on SWT. Seating was invariably more comfortable than on SWT’s Desiro stock. Oddly, even the class 185 TransPennine units, which have an improved version of the class 444 Desiro interior layout, seemed more comfortable than the 444s. It was difficult to determine whether this was due to the employment of superior upholstery or foam on the seats, or to the foam having had less time to compact.
Stations of all sizes were generally bright and welcoming – only Manchester Victoria was poor (a great pity that it has seen so much demolition, and that it lags so far behind the city’s fantastic Piccadilly station). Overall, stations contrasted starkly with the drab and neglected state of many on SWT. Barrow in Furness station deserves a special reward for the fantastic quality of its toilets.
No examples were seen of passengers being given warnings when purchasing tickets on trains. The attitude of staff helped make journeys stress-free. The position is much more patchy on SWT.
During evening peak problems at Manchester Victoria, an official was available to tell passengers the services on which the available rolling stock would be used - very different from the information blackouts at Waterloo.
No examples noted of stop-skipping or trains terminating short of destination for operational convenience.
CUSTOMER SERVICE THE SWT WAY
(See also the Diary of a Totton-London commuter)
HOW MANY LIES CAN ONE DUFF DESIRO TRAIN GENERATE?
Stagecoach was heavily criticised, including by Passenger Focus, for disposing of the Wessex Electric trains for cheaper but less reliable rolling stock. Our performance reports consistently show large numbers of failures and the issue is likely to be sensitive. If trains are so bad when near-new, what does the future hold? At 16.50 on 12 July, passengers arrived at Waterloo to find the stock for the 17.05 to Weymouth with a ‘do not move’ plate, which signifies that a train is being attended by engineers. It left on time and commendably cleared the platform before failure. After 12 minutes’ silence, the guard started making announcements about a defect which the driver was trying to remedy. Meanwhile, some other services were trapped in the station.
The train eventually re-started 26 minutes late. On arrival at Southampton Central, the station announcement blamed the delay on signalling problems at Waterloo. The guard who took over the Poole portion of the train, after its detachment, announced that the delay was due to a train failure at Waterloo and also to a “very minor defect with this train”. SWT’s website showed the late running as due to a delay on a previous journey. This excuse was also given for the 24-minute delay to the 17.09 to Portsmouth which the 17.05 had trapped at Waterloo.
A FAT LOT OF USE, AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN ANYWAY?
Page 5 of SWT’s timetable booklet gives “Usual time allowed to make a connection” at certain stations, followed by “Actual time allowed to make a connection” at the same stations. It then goes on to explain that connections are unlikely to be held anyway. But it is silent on how these connectional times – whatever “usual” and “actual” mean – interface with the practice of closing train doors up to a minute before the scheduled departure time.
HOW INCONVENIENT CAN REPLACEMENT BUSES GET?
On 19 July, the 04.00 Guildford-Waterloo was to start at Woking at 04.10 because of engineering work. The replacement bus was timed to leave Guildford at 03.15 and get to Woking at 03.35. Woking station is no doubt considered a nice place to wait for 35 minutes in the middle of the night.
HOW INCOMPETENT CAN ANNOUNCEMENTS GET?
Saturday 28 July saw two charter trains calling at Southampton Central: the 07.39 to Folkestone Harbour and 07.56 to Penzance. The Folkestone train was announced as being at the end of the subway to Folkestone (there is no subway at Central) and both trains had a number of connections from picking up stops announced as if they were in normal public service.
WHY DO WE PAY EUROPE’S HIGHEST PRICES AND THEN GET INSULTED WHEN FIGHTING FOR OUR SERVICE?
On 27 July the 06.06 Totton-Yeovil was axed yet again. That meant a 40 minute wait for the next service by London commuters. As it was only 06.00 and, as usual, the station was unstaffed despite the advertised ticket office opening time of 05.40, a passenger used the Help Point to get a compensatory stop by the 05.45 from Poole. At first he was told it wouldn’t be done but, after further argument, during which the words “stroppy ass” were heard in the background (presumably they meant that anyone who tries to get decent customer service out of Stagecoach is an ass), the stop was arranged. The information screen showed that departure would be at 06.21, the train actually left at 06.23, and departure from Southampton Central was dead on time at 06.30. Not a case of “can’t do”, but one of “too much bother, let’s see what we can get away with.”
“WE’VE MISSED A TARGET, HERE ARE THE PENULTIMATE PERFORMANCE FIGURES”
On 28 July, the ‘Latest News’ schedule on SWT’s website was still boasting of the best performance ever on SWT in June. Unfortunately, the July figures were showing a significant decline, with the target of 89% for the punctuality of main line services missed. This did not merit inclusion in the ‘Latest News’ schedule.
INFORMATION SHAMBLES AT BASINGSTOKE
On Friday 3 August there was the usual chaos following a late morning fatality at Weybridge, with normal service apparently suspended. At about 14.15, an empty 12-coach Desiro train at Basingstoke was shown on the information screens as a 10-car train to Weymouth. Passengers found themselves locked out and a member of staff ambled leisurely up the platform, saying he would ask the guard why the doors hadn’t been opened. After some time it was announced that this was a Portsmouth train, but the doors stayed resolutely locked. It was then announced that the Weymouth train was just arriving at the next platform, under the subway. This latter train covered all the stops to Eastleigh normally served by Portsmouth services. From Southampton Central, the train was to make only its normal stops, so the usual further long delays for Totton, New Milton and Christchurch passengers.
ALMOST TOO ROUTINE TO MENTION
On 10/8/07, passengers in the Bournemouth portion of the 16.35 from Waterloo were fed the usual successive wrong announcements which relate to the front, Weymouth, portion. On the approach to Southampton, a correct announcement was given, but passengers who have listened to one announcement are unlikely to pay much attention to subsequent announcements. One Dorchester passenger suddenly became uneasy and asked a commuter whether he was in the right part of the train. He grabbed his belongings and raced along the platform, but staff saw him coming, yelled at him, and locked the doors of the Weymouth portion in his face. He then had to sit on the platform for 30 minutes.
DISABLED PEOPLE PRONE TO BE NEGLECTED OR FORGOTTEN
Provision for disabled passengers on SWT is at best inconsistent and at worse risible. On 27/07/07, staff helped a wheelchair user to board the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth. At Southampton Airport Parkway station no assistance was provided and passengers on the train unloaded the wheelchair.
The down platform at Totton station has a wheelchair loading ramp. This looks good from train windows, but it is never used because the platform is inaccessible to wheelchairs.
An 11-year old wheelchair user had a humiliating journey from Purley to Kew, despite assisted travel having been booked for her. At Purley station she couldn’t get her wheelchair on to the platform, so had to be taken to East Croydon by taxi. At East Croydon staff sent her to the wrong end of the platform. The switch at Clapham Junction from Southern to South West Trains territory was difficult because there were no lifts or ramps (despite this being Britain’s busiest station). She was therefore moved in an old electric wheelchair used for station evacuations. Richmond station had lifts but they stank of urine, and at Kew Bridge her train was delayed while staff searched for a ramp. (Source: Evening Standard 30/07/07).
SWT GETTING EVEN TOUGHER ON PARKING AS GOVERNMENT GETS SOFTER
SWT placed posters at Southampton station saying that car clamping would in future take place without prior warning notices – just as Ruth Kelly had issued guidelines to Councils urging them to use clamping much more restrictively.
WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF SOUTH WEST TRAINS
* “At Staines station last week, there were four ticket inspectors blocking the platform entrance, slowing the flow of passengers. When I asked if so many were needed, I was told “Yes”. A further imposition is South West Trains’ threatening announcements on the train, warning us of dire consequences if we don’t buy a ticket or sit in first class to avoid standing. When will SWT realize that we commuters are actually its customers?” (Nicholas Wood-Dow – Evening Standard 17/07/07)
* “Sitting on Chiswick station yesterday, City commuters were treated to an announcement that their 7am South West Trains service to Waterloo had been cancelled because there weren’t any staff to drive it. Never mind, they could at least recline and wait in comfort on the brand new platform benches, which this week replaced the previous, perfectly serviceable seats, no doubt at a cost of many thousands. What sort of halfwits run these companies?” (City Spy – Evening Standard 19/07/07)
* “In December Eye 1174 reported that Stagecoach shareholders would receive a windfall of at least £400m, with more than £100m for sibling Stagecoach founders Brian Souter and Ann Gloag. We now acknowledge that this was inaccurate and highly misleading.
The actual amount given to shareholders in May/June was in fact “around £700m”, according to Stagecoach results released late last month. We apologise for any distress our report might have caused to shareholders who may have feared being plunged into poverty, and recognise that they are deserving recipients of subsidy paid to Stagecoach for its trains and buses.
Furthermore the Eye may have given the impression that the 20 percent off-peak fare rise on Stagecoach’s South West Trains franchise, the removal of train seats to create more standing room, the dumping of 120 carriages as surplus to requirements and downgrading of trains on the Portsmouth line were unfair to passengers. In light of the above, we are happy to acknowledge that Stagecoach has more pressing calls on its funds and trust that passengers who fail to buy a ticket before travel because of long queues at the booking office will be magnanimous when SWT guards implement a recent order to charge the maximum peak fare, regardless of the circumstances.” (Private Eye – 20/07/07)
* A colleague’s friend who escaped from Thames Ditton is praising Southern. He has moved to Haywards Heath and now finds commuting much more pleasant and straightforward. He asks, “Why so much attitude on South West Trains?” (We think it’s the difference between Southern’s “Expect more” slogan and Stagecoach’s “Ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed”!)
* “The fares are expensive enough as they are and I resent having to pay even more for a sub-standard service.” (Caroline Sroka, a teacher who travels to Twickenham by train every day – Evening Standard 25/07/07)
* “I recently took a sparkling new train from Waterloo to Kingston. It was great to travel on apart from the onboard messages which were broadcast on a non-stop loop. They ranged from “beware of pickpockets” to a list of stops to “make sure you take your possessions when leaving the train”. What with overcrowding and cancellations is this another attempt to drive passengers mad?” (Norman Frimley of Richmond - Evening Standard 03/09/07)
LETTER TO MPS IN THE SOUTH WEST TRAINS AREA – 15/08/07
“SOUTH WEST TRAINS’ REVENUE PROTECTION POLICIES
Many thanks to everyone who responded to the information note which I circulated on behalf of our Group on 25 June. I am grateful for sight of the letter which Stewart Palmer, Managing Director of South West Trains, sent to Members who contacted him about this issue. I fear the reply reflects the less-than-straightforward approach of a company which ran an on-line poll to establish the percentage of passengers which agreed that it should have kept the franchise and sent a “result” of 61% for publication weeks before the poll closed showing a result of 34%.
