HOGRIDER 117 : JANUARY-MARCH 2008
IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED
APPLYING WISE COUNSELS TO EXPLODE SOME SWT MYTHS
’NO TIME FOR PASSENGERS’ CULTURE AT SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL
SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL WORKER CHARGED WITH RACIAL ABUSE
A TALE OF TWO £29 MILLION SUMS
SWT’S AWFUL AUTUMN PERFORMANCE
WATERLOO-WEYMOUTH TIMETABLE DOWNGRADE THE EVIDENCE POINTS TO EXTRAORDINARY INCOMPETENCE AND BLATANT DECEPTION
CUSTOMER SERVICE THE STAGECOACH WAY
HUGE FARE INCREASES PUT ‘INDEPENDENT’ STAGECOACH DIRECTOR ON THE DEFENSIVE AS REVENUE GROWTH OUTSTRIPS PASSENGER GROWTH
WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF STAGECOACH
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION BY SWT’S AUTOMATED VERBAL DIARRHOEA (“e-motion”?) - 2
CONTINUING PROTESTS AGAINST STAGECOACH AXE ON WINCHESTER–ROMSEY BUS LINK
LYMINGTON BRANCH – HOW TO WASTE £20,000?
FIRST GREAT WESTERN STAKEHOLDER CONFERENCE - @BRISTOL 05/03/08
FILE ON 4 PROGRAMME ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE FAILURES – 05/02/08
PENSIONERS’ CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL: IS IT INCREASING SOCIAL ISOLATION?
DIARY OF A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER –15
WHAT RIGHT TIME RAILWAY? - AN EVERYDAY STORY OF DUFF STOCK, CREW SHORTAGES, CANCELLATIONS, TRAINS TERMINATING SHORT OF DESTINATION, AND STOPS AXED FOR OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE
We were recently delighted to accept the offer of a link from the Campaign for Better Transport’s website. This is now in place and will make our own website even more accessible.
IN CASE YOU HAVEN’T NOTICED
* Since last December, Monday-Friday off-peak and Saturday travel between South Hampshire and Kent, without travelling via London, has never been easier. Southern’s new hourly service between Southampton Central and Brighton provides good connections at Brighton with trains to and from Ashford. And their re-routed hourly service between Southampton Central and London Victoria via Gatwick Airport provides good connections to and from Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells with a single change at Redhill.
* Also on Mondays-Fridays off-peak and on Saturday, if you are fed up with the ghastly hard-seated Desiros, you may not realize that you can travel between Bournemouth, Southampton, Winchester and Waterloo in more traditional comfort without much increase in journey time. Take the Cross Country service from Bournemouth to Basingstoke. Then cross to platform 3, and you should get the train from the Salisbury line to Waterloo within a few minutes. This should always be formed of deep-cushioned ex-BR coaches. In the reverse direction, take the 20-past Salisbury line train from Waterloo and cross to platform 1 at Basingstoke, and you should connect into a Cross Country service towards Bournemouth within 5 minutes. If you are day-tripping to London on Monday-Friday, don’t forget to ask whether it’s cheaper to buy one ticket to cover your journey to Basingstoke, and another from Basingstoke to Waterloo, so as to avoid SWT’s massive fare increases on journeys where there is no competition. You can ask for both tickets at the beginning of your journey.
* Whilst many of the busy refreshment outlets at Waterloo are being subjected to wholesale destruction, it’s become apparent that some other services which most people in London take for granted were never at Waterloo in the first place. A Walthamstow resident booked a return from London to Bournemouth on-line, to avoid a further encounter with long ticket queues at Waterloo. She found to her amazement that she could pick up her tickets at most of London’s mainline stations, except Waterloo. So she had to break her Tube journey at Kings Cross to collect them.
* The Group has repeatedly referred to the severe problems experienced by passengers because of the inadequate luggage space on the Desiro trains. SWT has now negotiated a 5% discount on fees for transporting passengers’ luggage separately by road (forget carbon footprints!) This seems to be part of an ongoing Stagecoach ‘what can we jettison? policy: other bus operators driven off the road; suburban passengers hauled on their feet by the destruction of thousands of seats; long-distance passengers crammed into spartan seating, and now an attempt to reduce luggage on trains.
* Travelling late at night on SWT can apparently be fraught with risk.