Mr Palmer’s letter says it all when he states that guards do still have discretion to sell the cheapest available tickets on board trains when passengers have had no opportunity to buy a ticket at the station. One wonders why discretion should ever have to be exercised when a passenger doesn’t have a ticket because SWT has failed to provide the opportunity to buy one.
Previously, guards and SWT literature advised passengers to approach guards for a ticket as soon as they board a train if they did not already have a ticket. This practice has been discontinued, leaving passengers to guess whether they should buy a ticket on the train or at their arrival station. If they decide to do the latter, they are likely to be treated as fare evaders.
The attached photocopy of SWT’s ‘Buying your ticket before you board leaflet’ strikes a much more aggressive note than Mr Palmer’s letters. It makes clear that passengers will be treated as having no ticket if they buy the wrong ticket (not a difficult mistake to make when fares are so complex, particularly for children, older people and those with learning disabilities). It reinforces this point by saying, “even if you’ve just made an error, you may be liable for a penalty of £20 or twice the single fare to the next station at which the train calls (whichever is greater). Not much discretion there then, and not much to do with countering fare evasion.
The leaflet continues, “If there’s no ticket office or self-service machine in operation at your station, you must buy a Permit to Travel from one of the cash-operated machines, to show you were willing to buy a ticket.” There may still be a permit-to-travel machine on SWT, but I don’t know where. Most were removed earlier in the year, including at stations like Ashurst which has no booking office and no ticket machine, but does have notices and announcements warning of ticketless travel.
So how is discretion used in practice?
* On 2/07/07, a colleague’s wife and their student son travelled from Walthamstow to Kingston. The son asked at the start of the journey whether he could top up his Oyster card to pay for the trip and was assured that he could. At Kingston SWT demanded a penalty fare on the basis that Oysters were not yet valid on SWT, even though he produced a receipt to show he had paid. After a very long argument, the passengers insisted that SWT call the police to hear what they had to say. SWT then sold them the proper ticket. No doubt the SWT staff were frightened of being charged with wasting police time. It’s certainly difficult to see what this case had to do with fare evasion.
* RAIL magazine columnist Christian Wolmar writes, in issue 571, of a friend’s experience: “Held up by a queue at the ticket office at Wokingham, his train arrived and he spotted the guard with a portable ticket machine. So my friend approached him and asked if he could buy a ticket. The response from the man from South West Trains was robust. “If you put one foot on that train, I will charge you a £20 penalty fare and then sell you a ticket.” My pal waited for the next train.”
* In MODERN RAILWAYS, August 2007 issue, columnist Alan Williams writes of how a SWT ticket machine refused to accept a range of his cards which were working in machines elsewhere. He then had to sort out coins as his train approached, but none of the passengers in the queue which had built up behind him had time to purchase a ticket.
SWT promises more ticket machines but often seems reluctant to provide them. For example, Councillor Angela Graham complained in The Times of 26 June that SWT had promised to install additional ticket machines at Earlsfield station but had not done so.
Mr Palmer suggests that his booking offices are normally open during the appointed hours. One seriously wonders how SWT gathers this information. At Totton the advertised opening time is 05.40. If the office opens at anything like that time it is a cause for comment. A passenger who travels once a week on the 09.01 train often finds the office closed. The ticket machine won’t sell him a ticket with a discount for his senior citizen railcard until 09.00. The doors of the 09.01 are invariably locked 30 seconds before departure, so he has to get a non-discounted ticket from the machine or wait for the next train at 09.51. The company presumably doesn’t care about cheating older people, and the 09.01 will disappear in this coming December’s major downgrade of SWT services west of Southampton.
Even when booking offices are open, they are often understaffed. One passenger recently found just a single window open at the main booking hall at Southampton Central at around 11.15 on a busy Saturday morning. Passengers in the queue behind her missed their train to London.
Members of our Group wonder how any Government can, in the twenty-first century, fund an unethical private company to provide the kind of service illustrated above - especially when governments traditionally stress excellence in public service delivery and listening to public opinion. Early Day Motion 2019 says it all.”
LETTER PUBLISHED IN THE SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO – 06/09/07
“Sale of bus station was a boost for Stagecoach
Derek Hibberd (Letters, August 31) asks what happened to Southampton’s bus station and the money from its sale. He will find the answer in the book Stagecoach by Christian Wolmar. Stagecoach first became solvent by buying Hampshire Bus and selling the bus station and less-profitable operations for more than it paid for the whole company.
London’s regulated bus services are seeing huge increases in passenger numbers but Stagecoach chairman Brian Souter recently sold his stake for a £100m profit and threatened to dispose of operations across Britain, selling the bus stations for commercial development, if the Government extends regulation to the provinces.
Mr Souter once told Scotland on Sunday newspaper that “Ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed”.
He and his sister have shared bonuses of £65 million and £175 million over the past couple of years.”
LYMINGTON TRANSPORT PROBLEMS
The Brockenhurst-Lymington branch line is the last route in the South East to be operated by old slam-door trains and their poor condition has led to strong criticism in the local press. Branch trains are timed to connect with Isle of Wight ferries at Lymington Pier rather than mainline trains at Brockenhurst. The slower schedules which Stagecoach has introduced across the South West Trains network means that passengers arriving at Brockenhurst from London often have to wait 25 minutes before making the 8-minute journey to Lymington. Unsurprisingly, some Lymington residents have been calling for the line to be closed, and use traffic problems caused by a low bridge and level crossing as a rationale. Others are pressing for it to be retained, with a 3,000-signature petition for an old works halt to be reopened to serve the new Lymington hospital. A Community Rail Partnership Scheme is now in prospect.
The Lymington-Brockenhurst road has been confirmed as having high pollution levels, because of convoys of traffic off the ferries. Yet bus services between Lymington, Brockenhurst, Lyndhurst and Southampton have been severely curtailed in recent years and end in early evening, so are of no use to Lymington Hospital visitors, to shift workers, or to people wanting to spend an evening in Southampton. This further increases road traffic.
The bus services have recently been proposed for further cuts because Hampshire County Council, like others, was hit hard when companies such as Stagecoach demanded increases in the big guaranteed subsidy they receive for operating the Government’s concessionary travel scheme for pensioners. It seems to be the rule that the more generously the scheme is operated, the faster pensioners lose their bus services. So the social isolation of older people increases rather than reduces. The effects of the promised national scheme from April 2008 will need to be closely monitored. [Source: various editions of the Lymington Times and Southern Daily Echo]
DIARY OF A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER –13
25/06/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.50 with discarded glass and plastic bottles, beer cans and cigarette cartons littering the platform. The 07.07 from Totton to Romsey left before its scheduled departure time. As the 07.30 from Southampton Central approached Waterloo, the guard apologised for running "8 minutes behind schedule" due to a late-running preceding service causing "congestion in and around the Wimbledon and London areas". Actually arrived at Waterloo 15 minutes late where departing passengers were treated to 5 automated announcements that "This train is at its final stop, Hounslow". This evening, a new layout for departure information on the Waterloo subway screens has been marked by at least 2 of the screens malfunctioning, including a key one providing platform information to passengers emerging from the Waterloo & City line. Joining the 18.35 from Waterloo, passengers were greeted by 2 automated announcements that we were at Petersfield and 1 that we were approaching London Waterloo. The in-carriage scrolling instructions for "Passengers travelling to Brockenhurst [and following stations] please make sure you are in the rear half of the train" didn't mention Totton or Ashurst at all. At Southampton Central, passengers in the rear half of the train heard the incorrect announcement "This train is for Weymouth – the next station is Bournemouth" which was not corrected for several minutes - plenty of time for non-regular travellers to become mightily confused.
26/06/07 06.46 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time, just to stand 9 minutes at Southampton Central awaiting the rear half of the train from Weymouth, which attached with a bang described by a fellow passenger as "painful". Left Southampton Central, Southampton Parkway and Winchester before its scheduled departure times as well. At least 5 of the screens in the Waterloo subway are malfunctioning. Joined the 19.05 from Waterloo just as it was announced that it was "approaching its final destination, London Waterloo" and it left just before its scheduled departure time.
27/06/07 A rubbish bag awaiting collection on the approach to Totton station was split open - more food for the local rat population. Totton ticket office was closed at 05.45 with lots of litter on the platform. The 05.48 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time. During the journey the guard asked for a passenger by name saying that if he "is on duty, please see the guard at the front of the train". Subsequently at Woking, the guard made an announcement asking for "the officer to show his warrant card" to someone so they understood they should leave the train. After arrival at Waterloo, 3 announcements tried to convince us that we were actually in Hounslow! On the 18.05 from Waterloo, a window in the 1st carriage of unit 444 022 was smashed and marked with tape.
28/06/07 Recycling sacks chewed open on the approach to Totton station. The concourse displays have been replaced at London Waterloo but none of the information screens at the entrance to each platform are working. Somewhat worrying sight of two Siemens engineers plugging a laptop into the 16.35 from Waterloo and studying the screen. On board the 16.35, fellow passengers were discussing how they had been told to be in the rear 5 carriages for Bournemouth and Weymouth by staff at Waterloo and the difficulty of moving forward in the train with their cases. The guard also advised at least 3 other passengers that they were in the wrong half of the train - one remarked "we've been hoodwinked then". The general sense of confusion was not helped by the incorrect announcement in the rear half of the train at Southampton that "this train is for Weymouth and the next station is Bournemouth".
29/06/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.46. Pure guesswork to get to the right platform at Waterloo this evening as only about 1 in 4 of the passenger information screens in the subway is working. Passengers on the 18.35 from Waterloo were welcomed on board by a beggar walking through the carriage asking for money. Guard on rear half of the train after it split at Southampton Central apologised in advance in case the automated announcements gave the wrong stopping pattern and then said we were on the 20.55 service from Southampton (instead of the 19.55!).
02/07/07 Totton ticket office will apparently be open only a couple of hours today - and this will be repeated most of the rest of week. Announcements about no smoking on station platforms incorrectly refer to government regulations as platforms are not "substantially enclosed". 07.07 from Totton to Romsey left before its scheduled departure time. After the 07.16 from Totton arrived at Waterloo, 4 automated announcements advised passengers that were now at Petersfield. On the ramp to the Waterloo & City line, the display screens installed during the extended closure last year are blank (for two of the screens) or showing "no satellite signal received" (the remaining screen). This evening 7 screens in the subway were out of use.
03/07/07 More disturbed rubbish on the approach to Totton station. As the 06.46 from Totton passed through Wimbledon, the departure indicators on the platform were showing times after 19.00. 5 minutes late at Waterloo. Still many screens out of action in the subway. Some discussion on the 18.05 from Waterloo as to why it doesn't stop at Ashurst.
04/07/07 Totton ticket office closed at 06.45. As the 06.46 from Totton passed through Wimbledon, the departure indicator on platform 7 was showing a 19.02 departure. As we arrived at Waterloo, an automated announcement reported we were now at Petersfield. Multiple screens not working in the subway under the platforms. Joining the 18.35 at Waterloo it was announced that is was "now approaching its final stop, London Waterloo". Also welcomed on board by a beggar walking through the carriage asking for money, but for the first time he was spotted by SWT staff "excuse me - off". The 18.35 from Waterloo left Totton before its scheduled departure time.
05/07/07 Totton ticket office closed at 07.15. Multiple screens not working in the Waterloo subway.
06/07/07 Rubbish in the approach road to Totton station. Totton ticket office closed at 07.15. This evening it was platform lottery in the Waterloo subway as you had just to guess the platform to go to with so many screens out of action. The 19.05 from Waterloo was announced as "approaching its final destination, London Waterloo", then the in-carriage displays showed the service incorrectly as for "Portsmouth Harbour via Guildford".
09/07/07 Arrived at Totton to find the 06.46 to Waterloo already in the station with the doors closing well before its scheduled departure time. The driver said he had no control over the first door as I objected "you're too early", but fortunately the guard looked out again and reopened the doors. As we passed through Wimbledon, the platform indicator was showing a 01.05 departure to Strawberry Hill. Multiple screens not working in the subway at Waterloo. The 18.05 departed late (and very full) from Waterloo due to "awaiting signal". 5 minutes late at Totton.
10/07/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45 - the office is currently running at considerably less than 50% of its advertised opening hours.
11/07/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 07.15. When the 20.05 from Waterloo reached Totton the platform announcement said "please join the front 5 coaches for [list of stations]", not that you had any choice as only the doors on the front 5 coaches were open.
12/07/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45. Multiple screens not working in the subway at Waterloo - and this evening people are standing and blocking the subway due to the location of a departure summary screen. On the 18.05 from Waterloo the guard apologised for the late departure - awaiting signal due to "backlog of trains due to the earlier signal problems outside Waterloo." 5 minutes late at Totton.
13/07/07 Totton ticket office open this morning - the first time for 3 days. 06.06 from Totton had been cancelled on Tuesday and Wednesday. A fellow passenger reported that the 07.07 to Romsey left 3 minutes early! The 07.16 from Totton left Southampton Central before its scheduled departure time. Multiple screens not working in the subway under the platforms at Waterloo. On the 18.35 from Waterloo, the guard warbled on at considerable length about how the weekend free tickets issued to season ticket holders were not valid on this train. Then shouted another announcement that full price tickets only sold on the train. The guard apologised for the late departure due to an "earlier incident at Hinton Admiral" (around 09.00 this morning!) causing trains to and from London Waterloo to be delayed.
16/07/07 On the 06.46 from Totton, the guard announced "delays in the Clapham Junction area of about 15 minutes due to trespassers on the line earlier at Earlsfield". 17 minutes late at Waterloo.
17/07/07 On the 06.46 from Totton, a passenger was gently panicking over the fact that she had been advised at Brockenhurst to join our train as "the Virgin train had not yet reached Bournemouth". However, at Southampton Central the guard advised that the Virgin train was running, albeit late, and advised those passengers to change at Winchester. The guard later apologised for slow running as "they have engineering problems between Berrylands and Surbiton", that had "unfortunately caused congestion" and we were "in a tailback of trains at the moment". 20 minutes late at Waterloo due to "signal and points problems in the Berrylands area".
18/07/07 The 07.16 from Totton was 5 minutes late at Waterloo. Joining the 19.05 from Waterloo, passengers were advised they were "now approaching the final stop, London Waterloo".
19/07/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45. The 06.46 from Totton was 4 minutes late at Waterloo due to "speed restrictions after Winchester". Passengers on the 18.05 from Waterloo were welcomed on board by a beggar walking through the carriage asking for money.
20/07/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45. The 06.46 from Totton stopped before Esher due to "signal failure in the Berrylands area" also reported as "track problems in the Berrylands area". 20 minutes late at Waterloo. Joining the 18.35 from Waterloo, passengers were advised they were "now approaching the final stop, London Waterloo". The guard made a very faint announcement of an additional stop at Basingstoke due to "earlier disruption due to the weather".
23/07/07 In the Waterloo subway, the screen at the top of stairs from Waterloo & City line is still not working. The 18.05 from Waterloo stopped at St Denys with no reason given - 7 minutes late at Totton. Noted a broken window on the 1st carriage of unit 444 014.
24/07/07 On the 18.05 from Waterloo there were two announcements "Can the guard please contact the driver" before we left Waterloo.
25/07/07 Temporary staff in Totton ticket office. The 06.46 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time, to stand for 9 minutes at Southampton Central awaiting the rear half of the train.
26/07/07 Temporary staff member in Totton ticket office is apparently covering for the normal member who is working "in the office" at Southampton. On the 07.46 from Totton, the driver apologised for slow running as the "signalman has brought us down from 100mph due to a train in front of us". The 19.05 from Waterloo was uncleaned and still displaying reservation tickets from the incoming service.
27/07/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45. In the Waterloo subway, the screen at the top of the stairs from Waterloo & City line is still not working.
30/07/07 On the 06.46 from Totton the guard apologised that there was only one buffet trolley on the train. On the approach to Winchester the driver apologised for slow progress due to "a Freightliner being put in front of us in the Eastleigh area". The guard later apologised for the 20 minutes delay into Waterloo which was now due to a "failed train". Beggar on the 18.05 from Waterloo before departure. 4 minutes late at Totton.
31/07/07 Temporary ticket office staff at Totton. The 06.46 from Totton stopped without an announcement, but once moving again passengers heard the announcement "can the guard please contact the driver". The guard then reported that a delay at Hampton Court was due to some cables on fire. 10 minutes late at Waterloo.
01/08/07 The 07.16 from Totton was 5 minutes late at Waterloo with no reason given. The same beggar on the 18.05 from Waterloo before departure.
02/08/07 The 06.46 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time. Stopped on the approach to Basingstoke with no reason given. Guard later apologised for the "slight delay" into Waterloo due to a reason that was inaudible in the carriage.
03/08/07 This morning, Southampton Central staff were too busy chatting with colleagues to staff the ticket gate. The non-working screens on the ramp to the Waterloo & City ramp screens are apparently the responsibility of Tube Lines. In the Waterloo subway, the screen at top of the stairs from Waterloo & City line is still not working. Joining the 18.35 at Waterloo heard the announcement that the train was "now approaching its final stop, London Waterloo".
06/08/07 - 10/08/07 Did not travel.
13/08/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 07.10 with lots of litter on the platform, including a BT phone book resting against the ticket office door. At 07.12 the queue for the platform ticket machine was 3 deep with at least one person giving up as the 07.16 was announced and the final person getting their ticket printed just as the train was pulling into the platform (after a note was rejected by the machine several times). The 07.16 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time. On the 18.35 from Waterloo the usual beggar was asking for money before departure. The 19.51 from Totton to Waterloo was running 10 minutes late at Totton.
14/08/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.40 with lots of litter on the platform and parts of the fence missing at the bottom of the bridge steps. In the subway under the platforms at Waterloo, the screen at the top of the stairs from Waterloo & City line is still not working. Joining the 18.35 from Waterloo, the automatic announcement that we were now approaching London Waterloo was cut off by the guard. In response to announcements about being in the right half of the train, a passenger was heard to say "unless you have counted the carriages as you got on, how are you supposed to know". Inadequate air conditioning in the carriage. After splitting at Southampton Central, the rear half was announced (automatically) as a service back to London Waterloo, before another announcement (by the guard) which announced the correct stopping patterns without referring to the incorrect one just made. 5 minutes late at Totton - no reason given.
15/08/07 On the 08.00 from Southampton Central the guard announced "as a result of an earlier train, we are leaving Woking 6 minutes late", but by the time we got to Waterloo this was "sorry for the delay which was due to a train in front of us at Basingstoke that was running late". A few minutes after the 20.05 from Waterloo departed, it was announced that the next station would be Winchester - but the train stopped at Clapham Junction and Basingstoke before it got to Winchester. At Southampton Central a notice said that from 19 August car park users will be penalty charged or clamped if they park outside the marked bays - but the markings are particularly indistinct.
16/08/07 Totton ticket office closed at 06.45 with lots of litter on the platform, and the BT phone book still there. On the 18.05 from Waterloo, an automated announcement at Winchester about the "short platform at this station" was followed by the guard advising passengers to "ignore the last announcement". 6 minutes late at Totton - no reason given.
17/08/07 Totton ticket office closed at 06.45 with passengers having to step around disgraceful amounts of litter on the platform, including a BT phone book that has been there since Monday and is now strewn across the platform. The 06.46 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time, rushing to stand at Southampton Central for 9 minutes. After the Weymouth portion joined at Southampton Central, the guard announced that there would be only one buffet trolley on the train, which is happening quite frequently now. The guard apologised for delay into London Waterloo due to "emergency speed restrictions" - 5 minutes late at Waterloo. The 18.05 from Waterloo stopped sharply after Southampton Airport Parkway and the guard announced that the alarm cord had been pulled and "I shall have to walk through the entire train to reset it". Lots of rubbish still on the platform at Totton, clearly not having been cleaned now for some days.
20/08/07 Totton station an absolute rubbish tip. Someone was in the ticket office at 05.45, but the ticket window was closed and the ticket machine on the platform was flashing a red light. The 05.48 from Totton left Southampton Central before its scheduled departure time. The 16.35 from Waterloo left before its scheduled departure time.
21/08/07 Totton station was open at 05.45 with a temporary staff member and while the larger items of rubbish had been picked up, there were still lots of paper and discarded tickets on the platform. The 19.05 from Waterloo was shown as due to arrive at 19.09 but without a platform allocation - seasoned commuters could however check the arrivals board to see that the Weymouth service was due to arrive at 19.09 on platform 11. The guard on the 19.05 reported that the inbound delay was due to "signalling problems in the Dorchester area". At 19.18 however the guard announced that there was a fault on the train in the "computer area" as "the computer is not responding to the train" and engineers had been called. At 19.27, the train was ready to leave as the "computer has been rebooted". Left at 19.30 when the guard explained that the "quick turnaround caused the computer to go wrong and we had to get an engineer to come and reprogram it, which he did successfully". 25 minutes late at Totton.