A resident has contacted us about the treatment of Chandler’s Ford passengers when the last Salisbury-Romsey train is axed, as has happened on a number of occasions. One passenger has twice been stranded at St Denys in these circumstances. On the second occasion, he was told over the Help Point that there would be a train to take him to Eastleigh but SWT had no responsibility to take him any further. Some help!
On 30/03/08, SWT’s Journey Check facility received a message at 25 seconds after 15.51 saying: “22.05 London Waterloo to Weymouth due 01:36. This train will be run as a bus from Bournemouth to Weymouth. This is due to waiting for a train crew member.” How can a train be waiting for a crew member over 6 hours before it is due to start its journey, and why could no relief driver be arranged during the 8 hours between the announcement that the train would terminate at Bournemouth and passengers being thrown off in the middle of the night? Bus drivers cheaper than relief train drivers at such times?
* With the advent of e’mails, weblogs and texting, people are rushing to express opinions as never before. But there’s also a kind of thought fascism. For example, some less responsible elements of the media have attempted to denigrate young people and, at a more personal level, the tragic McCann family.
* Sometimes, however, opinion can be distinguished by its clarity of perception and thought. Often the simplest ideas are the most telling. One thinks of the comments of Romsey MP Sandra Gidley about the problems which could be avoided or mitigated if people were consulted about decisions which affect their lives rather than having the decisions forced on them, often without notice. It sometimes seems that everyone preaches consultation but far fewer practice it in any meaningful sense.
* Health Minister, Ivan Lewis, seems to be thinking along similar lines. He recently said that the Government had lost touch with ordinary people and is ignoring the very issues that matter to them the most. Quite. Two thirds of people who rely on South West Trains don’t want the service operated by Stagecoach, and only 31% of peak users think the service is value for money. So the Government leaves the franchise with Stagecoach and the two Stagecoach founders get a quarter of a billion pounds in bonuses over a couple of years. You can’t get much more out of touch than that.
* Things used to be different. British Rail Chairman, Sir Bob Reid (the first of that name), is accredited with addressing questions with the response “What’s best for the passenger?”. Five words (or six if you prefer) which encapsulate the essence of the public service ethos. John Prescott thought along similar lines, always insisting that the interests of rail’s passengers should have precedence.
* Public service on the railways nowadays? Theoretically, yes: the Strategic Rail Authority defined today’s railway as a public service, publicly specified and privately delivered. However, you sometimes need to Mind the Gap between the public and private functions.
* So three cheers for the editor of RAIL, Nigel Harris. In his comments in issue 586, Mr Harris expresses views which should be pasted on every rail manager’s and DfT civil servant’s wall. His very moderate stance is well known, and he set it out at First Great Western’s 2007 stakeholder conference. Basically, he sees himself as the industry’s best friend, recognizing that it’s sometimes the uncomfortable duty of best friends to have a word when things aren’t right.
* So what does Mr Harris say that is so worthy of attention? Here’s an extract from his article:
“- - - A recent Freedom of Information request has, however, flushed out the suggestion that the DfT has realized that it is such a poor negotiator (especially with the private sector) that it prefers to sit on its hands. In other words, the needs of the long-suffering passenger and taxpayer who pay for it all are being subordinated to the needs of bean counters and civil servants. They are being considered last, not first – and that is disgraceful.
It’s not uncommon though. Although the operators are much closer to their customers than anyone else and are less guilty in this respect, they are by no means paragons of innocence. In lots of small ways, the customers still come last.
How about those announcements before departure about ticket validity… a long list of tickets you can’t use, accompanied all too often by a rather patronising recommendation that you should check your ticket very carefully… all served with the threat of a penalty fare of epic proportions should you have been stupid enough, despite all this, to be on the wrong train.
And if you DO find yourself on the wrong train, there’s the ritual humiliation of the klaxon-voiced and clearly irked ticket official: “Oh dear, oh dear… we DID make an announcement sir, but this ticket isn’t valid… that’s a full fare of £146.50.”
I’ve all too often squirmed in discomfort as a hapless passenger, unused to rail travel (and probably unlikely to try it again after this) has a wallet shaken in a very public and humiliating way, to the hushed embarrassment of fellow travellers.
It’s not the wording, or length of the announcement that’s the problem – it’s the fact it’s there at all! If ordinary tickets were available on the train, then passengers would be happy and you’d instantly eliminate a whole load of announcements. The important thing is the underlying thinking: are decisions driven by a desire to please the customer – or by some other reason? If the customer was put first then this whole problem would evaporate. So it isn’t the customer service at fault – it’s the way the industry serves the customer. That’s the difference. There are loads of examples. Please stop telling us 20 minutes before the end of our journey that the buffet is closing “for stock taking purposes.” It happens all over the country. This is a nonsense – and it’s for operators’ convenience – not the customers!
You don’t see Sainsburys shutting up shop (and restricting the time they can fill their tills) to count the yogurts. The daft policy is about getting everything ready for staff on the next train – but it’s the customer who is inconvenienced. Again it’s the thinking at fault – putting the industry’s convenience ahead of the customer.
We should apply this simple test on every management decision. Is the prime aim to keep the customer happy, or is it to fend off the Regulator, body-swerve around a performance penalty or play-safe with some, in reality, non-existent health and safety worry?
Are we, at every stage, putting passengers first – or someone else? I contend that the application of this very simple test would solve an awful lot of customer service issues. Try it – the railway has nothing to lose but a self-defeating approach.
- - The expectations, investment and patience of the British people demand no less than that we serve them – it is they who, after all, either through fare box or taxes, pay for it.”
There are plenty of other issues. For example:
(1) Why not run the whole timetable one minute later than publicly advertised? If doors are then closed 30 seconds before the actual departure time, the passenger can still board his train up to, and during 30 seconds after, the advertised departure time. It’s incredible that such a small, simple and passenger-focused thing is too much bother.
(2) Why not re-schedule engineering works in passengers’ interests where there are exceptional circumstances? Waterloo on the day of the FA Cup semi-final achieved the impossible: it made the opening of Heathrow’s Terminal 5 look like a triumph. First, SWT advised that they could not guarantee to get all Portsmouth supporters to London in time for the match. Despite large numbers being expected to travel, trains were to be diverted via Staines which, in combination with the slowest schedules since steam, meant journeys of up to two and a half hours each way between Portsmouth and Waterloo. By the time supporters were travelling, signal problems were causing services to take 30 minutes longer still. Then a cable fire outside Waterloo led to the station being closed and main line services terminating at Basingstoke, Guildford or Woking.]
APPLYING WISE COUNSELS TO EXPLODE SOME SWT MYTHS
* In the case of South West Trains, if Stagecoach had expended as much effort on putting passengers first as it has on private greed and high-powered public relations exercises, taxpayers’ huge subsidies might have achieved a great service.
* The downhill slide started with Stagecoach Chairman Brian Souter’s famous statement to Scotland on Sunday that “Ethics are not irrelevant, but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed”.
* ‘Incompatible’ is a strong word. It’s very different from Network Rail and First Great Western apologizing for their recent poor performance in terms of, “Sorry, we got it wrong. We have let down our passengers. We are determined to do better”.
* It highlighted Stagecoach’s deliberately chosen course of ethically-limited profiteering. The true history of South West Trains, through the many voices of people driven to complain in the media about years of indifferent and often appalling service, is available in the ‘Megaplaint’ document on the South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group’s website.
* As for greed, Stagecoach co-founders Souter and Gloag, who reportedly hold 28% of their company’s shares, have received bonuses amounting to around a quarter of a billion pounds over the past two years, and Gloag now owns two castles. SWT meanwhile has been trashed to reduce costs and train drivers are in militant mood, complaining of worse conditions than those of their counterparts in other companies. With such tight staffing, services are axed at the drop of a hat, for example with many cancelled over the Easter Bank holiday.
* “But isn’t SWT popular with passengers?” It depends what statistics you look at. For example, SWT’s e-motion PR magazine claimed that the company’s on-line poll showed 61% of respondents were content that Stagecoach had been awarded the latest franchise.
* Not a sparkling outcome, given that SWT had been in the hands of a single company for longer than any other franchise. But, as Passenger Focus confirmed, this figure was lifted a month before the poll closed showing a final result fluctuating around 33%. That’s a highly suspicious swing – did ethically-limited Stagecoach vote for itself early on?