22/08/07 Totton ticket office open at 05.40 with a temporary staff member. The "permanent" staff member, who has not been in the office for some time now, is apparently likely to be working at Southampton Central for some months, covering for staff sickness. Litter building up on the platforms again. The 05.48 from Totton was delayed outside Eastleigh. The guard apologised twice without knowing what the problem was. After continuing the guard reported "overrunning engineering works" caused "some congestion into Eastleigh" - running 7 minutes late from Eastleigh. On the 19.05 from Waterloo the guard announced "my name is Theresa and your driver today is Stuart". As the next station was announced as Winchester shortly after leaving Waterloo the guard commented "we are not arriving at Winchester. Please ignore the last announcement" and "this is Clapham Junction, this is not Winchester". The guard also requested passengers to tell staff about suspicious articles "don't sit and worry, that's the last thing we want you to do" - as it indeed could be! 5 minutes late at Southampton Central "due to a signal issue back before Basingstoke".
23/08/07 Did not travel.
24/08/07 Totton ticket office open at 06.45 but litter still on the platform.
27/08/07 Bank Holiday.
28/08/07 Totton ticket office open at 07.15 with temporary staff; litter on the platform. On the 07.16 from Totton, passengers were treated to feedback over the intercom at Southampton Central. The 07.11 Virgin service was running 19 minutes late and was sent up the line ahead of us. Double "you must buy a ticket" announcements - one after another. After Winchester, there were no automatic announcements due to "a problem with the system". 10 minutes late at Waterloo due to "signal problems at London Waterloo". All 3 screens by the ramp to the Waterloo & City line are now blank.
29/08/07 Totton ticket office open at 07.15; litter on the platform. The 07.16 from Totton left Southampton Airport Parkway before its scheduled departure time. On the 19.05 from Waterloo the buffet steward announced that he was serving from the buffet but could not open the shutters. The usual beggar on was on the train before departure.
30/08/07 Totton ticket office open at 05.50 with temporary staff member who expects to be staffing for "at least 3 days a week for 6 months". Litter on the station and a flashing red light on the ticket machine. Season ticket no longer operates ticket barriers on the Waterloo & City line. Returning to Totton this evening, noted that litter on the bridge has been there since yesterday at least.
31/08/07 Totton ticket office open at 06.45 with temporary staff. The ticket machine has a handwritten label "Cards only. Cash out of order" - so what are those without bank cards (under-18s and less well-off members of society) supposed to do when the ticket office is closed from lunchtime, given that SWT has removed the permit to travel machine. The 06.46 from Totton left Southampton Central before its scheduled departure time, commented on by a fellow passenger who also expressed annoyance at hearing the "you must buy a ticket to get on one of our trains" for the more than hundredth time. On the 18.35 from Waterloo we stood at Winchester for 7 minutes after the departure time which the driver announced as due to "an incident on board - the guard is awaiting the attendance of a revenue protection officer." Despite cheery assurances that we would catch up some time in the Southampton area, 8 minutes late at Totton.
01/09/07 Following failure of my faded (second) season ticket to work ticket barriers any more, went into the Southampton Central Travel Centre to obtain a replacement. Was served very slowly by a staff member who had to ask colleagues for assistance three times, while stating that they had worked there for 25 years!
03/09/07 At Totton at 07.15, the passenger information display was showing "Owing to a fault, no information can be displayed at present". The new replacement (third this year) season ticket fails to work in the Waterloo & City line ticket barriers. Returning to Totton this evening, noted that the information display was still showing a fault.
04/09/07 Walked to work from Waterloo due to Tube strike and walked back again after work.
05/09/07 Still no Waterloo & City line service despite the Tube strike being suspended yesterday evening, so walked to work again.
06/09/07 The 06.06 from Totton left early. Blank passenger information screen at Millbrook. 06.21 to Fratton left early from Southampton Central. Waterloo & City line closed due to fire alert at Bank. On the 18.05 from Waterloo the "next station is Winchester" announcement ("change here for [other destinations]") was made before Clapham Junction. 5 minutes late at Totton - no reason given.
07/09/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45. Returning to Totton this evening, noted that the litter on the platform had been seen there yesterday.
10/09/07 Underground staff blame SWT software for the failure of the new ticket to work.
11/09/07 Temporary staff in Totton ticket office suggest that a faulty batch of stationery was responsible for the failure of the new ticket to work. The 06.46 from Totton stopped outside Basingstoke - the guard announced "there are no seats available anywhere on this train". 7 minutes late at Waterloo.
12/09/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 05.45.
13/09/07 On the 06.46 from Totton, the automated announcement of the train's stopping pattern included all the stations it had already been through. Approaching Waterloo, the guard advised that there were no reported problems on London Underground, but I found that the Waterloo & City line had been closed since 07.15 due to faulty radios. 19.05 announced Winchester as the next station before passing Clapham Junction.
14/09/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45. Waterloo & City line suspended (again) due to signal problems / points failure at Waterloo / radio problems (depending on which message you believed). Waterloo & City line suspended (yet again) this evening due to signalling problems at Bank. The 18.35 from Waterloo was 5 minutes late at Winchester due to "following a preceding service from Basingstoke". At Southampton Central, the incorrect announcement "this train is for Weymouth, the next station is Bournemouth" was made in the rear 5 carriages.
17/09/07 Did not travel.
18/09/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 05.45. Litter on the platform. Joining the 18.35 from Waterloo this evening, heard 4 announcements that we were "approaching London Waterloo" and 2 announcements to "take all your belongings with you when you leave the train" before we left. At Southampton Central, the regular incorrect announcement that "this train is for Weymouth, the next station is Bournemouth" panicked a Totton-bound passenger in the rear 5 carriages.
19/09/07 - 21/09/07 Did not travel.
24/09/07 Totton ticket office was lit but shut at 07.15. On the 07.16 from Totton, the rear portion was announced on the train as running 9 minutes late from Weymouth but this was not shown on the platform indicators which resolutely insisted that we would leave on time. Left Southampton 6 minutes late; 9 minutes late at Waterloo. The 18.05 from Waterloo was delayed after Southampton Parkway due to "a car striking the level crossing barriers at Mount Pleasant" - 9 minutes late at Totton.
25/09/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 06.45. On the 06.46 from Totton the guard issued "apologies for delay to passing through Basingstoke due to an ambulance being called to a preceding service". Delays on London Underground were reported to be due to "lack of available trains"
26/09/07 New replacement season ticket did not even work the ticket barriers at Southampton Central ("code 99"). Replaced again and now working - the fourth ticket I have needed since January for the same annual season ticket. As the 21.05 from Waterloo reached Southampton, anyone could wander at will into this "secure station" as the ticket barriers had all been left open.
27/09/07 Totton ticket office was closed at 07.45. On the 07.46 from Totton, noted at Southampton Central that the 08.18 to Romsey was shown as cancelled "due to a shortage of traincrews". 20 minutes late at Waterloo having been running late since Basingstoke, with the only announcement being on the approach to Waterloo that the guard did not know of the reason for the delay but that there was "congestion".
28/09/07 Totton ticket office shut at 06.45 - a notice on a nearby window reported that they were relaying the floor this week. On the 18.05 from Waterloo there was no buffet in the front half of the train.
POOR PERFORMANCE, A MAJOR CAUSE OF OVERCROWDING ON SWT
Note: These details are snapshots, based on passengers' own experiences and website information. Delays should be seen in the context that Stagecoach is generally operating the slowest services since steam. Our 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. On many days the loss of peak seats will significantly outweigh the additional seats which Stagecoach boasts of having introduced, adding to the stress and discomfort caused by the ripping out of seats from suburban trains.
Sunday 01/07/07 06.44 Waterloo-Windsor 30 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Twickenham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.09 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late. 08.15 Waterloo-Plymouth 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.06 Plymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late and REDUCED TO 3 COACHES, DUE TO DUFF STOK. Fatality in Dorset. Passengers on the 15.35 and 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. Passengers on the 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Holton Heath. 17.09 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Wareham. 18.54 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Monday 02/07/07 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES INCLUDING A SUBURBAN UNIT. 20.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Tuesday 03/07/07 07.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.10 Chessington-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.57 Brighton-Reading AXED between Brighton and Havant. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late from Winchester. 21.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Wednesday 04/07/07 07.12 Waterloo-Shepperton FAILED at Sunbury. Passengers on the 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Wimbledon DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 14.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 9 minutes late. 14.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED. 14.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 16.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late.
Thursday 05/07/07 06.00 Eastleigh-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 06.50 Havant-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; Fleet and Clapham Junction stops AXED in favour of additional stops at Micheldever and Woking. 08.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 09.12 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops between Ascot and Waterloo AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 10.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 32 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Guildford and Fratton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 10.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.09 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES; passengers THROWN OFF at Havant. 16.54 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 19 minutes late. 17.42 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton 18 minutes late. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 16 minutes late. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Fratton and Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Havant. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Basingstoke.
Friday 06/07/07 06.15 Yeovil-Exeter 30 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; passengers THROWN OFF at Exeter Central. 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo 30 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Yeovil. 07.28 Waterloo-Windsor 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.00 Exeter-Honiton AXED between Exeter St David’s and Exeter Central. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 34 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Salisbury. 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton DUE TO NO CREW. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.15 Gillingham-Waterloo AXED between Gillingham and Salisbury. 17.46 Waterloo-Chessington 10 minutes late. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Saturday 07/07/07 08.12 Waterloo-Shepperton 11 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.20 Waterloo-Woking AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.33 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.03 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Sunday 08/07/07 11.24 Eastleigh-Portsmouth 25 minutes late. 11.25 Yeovil-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.52 Woking-Waterloo 22 minutes late.
Monday 09/07/07 15.44 Alton-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 54 minutes late. 16.08 Guildford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.20 Hampton Court-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.33 Waterloo-Guildford 24 minutes late. 16.39 Waterloo-Hilsea 19 minutes late. 16.39 Waterloo-Guildford 21 minutes late. 16.40 Chessington-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 20 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Havant 16 minutes late. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil 11 minutes late. 16.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 16.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 17.20 Waterloo-Woking 14 minutes late. 17.25 Waterloo-Alton 29 minutes late. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late. 17.34 Guildford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.40 Chessington-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 17.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 17.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 18.50 Dorking-Waterloo 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst.
Tuesday 10/07/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst. 05.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton 16 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at St Denys DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 06.06 Totton-Yeovil AXED between Totton and Southampton. 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED between Southampton and St Denys. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.55 Basingstoke-Southampton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 06.56 Reading-Brighton AXED between Reading and Winchester. 07.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.30 Southampton-Poole AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.52 Bristol-Salisbury AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst.
Wednesday 11/07/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 06.06 Totton-Yeovil AXED between Totton and Southampton FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW. 08.25 Exeter-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo diverted via Netley. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst.
Thursday 12/07/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. Doors on 06.06 Totton-Yeovil closed 40 seconds early and train departed 20 seconds early. 08.57 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late; stops at Parkstone, Branksome, Pokesdown, Christchurch and New Milton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.05 Waterloo-Poole 26 minutes late. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 24 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 21.00 Exeter-Salisbury 14 minutes late. 22.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst.
Friday 13/07/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 07.37 Waterloo-Hounslow AXED. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late; stops at New Milton, Christchurch and Pokesdown AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Poole portion of the 17.05 from Waterloo 45 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 39 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late and REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.01 Reading-Brighton AXED between Reading and Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.39 Waterloo-Guildford 47 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 20.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 48 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 20.46 Waterloo-Chessington 46 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 20.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 21.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 22.08 Guildford-Waterloo AXED. 22.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 22.53 Waterloo-Alton REDUCED TO 8 coaches.
Saturday 14/07/07 04.00 Guildford-Waterloo 61 minutes late. 04.52 Twickenham-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 05.00 Waterloo-Haslemere 12 minutes late. Passengers on the 12.39 Waterloo-Guildford THROWN OFF at Ewell West DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.28 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 21 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 21.30 Southampton-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 22.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Havant.
Sunday 15/07/07 09.56 Reading-Brighton AXED between Reading and Basingstoke. 13.50 Penzance-Waterloo AXED between Penzance and Exeter DUE TO NO CREW. 16.25 Waterloo-Windsor AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.54 Reading-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 18.00 Waterloo-Guildford 18 minutes late. 18.10 Waterloo-Guildford 21 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking 30 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; passengers THROWN OFF at Staines. 19.52 Woking-Waterloo AXED between Woking and Staines DUE TO NO CREW. 20.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Monday 16/07/07 Alleged trespass on tracks in the Waterloo area at the start of the morning peak. Big delays, cancellations and omissions of stops. Typical were the 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo (20 minutes late) and 05.45 Poole-Waterloo (16 minutes late). TOTAL CHAOS AT WATERLOO BECAUSE ALL INFORMATION WAS REMOVED FROM THE SCREENS FOR LONG PERIODS IN FAVOIUR OF A FEAST OF WARNINGS ABOUT PENALTY FARES. A STAND ON THE CONCOURSE ADVISED THAT SERVICES WERE NORMAL ON ALL ROUTES. 15.08 Guildford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 15.15 Alton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. Passengers on the 15.24 Basingstoke-Brighton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh DUE TO NO CREW. 15.54 Waterloo-Dorking AXED. 16.10 Chessington-Waterloo AXED between Chessington and Earlsfield. 16.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED between Hampton Court and Earlsfield. 17.05 Dorking-Waterloo AXED. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 7 minutes late. 17.57 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED between Brighton and Fareham DUE TO NO CREW. 18.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Epsom AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.02 Waterloo-Guildford 11 minutes late. 19.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court 11 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction 14 minutes late.
Tuesday 17/07/07 About 8 first-class ticket holders failed to get first-class seats on the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo. This train, like others, was late into Waterloo due to alleged signalling problems at Surbiton, though another train was suspiciously stationary on the up fast track. 07.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late. Level crossing problems on the Richmond line. Chaos for passengers through many evening peak services being diverted via Brentford. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 20 minutes late. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 18.07 Weybridge-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 8 minutes late. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Epsom AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.09 Waterloo-Dorking 24 minutes late.
Wednesday 18/07/07 DUFF TRAIN at Liss caused early chaos for Portsmouth-Waterloo commuters. 04.30/05.18/05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo diverted via Eastleigh. 06.33 Staines-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Hilsea. Huge late morning delays to trains via Richmond due to signalling problems. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton 18 minutes late. 14.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late. 16.05 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.56 Havant-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. Poole portion of the 17.35 from Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Barnes AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES AND THEN AXED DUE TO TRAIN LATE FROM DEPOT. 18.35 Southampton-Portsmouth 11 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES, passengers THROWN OFF at Havant. 19.20 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Thursday 19/07/07 00.09 Waterloo-Guildford AXED between Woking and Guildford. 04.00 Guildford-Waterloo AXED between Guildford and Woking. End of morning peak severely disrupted DUE TO DUFF TRAIN in the Waterloo area. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter REDUCED TO 3 COACHES. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. Passengers on the 17.10 Chessington-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Raynes Park. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.54 Waterloo-Dorking AXED. 18.50 Dorking-Waterloo AXED.
Friday 20/07/07 06.35 Woking-Waterloo AXED. 07.29 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. Heavy rain during day: Journey Check facility on SWT’s website unable to deal with volume of enquiries. Down trains unable to call at Earlsfield or Hook. All services between Waterloo and Shepperton AXED during afternoon and evening. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 52 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 22 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late. Duff air conditioning and severe overcrowding on the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 19 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late. 17.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 60 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.20 Exeter-Waterloo 69 minutes late. 18.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 16 minutes late. 18.31 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.43 Southampton-Winchester AXED. 18.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 19.30 Guildford-Ascot 15 minutes late. 19.25 Waterloo-Alton AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late. 20.23 Waterloo-Alton 20 minutes late; West Byfleet and Surbiton stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 21.20 Waterloo-Yeovil 23 minutes late.
Saturday 21/07/07 06.19 Woking-Portsmouth 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops between Woking and Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.30 Honiton-Paignton 34 minutes late. 17.57 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED between Brighton and Chichester DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED between Axminster and Honiton.
Sunday 22/07/07 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 07.11 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and Teddington. 18.10 Basingstoke-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 21.45 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Monday 23/07/07 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. Doors on the 06.06 Totton-Yeovil closed 40 seconds early; train then departed 8 seconds late. 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo delayed at Southampton. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.37 Twickenham-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.05 Portsmouth-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 27 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.42 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED. Passengers on the 16.02 Southampton-Wareham THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 16.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 16.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 6 minutes late. Poole portion of the 17.05 from Waterloo 5 minutes late from Southampton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.59 Wareham-Bournemouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 20.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 23.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 10 minutes late. Passengers on the 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke.
Tuesday 24/07/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.12 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 20 minutes late. 16.03 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo 36 minutes late.
Wednesday 25/07/07 Brockenhurst-Lymington services collapsed all day due to signalling problems. 07.37 Waterloo-Hounslow AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 15.41 Shepperton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Norbiton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 36 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.54 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 18.55 Southampton-Waterloo 23 minutes late. Passengers on the 18.57 Brighton-Reading THROWN OFF at Basingstoke DUE TO NO CREW. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 19 minutes late. 20.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late. 21.05 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late. 21.55 Reading-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Thursday 26/07/07 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 05.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 40 MINUTES LATE DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 07.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.02 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 15 minutes late. 08.52 Waterloo-Weybridge REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 15.37 Haslemere-Waterloo AXED between Haslemere and Guildford. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED. 20.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late.
Friday 27/07/07 06.06 Totton-Yeovil AXED. Fleet stop of the 21.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED. 22.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Ashstead. 22.52 Waterloo-Woking 7 minutes late. Fleet stop of the 22.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED.
Saturday 28/07/07 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 19.01 Poole-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 35 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 55 minutes late. 19.55 Southampton-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Southampton 12 minutes late. 21.32 Reading-Portsmouth AXED between Reading and Winchester. Fleet and Farnborough stops of the 21.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED. 22.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 30 minutes late; Fleet and Farnborough stops AXED.
Sunday 29/07/07 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 07.10 Salisbury-Exeter 18 minutes late. 07.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 08.46 Honiton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 09.26 Eastleigh-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 15.15 Waterloo-Exeter 19 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Yeovil 7 minutes late. 16.54 Reading-Waterloo 29 minutes late. DUFF STOCK on the 17.27 Waterloo-Hampton Court; train failed at Clapham Junction. 17.34 Windsor-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 18.35 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.39 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late.
Monday 30/07/07 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 6 minutes late. Despite so many early starts, the 06.06 from Totton to Yeovil arrived late from the sidings and left at 06.08. DUFF TRAIN at Micheldever severely delayed morning peak trains. For example, 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 25 minutes late; 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 15.00 Guildford-Ascot 24 minutes late. 15.30 Guildford-Ascot 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Southampton.
Tuesday 31/07/07 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 05.23 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 05.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO BEING HELD AT WOKING FOR ANOTHER LATE TRAIN TO OVERTAKE. 06.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 06.30 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED. 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED. 07.00 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 08.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Torre. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo AXED between Exeter and Yeovil. 15.28 Waterloo-Windsor 11 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late and formed of the stock designated for the 17.05 to Weymouth, the latter being formed of the stock designated for the 17.35 to Weymouth. 16.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; Farnborough stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter REDUCED TO 6 COACHES. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 21.00 Exeter-Waterloo 21 minutes. 21.05 Waterloo-Poole 25 minutes late.
Wednesday 01/08/07 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED between Yeovil and Salisbury DUE TO NO CREW. 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 37 minutes late. Passengers on the 14.52 Waterloo-Weybridge THROWN OFF at Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.57 Brighton-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.04 Reading-Brighton 13 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED between Weybridge and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.01 Reading-Brighton AXED between Reading and Brighton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.08 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 20.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 9 minutes late.
Thursday 02/08/07 06.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17minutes late. Passengers on the 07.12 Waterloo-Brighton THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.54 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 08.02 Dorking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Friday 03/08/07 07.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED DUER TO DUFF STOCK. 08.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 21 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Late morning fatality at Weybridge; massive delays and cancellations throughout the afternoon. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 37 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Exeter. 13.55 Southampton-Waterloo 34 minutes late; stops at Fleet, Farnborough and Clapham Junction AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo delayed; all intermediate stops between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 37 minutes late; stops at Surbiton, Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 14.53 Waterloo-Alton 36 minutes late; all intermediate stops except Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Haslemere AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Guildford AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.33 Woking-Waterloo AXED. DUFF STOCK on the 17.11 Shepperton-Waterloo; all intermediate stops after Kingston AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter.
Saturday 04/08/07 06.42 Reading-Waterloo 50 minutes late; Feltham, Twickenham and Richmond stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 36 minutes late. 13.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late; Petersfield and Haslemere stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 13.55 Southampton-Waterloo 31 minutes late; all intermediate stops except Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.37 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED between Brighton and Fareham. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 15.30 Exeter-Honiton AXED. Passengers on the 15.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Woking. 15.57 Brighton-Reading 17 minutes late. 16.01 Honiton-Exeter AXED. 16.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Guildford. 17.39 Haslemere-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole AXED. Passengers on the 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Guildford. An additional train ran at 18.55 from Waterloo to Poole stopping only at Southampton Central, Brockenhurst, Bournemouth, Branksome and Parkstone; 9 minutes late. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Guildford. 20.30 Guildford-Aldershot AXED. 20.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. Passengers on the 20.53 Windsor-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Staines.