* “But doesn’t Passenger Focus’ latest survey confirm SWT’s best ever satisfaction ratings?” Arguably, the thing they show most is the unsatisfactory methodology. Some members of staff, particularly the older ones, do strive to maintain traditional standards of good service. But the acid test of customer satisfaction in any business is whether people think they are getting value for money. On SWT, 31% of peak passengers and 45% of off-peak passengers think they are. The latter figure sank one per cent between the autumns of 2006 and 2007 despite the expansion of ‘giveaway’ Megatrain tickets. With ratings like that, Sainburys would go out of business.
* “What’s Sainsburys got to do with it?” Just that former Transport Secretary Brian Mawhinney justified rail privatisation in terms of implanting the customer responsiveness of firms like Sainsburys into the railways.
* “But aren’t SWT’s overall satisfaction ratings 79% in the peak and 86% off peak?” Quite, but the percentage of dissatisfied customers represents huge numbers of individuals, and look at what the ratings take into account.
* “Connections with other forms of public transport are highly rated.” Agreed, and congratulations to SWT for having thousands of commuters who pour on to the buses and Tube at places like Waterloo and Wimbledon. Stagecoach itself has pulled out of its London bus operations because it doesn’t like the degree of control - regulation means it can’t put profit before passengers’ needs. It rarely holds connections between its own trains, causing avoidable delays for huge numbers of passengers.
* “The upkeep of stations is good.” The busiest, Waterloo, is the responsibility of Network Rail. To suit Stagecoach, busy food and drink outlets are being destroyed to make way for ticket gates, whilst provision of refreshments on trains is hit-and-miss.
* A whole range of other stations at which the statistical sampling took place aren’t Stagecoach’s responsibility either: Exeter St David’s, Newton Abbot, Torquay, Chichester, Barnham, Brighton. And almost all the Isle of Wight stations are included, even though they are relatively insignificant. Many mainland provincial SWT stations are scruffy and lack the most basic facilities; plenty of rotten boarding and rat traps though.
* “The cleanliness of the trains is good.” Agreed. But when has anyone needed to judge companies like Sainsburys for their cleanliness?
* “The upkeep and repair of the trains is good too.” Great, that’s why they keep failing. As for upkeep, this rating has gone down one per cent in a year when the neglected but comfortable Wessex Electrics - with their longstanding hazard warning tape - were replaced by spartan new Desiros.
* So you add these and a raft of other, similarly dubious, tests and suddenly SWT is as great as it is poor value for money. A rather odd way of measuring business success?
* “But don’t the satisfaction statistics show that some other London commuter train operators are no more popular?” True, but the other franchises have changed hands. So, for example, the limited-seating suburban units on South Eastern aren’t the fault of Go Ahead Group. And, unlike SWT, other operators haven’t mounted lavish on-going PR exercises to indoctrinate passengers.
* “But isn’t complaining about poor service on the railways a national hobby dating back to the British Railways’ sandwich? Aren’t most people fairly happy with Stagecoach?”
* Stagecoach undertook a cost-saving stock reshuffle which involved replacing the relatively comfortable and reliable Wessex Electrics with Juniper trains which it had disposed of once already because of their unreliability. It also bought a cheap batch of Siemen’s Desiros rather than the Electrostar stock chosen for the Southern and South Eastern franchises. Train failures on SWT are now endemic, as illustrated by the performance reports on the South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group website.
* We all know about Siemens from the Portsmouth re-signalling fiasco, not to mention its problematic bus information system in Vancouver and the costly faults with its Combino trams on the Continent. Interestingly, the Department for Work and Pensions has just cancelled an €85 million IT contract because Siemens could not meet the delivery schedule (Guardian, 18/03/08).
* Stagecoach makes passengers pay the price of its penny-pinching by omitting stops at the drop of a hat, throwing passengers off before they reach their destination, or leaving them stranded at bleak stations. So their improved performance statistics are built on the misery of the affected passengers. You can argue that the passengers are content with that kind of thing but they may disagree with you. If you wanted a single slogan to capture the spirit of SWT, you wouldn’t do better than “No time for passengers”.
* But let’s move on to the Portsmouth-London commuters, crammed into class 450 suburban trains to provide seats for ‘short-hop’ Woking commuters. Over 1,350 entries on the ‘No 450’ website and one of SWT’s ‘Webchat’ sessions collapsed when the IT couldn’t cope with the volume of complaints.
* “But doesn’t SWT say these are mainline trains?” Yes indeed, and they’ve stripped out the maps of the suburban network to make the point. But a report by Passenger Focus had already found that these trains were fit only for shorter journeys like Waterloo-Guildford.