Sunday 05/08/07 Overrunning engineering works: 06.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 35 minutes late; 07.26 Salisbury-Waterloo 17 minutes late; 08.09 Basingstoke-Paignton diverted via Southampton and 41 minutes late.
Monday 06/08/07 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 05.05 Eastleigh-Southampton AXED. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 08.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED between Waterloo and Woking DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED.
Tuesday 07/08/07 Passengers on the 00.40 Woking-Alton THROWN OFF at Aldershot. 06.42 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 07.10 Havant-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 08.00 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 50 minutes late. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. Passengers on the 19.45 Waterloo-Havant THROWN OFF at Haslemere. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth had all intermediate stops between Woking and Fratton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo had all intermediate stops between Fratton and Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury THROWN OFF at Southampton.
Wednesday 08/08/07 SWT’s live running site unobtainable for much of the day and customer information system on stations out of use. 20.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 14 minutes late.
Thursday 09/08/07 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo AXED between Honiton and Salisbury DUE TO NO CREW. 06.32 Woking-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.50 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Morning signalling problems at Basingstoke. 10.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late. 10.39 Waterloo-Southampton “delayed”. 10.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 10.50 Waterloo-Salisbury “delayed”. 11.15 Waterloo-Haslemere diverted; Woking stop AXED. 11.24 Basingstoke-Brighton “delayed”. 11.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo “delayed”. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 11.40 Chessington-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.57 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED between Brighton and Hove. 14.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.05 Waterloo-Poole REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late and REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK; Hamworthy and Holton Heath stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 23.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Haslemere.
Friday 10/08/07 Rowlands Castle, Liss and Liphook stops of the 04.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 06.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 14 minutes late. 07.54 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 08.24 Waterloo-Dorking AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park. 13.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 57 minutes late. 14.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 14.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; passengers THROWN OFF at Havant. 15.57 Brighton-Reading AXED between Brighton and Barnham. 16.05 Waterloo-Poole 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.09 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Farnham DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Saturday 11/08/07 07.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Bracknell. 07.20 Waterloo-Reading 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. ALL intermediate stops of the 07.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED between Hounslow and Barnes DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late. 08.00 Romsey-Totton 40 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Southampton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 08.24 Basingstoke-Brighton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.42 Reading-Waterloo 23 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late due to passengers transferring between trains (COULD THIS HAVE BEEN DUE TO OPERATOR ERROR?). 11.42 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.15 Waterloo-Haslemere AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.39 Haslemere-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 22.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 12/08/07 09.15 Waterloo-Paignton 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.40 Salisbury-Brighton 10 minutes late.
Monday 13/08/07 05.45 Salisbury-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and Twickenham DUE TO NO CREW. 07.50 Waterloo-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.48 Effingham Junction-Waterloo AXED between Effingham Junction and Waterloo DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 15.20 Waterloo-Yeovil THROWN OFF at Salisbury DUE TO NO CREW. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.54 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.56 Salisbury-Bristol AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 22.45 Bristol-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Tuesday 14/08/07 07.24 Basingstoke Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.54 Poole-Waterloo “delayed” at Parkstone, the first stop. 14.20 Waterloo-Reading 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops before Feltham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. Putney, Wandsworth and Queenstown Road stops of the 15.03 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.05 Waterloo-Poole AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.50 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Wednesday 15/08/07 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 07.12 Waterloo-Brighton AXED between Waterloo and Woking DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Brockenhurst-Lymington service AXED for several hours during the morning peak DUE TO DUFF SLAM-DOOR STOCK. 08.42 Reading-Waterloo “DELAYED” DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 22.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 19 minutes late.
Thursday 16/8/07 05.05 Waterloo-Reading “delayed” DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 05.15 Guildford-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.42 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 07.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.01 Totton-Romsey AXED between Totton and Redbridge. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. Passengers on the 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Southampton. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 23 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED between Waterloo and Southampton.
Friday 17/08/07 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES (4 of them suburban stock). 07.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.57 Southampton-Weymouth 12 minutes late. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 20.50 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 23.00 Romsey-Southampton “delayed” DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Saturday 18/08/07 06.06 Totton-Yeovil 25 minutes late and AXED between Totton and Eastleigh. 06.42 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 08.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late. 10.02 Haslemere-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 11.01 Poole-Waterloo 54 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Southampton Central AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 13.28 Waterloo-Windsor 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.15 Waterloo-Haslemere “delayed” DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Friday 31/08/07 Passengers on the 22.33 Weybridge-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Vauxhall DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Saturday 01/09/07 09.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 24 minutes late. 09.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 09.43 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 10.10 Exeter-Waterloo, 11.00 Weymouth-Waterloo and 12.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo all delayed due to a vehicle striking a road bridge. 10.15 Waterloo-Haslemere 11 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 10.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minutes late. 10.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 11.01 Poole-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 11.09 Waterloo-Guildford 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 11.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 11.55 Southampton-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 11.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Passengers on the 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth THROWN OFF at Exeter. 12.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 30 minutes late; stops at Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames and Surbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 12.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 25 minutes late DUE TONO CREW; passengers THROWN OFF at Fareham DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.42 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter.
Sunday 02/09/07 07.32 Woking-Havant AXED between Woking and Guildford. 07.50 Havant-Waterloo AXED. 16.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.45 Guildford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Surbiton.
Monday 03/09/07 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 31 minutes late. 15.01 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 15.16 Brockenhurst-Wareham 16 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.23 Windsor-Waterloo Axed between Windsor and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury THROWN OFF at Southampton DUE TO NO CREW.
Tuesday 04/09/07 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 07.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 7 minutes late. 16.05 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.20 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.32 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 06/09/07 07.20 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late.
Friday 07/09/07 07.20 Waterloo-Reading 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Monday 10/09/07 Frimley, Camberley and Bagshot stops of the 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 14.57 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED between Brighton and Havant. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED to 4 coaches. 18.16 Waterloo-Chessington REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Wednesday 12/09/07 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading 19 minutes late. 18.45 Salisbury-Waterloo AXED.
Thursday 13/09/07 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo 6 minutes late DUE TO NO STOCK IN PLACE; Liss and Liphook stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.10 Havant-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO STOCK IN PLACE. 07.12 Waterloo-Brighton 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.23 Waterloo-Alton 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth THROWN OFF at Exeter. 16.05 Dorking-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Epsom AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 19 minutes late. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter.
Friday 14/09/07 05.05 Eastleigh-Southampton AXED. 06.06 Totton-Yeovil DEPARTED 45 SECONDS EARLY. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 07.33 Waterloo-Guildford AXED. 07.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 13.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 10 minutes late. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Saturday 15/09/07 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.45 Wareham-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 10.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 10.01 Poole-Waterloo 52 minutes late. 10.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED. 11.01 Totton-Romsey 23 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Eastleigh DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.01 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 12.00 Romsey-Totton AXED between Romsey and Eastleigh. 13.05 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late. 14.38 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 15.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 15.38 Guildford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Surbiton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.28 Guildford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.46 Waterloo-Chessington AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.03 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.05 Waterloo-Poole AXED between Waterloo and Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 17.16 Brockenhurst-Wareham THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 17.40 Chessington-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.59 Wareham-Brockenhurst AXED between Wareham and Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Guildford.
Sunday 16/09/07 Passengers on the 10.15 Waterloo-Honiton THROWN OFF at Axminster. 11.15 Waterloo-Honiton 26 minutes late. 13.46 Honiton-Waterloo AXED between Honiton and Crewkerne and 13 minutes late. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. DUFF STOCK on the 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo which failed at St Denys. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 19.44 Waterloo-Hounslow 9 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 19.55 Totton-Eastleigh diverted DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late.
Monday 17/09/07 04.58 Guildford-Waterloo 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minute late. 17.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late.
Tuesday 18/09/07 06.19 Woking-Portsmouth 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo AXED between Hilsea and Haslemere DUE TO NO CREW. 13.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; stops at Farnborough and Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.38 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.54 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Wednesday 19/09/07 04.58 Guildford-Waterloo diverted; all intermediate stops between Effingham Junction and Raynes Park AXED. 05.48 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Motspur Park. 07.50 Brighton-Basingstoke AXED between Brighton and Hove. 18.52 Reading-Ascot AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 22.45 Waterloo-Fratton expected to start 19 minutes late. 20.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Haslemere and Fratton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 10 minutes late.
Thursday 20/09/07 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and Strawberry Hill. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 17 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Newton Abbot. Woking stop of 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 14.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. West Byfleet and Surbiton stops of the15.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED. 16.08 Guildford-Waterloo AXED. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Newton Abbot. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 9 minutes late. 20.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Farnham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 22.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Friday 21/09/07 07.09 Haslemere-Waterloo 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES and 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.01 Poole-Waterloo 35 minutes late; Basingstoke and Clapham Junction stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 14 minutes late. 18.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 19 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking 16 minutes late. New Malden stop of 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 9 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.42 Shepperton-Waterloo 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Teddington AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.20 Waterloo-Exeter 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late; St Margarets, Richmond, North Sheen and Mortlake stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Saturday 22/09/07 09.57 Brighton-Paignton 10 minutes late. 10.02 Paignton-Brighton 16 minutes late. 14.00 Fareham-Portsmouth 25 minutes late. 18.55 Southampton-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. Passengers on the 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Hilsea DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 23/09/07 06.50 Poole-Eastleigh AXED. 07.11 Eastleigh-Farnborough 7 minutes late. 07.32 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 07.54 Waterloo-Poole 19 minutes late. 08.17 Portsmouth-Farnborough 10 minutes late. 20.24 Reading-Waterloo 28 minutes late.
Monday 24/09/07 Passengers on the 06.06 Totton-Yeovil THROWN OFF at Salisbury. 06.24 Weymouth-Southampton 13 minutes late. 06.40 Salisbury-Bristol 30 minutes late. 06.53 Ascot-Guildford 13 minutes late. 07.07 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.10 Havant-Waterloo AXED between Havant and Guildford DUE TO NO CREW. 07.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.52 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Hilsea DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.58 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED between Yeovil and Salisbury. 09.10 Chessington-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 34 minutes late. Brockenhurst-Lymington service AXED from the 09.59 from Brockenhurst until the 11.44 from Lymington inclusive, DUE TO NO CREW. 10.00 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Wareham. 10.35 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed at Totton. 10.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 41 minutes late. 11.00 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Wareham. 11.57 Brighton-Basingstoke 10 minutes late and AXED between Brighton and Hove. 12.01 Totton-Romsey AXED between Totton and Redbridge. 12.16 Brockenhurst-Wareham AXED between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth. 12.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.36 Southampton-Portsmouth 24 minutes late. 14.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 15.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 60 minutes late and REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK; Poole portion AXED. 17.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED to 9 COACHES. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.54 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 CIOACHES; Poole portion AXED. 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.01 Reading-Brighton 16 minutes late. 20.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 26 minutes late. 21.00 Romsey-Totton AXED. 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minutes late. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late DUETO DUFF STOCK. 22.01 Totton-Romsey AXED between Totton and Southampton and delayed due to no stock in place. 22.20 Waterloo-Salisbury AXED.
Tuesday 25/09/07 04.10 Woking-Waterloo 24 minutes late due to no stock in place. 05.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 9 minutes late. Micheldever stop of the 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 06.53 Waterloo-Alton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.50 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES.
Wednesday 26/09/07 “OPERATING INCIDENT” [SMASH INVOLVING A CLASS 444 UNIT] IN SOUTHAMPTON (NORTHAM) DEPOT – MORNING PEAK SERVICE COLLAPSED. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo AXED. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 06.50 Havant-Waterloo AXED. 07.06 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 07.36 Southampton-Waterloo AXED. 07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Guildford. 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo AXED between West Byfleet and Surbiton. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading 7 minutes late. 08.15 Waterloo-Haslemere REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 08.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.23 Waterloo-Alton ran fast to Woking DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.40 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 12 minutes late; intermediate stops between Richmond and Clapham Junction AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minute late. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 10 minutes late. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late. 18.50 Dorking-Waterloo omitted Earlsfield and Vauxhall stops DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Thursday 27/09/07 Mysterious “line problems” in the Wimbledon area with services between Hampton Court and Waterloo AXED for most of the day, either completely or between Surbiton and Waterloo. Passengers on the 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Honiton. 06.20 Havant-Waterloo 12 minutes late. Passengers on the 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Yeovil. 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo “delayed”. Woking stop of the 07.10 Havant-Waterloo AXED. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED to 4 COACHES. 07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 08.01 Totton-Romsey AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil 21 minutes late. 16.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 11 minutes late. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. Passengers on the 17.42 Reading-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Winnersh DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 44 minutes late; intermediate stops after Haslemere AXED and passengers THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 18.38 Winchester-Southampton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.59 Effingham Junction-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.00 Guildford-Ascot 11 minutes late. 19.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 19.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 20.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 18 minutes late.
Friday 28/09/07 06.35 Salisbury-Totton 13 minutes late. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.56 Reading-Brighton AXED between Reading and Fareham. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Bentley DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 60 minutes late; passengers on the Poole stopping portion THROWN OFF at Southampton. 18.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 19.01 Totton-Romsey AXED between Totton and Southampton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 33 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Saturday 29/09/07 09.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 10.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 10.52 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 12.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 14.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO BROKEN DOWN TRAIN. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late. 17.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 20.39 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.33 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.35 Waterloo-Brockenhurst 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 34 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.39 Waterloo-Guildford stopping service replaced by a non-stop service DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.42 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.46 Waterloo-Chessington 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.50 Waterloo-Guildford 24 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 22.08 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 22.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 22.46 Guildford-Waterloo AXED between Guildford and Effingham Junction DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 22.55 Guildford-Waterloo AXED between Guildford and Woking. 23.20 Waterloo-Woking AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Sunday 30/09/07 18.21 Reading-Waterloo 39 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops after Twickenham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking 20 minutes late. 18.51 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.52 Woking-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 18.59 Windsor-Waterloo 26 minutes late. Passengers on the 19.07 Waterloo-Basingstoke THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO NO CREW. 19.09 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late. 20.09 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.15 Waterloo-Honiton REDUCED TO 3 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.35 Waterloo-Brockenhurst made additional stop at Eastleigh to halve the train length. 21.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Tuesday 03/07/07 – CHRISTMAS SHUT DOWN AT LIVERPOOL STREET
Liverpool Street station will close from December 23 to January 2 to allow for removal of a dilapidated bridge. (Metro)
Friday 06/07/07 – RICHARD BOWKER // METRONET
In 2006, National Express Group paid Richard Bowker £359,000 for four months’ work. He was considered worth the money because of his knowledge (from his days as Chairman and Chief Executive of the Strategic Rail Authority) of the esoteric process of assessing bids for franchises. National Express was desperate to gain more franchises, having lost several, but has since lost East Midlands. Mr Bowker declared that he was asking the Department for Transport to explain its reasons for the decision. When he was head of the SRA he refused to divulge such details as the information was commercially confidential. // WS Atkins and Balfour Beatty, members of the ailing Metronet consortium which is trying to upgrade London Underground tracks, have warned shareholders they are writing off £221m between them. Transport for London has refused a bailout, in contrast to the huge bailouts given to the national rail network. For once, shareholders are paying for company failings. (Private Eye)
Friday 06/07/07 – REGIONAL EUROSTAR TRAINS HANDED OVER TO FRANCE
Trains built to run between regional cities and the continent, at a cost of £180m to British taxpayers, have been leased to France to run on the new high speed line from Paris to Lille. (Times)
Monday 09/07/07 – FARMERS SAY BRITAIN COULD LEAD ON BIO-FUELS
The Vice President of the National Farmers Union says Britain’s farmers could move out of the subsidised sector by growing crops for bio-fuels, but we are already lagging behind the US, Germany and France. We should produce tens of millions of tonnes of energy crops. Food processors are wrong to blame rising prices on bio-fuels; it’s really the result of factors like bad weather. Only 7p to 10p of the price of a loaf comes from the wheat; the rest is made up of energy, transport and labour. Only 1% of the total European wheat crop went into green energy last year. (Guardian)
Monday 09/07/07 – MORE FUNDS VITAL FOR CROWDED RAILWAYS
London Assembly’s transport committee is calling for a significant increase in rail funding because half a million people commute into London by mainline rail during the morning peak; one train in three is officially overcrowded; and commuting into London is expected to increase by 50% in a decade. Crossrail, Thameslink and the second phase of the East London line are needed to expand the system. Sustained economic growth needs investment in the drivers of that growth. (Evening Standard)
Tuesday 10/07/07 – SOUTH EAST’S TRAINS ARE THE MOST OVERCROWDED
Department for Transport statistics show that the ten most congested train routes all start or end in the South East. For example, the 08.02 Woking-Waterloo has a passenger capacity of 492, but is actually used by 727.
[The Southern Daily Echo of 21/09/07 reported that, on Saturday 15/09/07 when there was a Rugby World Cup match between Wales and Australia, the 08.22 Portsmouth-Cardiff was so overcrowded that 4 men and a dog had to travel in a toilet compartment to the embarrassment of a middle aged woman who needed to use it. One passenger is to complain to the Health and Safety Executive. First Group say they lengthened some other trains but suffer from limited rolling stock resources. The Echo of 28/09/07 carried a letter from a Bishopstoke woman who had had to stand with her husband from Romsey to Westbury on Saturday 22/09/07.]
Thursday 12/07/07 – EUROTUNNEL SEEKS FASTER FREIGHT
Eurotunnel is seeking to relaunch its freight service to reverse a decline in volume. In the first six months of the year, the number of trucks carried on shuttles rose by 9%, but the volume of freight carried dropped by 14% to 680,000 tonnes. The volume of cars rose by 8% and passenger traffic by 5%. The plan is to allow the same engines and crews to be used on both sides of the Channel to speed up freight services. A decision was delayed by the French elections. (Guardian).
Monday 16/07/07 – FIRST GREAT WESTERN’S PUNCTUALITY
Brian Cooke, Chairman of London Travel Watch, is concerned about First Great Western’s punctuality and is dissatisfied with the company’s explanation. He has written to Transport Minister Tom Harris asking for an investigation into whether the company is in breach of contract. (Evening Standard)
[The London Paper of 13/08/07 reported that the company had threatened to sue, but the Department for Transport acknowledged that FGW’s performance had not been satisfactory.]
[The Guardian of 30/08/07 quoted the Office of Rail Regulation as saying that Network Rail faces a multi-million pound fine if it does not turn around its deteriorating performance on the Great Western route.]
[The Guardian of 07/09/07 reported that the First Great Western’s management team was to be strengthened]
[The Evening Standard of 10/09/07 reported that the company was to replace its Adelante fleet with the older, but more reliable, Inter City 125 trains.]