* “Passenger Focus? They always tend to take the passengers’ side.” Right again. Obviously the government’s statutory passenger watchdog should be more sympathetic to ethically-limited, greed-driven operators who treat their passengers badly.
* “But SWT now seems to be suggesting that Portsmouth passengers are rather selfish. Woking passengers need seats too.” Yes, but passengers’ observations repeatedly refer to seats being left empty because conditions are just too uncomfortable when all the seats in a block are occupied.
* “Poor SWT! Always under fire, but what else could they have done?” They could have put passengers first, as BR did. When BR introduced the current fleet of diesel units on the Salisbury line in 1993, the related new timetable was designed to provide for London-Basingstoke commuters, easing capacity pressures on Southampton line services. Some of the extra carriages were then deployed on South Coast – West of England services at weekends.
* “Surely SWT can’t get extra diesel stock for Woking commuters?” They could start with the units which they are operating deep into First Great Western territory (Plymouth / Paignton / Bristol), no doubt creaming off that company’s takings. Longer Salisbury line trains would do much more to give Woking passengers comfortable travel than putting suburban trains on the Portsmouth line.
* “At least South Coast passengers still get their weekend West of England services.” Actually, no. The summer of 2008 looks like being the first for well over half a century when the South Coast has no direct service beyond Salisbury on the West of England line. The trains will instead be competing with First Great Western for London-West of England traffic.
* “Isn’t that just competition?” Yes, but Stagecoach is fiercely anti-competitive. When the SRA wanted to transfer SWT’s West of England services to Wessex Trains, Stagecoach fought a PR war, claiming that its rival’s class 158 units could reduce the reliability of services out of Waterloo. Now it runs class 158s out of Waterloo itself. And the former Wessex Trains’ Portsmouth-Cardiff passengers sometimes suffer horrific overcrowding, even at weekends when SWT stock is sitting idle in Salisbury depot.
* “At least SWT has refurbished its suburban trains.” Yes, but seats have been removed to cram in standing passengers. More stress and greater risk of injury in the event of a derailment – ask the House of Commons Transport Committee.
* “Surely passengers don’t mind standing for short journeys?” Many of their journeys take longer than fast services from Woking to Waterloo, where SWT considers seating essential, even at the cost of making Portsmouth passengers endure suburban stock. When Southern consulted on reducing seats on their trains, there was such an outcry that they backed down.
* “Was there a similar outcry on SWT?” No, because SWT didn’t consult passengers about reduced seating.
* “But surely SWT has done what it can to relieve overcrowding, by increasing peak hour services as far as track capacity allows?” There are now a few peak short-distance crowd-busting trains, but elsewhere more passengers stand, for example because SWT axed the 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo. The 05.45 from Poole now loads so heavily on some days that even first class season-ticket holders from Winchester stand for an hour to Waterloo.
* “Surely they can get a later train?” Yes, but SWT stated that the changes on this line were to reflect demand for earlier arrival into Waterloo.
* “But Stagecoach claims to put passengers at the centre of everything it does!” Yes, but have you seen passengers queuing up to praise its plans to close all its busy travel centres except Waterloo? Understanding the fares system needs a doctorate in illogic and, without the travel centres, queues at ticket offices will be even worse, even more people will seek to buy their tickets on the train, and SWT will grab even more penalty fares. Haven’t you noticed their leaflets saying they will demand penalty fares from passengers who have innocently bought the wrong ticket?
* “At the end of the day isn’t it simply the case that passengers don’t like change? Portsmouth commuters are angry at losing their class 444 trains whilst Weymouth line commuters see the same trains as a third-rate, hard-seated, rough-riding replacement for the Wessex Electrics. At least everyone has got new trains.”
* These are long-distance InterCity routes on which passengers pay some of the highest fares in Europe. Our Totton diarist (12/03/08) gives an account of a Siemens engineer who reportedly "laughed his socks off" at the thought of this stock being used for long-distance travel, stating that they wouldn't even be used as trams in Germany!