Thursday 19/07/07 – DISGRACED METRONET GIVES UP 30-YEAR CONTRACTS
Tube maintenance firm Metronet finally collapsed today. Transport for London applied to the courts on the consortium’s behalf for an administrator. Metronet’s four years in charge have been dogged by administrative, financial and engineering incompetence. The collapse means the taxpayer will have to contribute millions, if not billions, more to maintain the programme to improve the Tube. (Evening Standard)
Friday 03/08/07 – TRANSPORT WHITE PAPER
The White Paper spins the line of “the most ambitious strategy for growth on the railways for 50 years”. What does it really mean? The promised 1,300 extra carriages are equal to 10% of the current total, yet the White paper predicts growth of 22.5%. The “simpler ticketing” sounds all right, but the new “super off peak” on SWT used to be just “off peak” which Stagecoach has increased by 20%. The £5.5bn Thameslink project has been delayed since 1996 when it was expected to cost £650m. The £425m for the Reading bottleneck has been needed urgently for years. The £120m to tackle congestion at Birmingham New Street is simply to improve the passenger concourse. 150 stations are to be upgraded, meaning that 2,350 must wait until after 2014. Train reliability will increase to 92.6%, but this is measured only at final destinations, so can be achieved by adding minutes at the end of the journey. In addition there is no electrification; no line reopening (unlike Scotland); no decision on a high speed North-South link; no mention of the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge route which could relieve services in and out of London; and the awful bus-style Pacer trains [Comment: as rough riding as SWT’s Desiros] are to remain for another 10 years. The Government’s prediction of 22.5% passenger growth up to 2014 doesn’t square with the predicted 80% increase in income from rail fares. And subsidy is to fall too. Ruth Kelly blamed the Conservatives for a botched privatisation but didn’t mention that Labour has continued it for 10 years. (Private Eye)
Friday 03/08/07 – MAYOR ABANDONS WEST LONDON TRAM LINE
The Mayor of London has scrapped plans for a £800 million tram line from Shepherds Bush to Uxbridge. (Evening Standard)
Monday 13/08/07 – SWT TICKET COLLECTORS JAILED
Two SWT ticket collectors used stolen credit cards to buy tickets from their issuing machines, and then sold them on the black market. Their activities cost the firm £45,000. One was jailed for 2 years and the other for 9 months. (The London Paper)
Tuesday 14/08/07 – EAST COAST FRANCHISE SETTLEMENT
National Express is to take over GNER at a massive cost of £1.4bn. GNER couldn’t manage its £1.3bn commitment. There will be faster journeys from London to Leeds and to York and stations northwards. A new hourly semi-fast service from Kings Cross will run to York and Lincoln in alternate hours. (Evening Standard)
Friday 17/08/07 – NEW GENERATION OF INTER CITY TRAINS WILL BE HYBRID
Replacement Inter City trains are to be capable of working on both diesel and electric power. They will be used initially on the East Coast and Great Western main lines. Alstom-Barclays, Express Rail Alliance (a consortium of Bombardier, Siemens, Angel Trains and Babcock & Brown) and Hitachi Europe have been shortlisted for a contract which could be worth up to £4bn. The contract will cover the design, construction and maintenance of between 500 and 2,000 carriages. (Guardian)
Friday 17/08/07 – FAT CONTROLLERS // FARES
In a rare outbreak of joined-up government, the Department of Health is urging people to lose weight just as the Department for Transport is trying to squeeze more people into unsuitable trains. Transport mandarins pretend otherwise, of course. The rail white paper states, “The mean adult Body Mass Index for males increased from 26kg/metre in 1993 to 27 in 2005. Physical trends such as these need to be monitored and factored into the design of trains and stations”. In fact, the extra carriages promised by 2014 are only 10% of the current fleet and the government expects demand to rise by 23%. When Virgin Cross Country introduced its Voyager fleet, it ditched the idea that passengers should be able to stretch their legs forward and not have to jostle adjacent passengers for elbow room on journeys from Aberdeen to Penzance. Half the problem was the train’s narrowness to let it tilt in tunnels; the other was to put 3 wheelchair-accessible toilets into a 4-car train. Arriva intends to remove one toilet and the shop when it takes over, but 4 more seats will be added, so no factoring-in of physical trends here. The new South West Trains franchise involved dumping 120 carriages and switching suburban trains to the Portsmouth line where there is now 2+3 aside seating instead of 2+2 aside. Passengers are often reluctant to pack in three deep, so there are still often only 4 passengers in each row, but the ones in the pair of seats are squeezed closer together than before and the aisle is so narrow that it’s extremely difficult to pass between the seats without bashing someone, as one passenger put it. Growing obesity wasn’t factored into these trains, even though they are supposed to run for 30 years. But at least SWT can boast of 1,700 more seats on the Portsmouth line. Passengers even feel the pinch in first class. One Portsmouth passenger who measured his seat and legroom reckons his personal space has shrunk by 21% - and is now 9% less than he would have had in standard class previously. For Greater London routes, SWT will remove seats for more standing space, but the extra space won by this trick diminishes as waistlines expand and the number of standing passengers per square metre reduces. // Another pearl of wisdom from the transport white paper: “Where rail is one of several travel options for passengers, fares are unregulated. Operators have matched fares to the requirements of the different markets they serve”. In the real world, operators are exploiting captive passengers. The regulated “Saver” fare is for off-peak travel, so Virgin and others have extended the period they consider as peak. That allows them to charge eye-watering unregulated fares when London motorways are packed. It’s only when traffic congestion eases and rail becomes “one of several travel options” that regulated Saver fares come into play. Train operators have matched fares to their requirements for profits. Seven years ago Virgin admitted it had banned discounted fares from mainly empty morning trains from Manchester because some business travellers had bought them instead of paying full price. There’s a “market” that requires travel at reasonable prices to or from London in Virgin’s so-called peaks, but Virgin removed fares which matched that market’s requirement. Rail Minister Tom Harris wasn’t happy when the Times said Ministers had ordered fare rises. “Unregulated fares are set entirely at the commercial discretion of train operators, and the department emphatically does not seek to influence their decisions”, he wrote. His department specifies how many services each franchise must provide and the trains they can hire to do so, then awards the franchise to the bidder offering the highest premium (or lowest subsidy demand). But apparently that’s unconnected to each new franchise’s awesome fare rises. (Private Eye)
Friday 17/08/07 – PROBE ON TRAIN LEASING TO BE FAST-TRACKED
The Competition Commission’s investigation into whether three big banks are ripping off the taxpayer through their control of the train leasing market is to be put on a fast track. A report will be published by May next year, 12 months earlier than expected. The Commission is probing HSBC’s train leasing unit, Royal Bank of Scotland’s Angel Trains and Porterbrook, owned by Abbey, over whether they, as the Department for Transport has claimed, have been creaming off £175m a year in excess profits. (Evening Standard)
Thursday 30/08/07 – STRESS OF DAILY COMMUTING PUTS UNBORN BABIES AT RISK
Midwives from Tommy’s, the charity for pregnant women, claims that unborn babies are at risk because women are so stressed about commuting. Nine out of 10 women suffer severe tension during pregnancy, and women say they find the heat and crush on trains particularly stressful. The Professor of Obstetrics at St Thomas’ Hospital confirmed that women who experience heightened levels of stress for a prolonged period are at greater risk of complications such as miscarriage and premature delivery. (Evening Standard)
Friday 31/08/07 – FARES // CENTRAL TRAINS
Having failed to convince the public that rail fares aren’t going to rocket to pay for the rail industry’s inefficiency and profits, the government is desperately trying to pin the blame for rises on its chosen franchisees. Although GNER’s East Coast franchise hit the buffers because the £1.3bn premium was too steep, National Express’ premium will be £1.4bn. Up to 40 new carriages will be brought in, but that will augment today’s fleet by “up to” 11%, and premium payments will rise by 365% from 2008-09 to 2014-15. National Express has said it may want to raise unregulated fares by an average of 2.1% above inflation each year. Arriva may want to raise such fares by 3.4% on Cross Country, Stagecoach by 3.4% on East Midlands, and Govia is expected to have annual ‘inflation plus 3%’ rises on the Euston-Northampton line. That’s a lot of fare rises the government isn’t responsible for. // Central Trains survived so long – more than three years after its franchise period expired – only because it is provincial. Had it served London, National Express would have lost the franchise years ago, or been forced to improve it to the standards of their C2C franchise. Among other things, Central has left holidaymakers behind by running too few carriages at times of peak demand; suspended services from timetables to hide the statistical impact of having too few drivers; and provided novice drivers and no train staff on replacement buses – one Canadian woman was told by a bus driver to travel from Staffordshire to Derby, when she needed to go in the opposite direction to catch her plane from Manchester Airport. A Lincolnshire user recently arrived at his local station to find a replacement bus with no guard or other rail staff. The driver had never driven the route before, followed instructions to reverse up the station approach road, and smashed the bus into a lamp post. Passengers had to wait for a mechanic to attend the damaged bus. (Private Eye)
Monday 03/09/07 – FIRMS SEEK NEW AGREEMENT TO FINANCE EXPANSION
Virgin Trains has had talks with the government about reducing its franchise payments to finance 100 new Pendolino carriages at a cost of around £200m. First Group wants a 5-year extension of its TransPennine franchise in return for increasing 50 train units from 3 to 4 coaches. A spokesman for the Department for Transport said that the franchise system was producing capacity improvements already. (Guardian)
Friday 14/09/07 – CUMBRIAN DERAILMENT // MANCHESTER METROLINK
Railway hacks who rode the first train over the whole Channel Tunnel Rail Link were reminded of the British way of raising train speeds later the same day, at the launch of Network Rail’s report on the Cumbria derailment. The Chunnel Link is in effect the London branch of France’s TGV network. It was the push to accelerate London-Glasgow services without building new tracks that led to the fatal Grayrigg accident in February, NR’s report reveals. Pendolino trains can travel 12-14% faster on 1840s infrastructure because of their tilt. The report concludes that the higher speed may have put the Grayrigg points under strain. A secondary effect of higher speed was to cut the time available for track inspection. Inspections were limited to when the tracks were closed, meaning an intensive period of activity each Sunday morning. That stretched resources and relied on workers volunteering for overtime. Staff improvised and broke rules to carry out inspections. The report says that Virgin’s December 2008 timetable will reduce time for inspection still further. Despite inspection time being reduced to shave minutes off timings, Virgin inflates timings on the last leg of journeys. Euston to Milton Keynes takes 31 minutes; journeys in the opposite direction take 37- 40 minutes. Punctuality is measured by arrival times at final stations. Surely Virgin wouldn’t squander such hard-won minutes on making its statistics look better? Although NR’s report is remarkably candid compared with the Railtrack era, it details malpractices by local employees but offers no clue as to who from higher up should have spotted what was going. NR directors still await their 2006-07 bonuses - £286,000 – which they agreed to defer while the investigation established why the accident happened. // Fares on Manchester’s tram route to Altrincham have actually been reduced while the service has been disrupted by track modernisation. This ethos contrasts starkly with South West Trains’ fleecing of passengers with via-London fares during the July flooding. (Private Eye)
Thursday 27/09/07 – TRAIN PASSENGERS GET BAD ADVICE ON FARES
‘Which?’ magazine made 25 enquiries to station staff and the National Rail Enquiries (NRES) helpline. Only half of 50 questions were answered correctly. Had customers followed all the advice given, they would be £1,263.60 worse off. One passenger was quoted £51 for a journey which could be made for £21. The NRES website was a much more reliable source of information. ‘Which?’ draws attention to the need for better staff training and has devised a checklist at which.co.uk/railadvice. (Guardian)
Friday 28/09/07 – MESSAGE IN A BOTTLENECK // FIRST GROUP
Two of the biggest faults in Britain’s rail networks are delays and shortage of capacity. So why are officials ignoring a proposal that could tackle both at the notorious Birmingham New Street bottleneck? In July the Government agreed a £120m plan to tackle congestion there, but this is simply for a bigger concourse. The station is situated between two tunnels, with only four tracks from the east. Rail bosses and civil servants think they can increase capacity through longer trains, but the present service is just about manageable because two trains can use the same platform. Engineering firm Ove Arup has proposed a new station on mostly brownfield land the other side of the eastern tunnels. They have worked on new stations in overseas cities and in 1990 proposed an alternative route for the Channel Tunnel rail link into St Pancras, which was adopted. The new Birmingham station would provide some platforms for trains crossing the city, but most from the north, south and east would use terminal platforms, avoiding the tunnels. The station concourse would connect with Moor Street station, for easy interchange with the Marylebone-Kidderminster line. The Government, Network Rail and local officials refuse to acknowledge the scheme and the available land is likely to be developed without its being given serious consideration. // First Group’s problems aren’t confined to the Great Western franchise. Politicians and passengers are so fed up with cancellation of buses between West Lothian and Edinburgh that they have threatened to call in the traffic commissioner. (Private Eye)
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