* Passengers have repeatedly been told that their huge fare increases were to pay for the better trains which have now been taken away. In the reshuffled train fleet, the discredited Junipers are so much less reliable than the Wessex Electrics, and the Desiros so prone to breakdown, that there are many days when any extra capacity from additional crowd-busting trains must be far outweighed by cancelled services and reduced train lengths arising from defective stock. Waterloo-Portsmouth can now reasonably be called the South’s Cinderella line; the whole evening peak service collapsed on 04/04/08, with massive diversions and curtailments because of a duff train.
* “But don’t passengers prefer new rolling stock?” Given that many think the new trains are of poorer quality than those they replaced, how will people feel when they start to wear? Already the class 444 trains are so rough-riding that things fly off tables and racks at Worting Junction, west of Basingstoke. They are likely to be in service beyond 2040.
* “Rough riding isn’t necessarily dangerous. Stagecoach always puts passenger safety first.” So that’s why heavy cases have to be lifted on to overhead racks on the class 444s, when this was forbidden on the Wessex Electrics which had storage space between seats! Even if the 444s are safe, a heavy bag which crashes on your head may not be.
* “There’s a bit of luggage space at the ends of some class 444 coaches.” Yes, but it’s often inadequate and passengers are bombarded with announcements telling them to try to keep their luggage with them at all times for security reasons. Many occasional travellers feel obliged to stand alongside their luggage at the coach ends. In addition, people complain about stress from the continual announcements, many of them threatening penalty fares.
* “But SWT needs to give out relevant information.” Wrong announcements are routine because of duff software. And try travelling between Basingstoke and Bournemouth by SWT one way and by Arriva’s Cross Country the other. The difference in seat comfort and in the level of announcements is staggering. Cross Country is as relaxing as SWT is stressful. The lower level of announcements on Cross Country doesn’t seem to cause any problems, even though passengers are typically making a much wider range of journeys and are less-regular users than their counterparts on SWT trains. And because there are no threatening announcements, passengers seem much more ready to talk to the train crews.
* “Can’t passengers make their views known to SWT through the Webchat events and the Passengers’ Panel?” Have you looked at the script of the Webchats? In most cases, criticisms from angry passengers are just water off a duck’s back. Fob them off, and they won’t bother coming back.
* Do you know about First Great Western’s Customer Panel? You can make direct contact with the member of the Panel for your local area about your concerns. SWT’s Passengers’ Panel is much more controlled. Its articles in the company’s e-motion PR magazine are to a large extent penned by totally independent Stagecoach Director Sir Alan Greengross, who puts forward Stagecoach’s view of the world on behalf of the totally independent Panel. A history of the Passengers’ Panel articles is in Hogrider 114, on the South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group’s website.
* “I think you are taking a narrow view. Haven’t you seen all the ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ commitments on SWT’s website? They say, for example, ‘As a company it is vital that we identify and communicate with our stakeholders. By listening to them we can ensure we respond to their key issues of concern and direct our corporate efforts in the right direction.”
* Quite. The key issues of concern are things like getting more people to use public transport for environmental reasons. These are not addressed by using suburban trains on long-distance services, train doors shutting before departure time even when they are connecting services which people are running to catch, operating the slowest services since steam to boost performance figures, wrong and oppressive announcements, hard seating, booking offices not staffed during advertised opening hours, ripping out permit to travel machines and introducing more spiteful penalty fare enforcement, and the trashed timetable between Southampton and Weymouth. Much listening; little response.
* “But SWT is at least generous to charities.” Yes, it’s commendable that SWT is enhancing its reputation by publicizing details of the money hundreds of its staff are contributing to good causes while the two Stagecoach founders are taking a quarter of a billion pounds in bonuses.
* “Couldn’t SWT’s understanding of Corporate Social Responsibility be different from that of the parent company Stagecoach?” It could, but it is specifically linked to Stagecoach values on the SWT website. If you don’t know Stagecoach’s view of Corporate Social Responsibility, try reading ‘Buses’ magazine. In broad terms: I’m the Scots Bruiser who drove the other bus operators off the road. If we have to run bus services to the patterns that people want, we’ll dump them and profiteer from the sale of the bus stations, thus depriving communities of a popular facility, just as we did in Southampton.
* “Are you saying Stagecoach is different from other companies?” Not necessarily. Mr. Souter’s view that ‘ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what he has to do because capitalism is based on greed’ would perhaps be commended by Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary. Mr. O’Leary has reportedly welcomed the prospect of a recession on the grounds that it would put competitors out of business and divert government attention from green issues. Never mind the problems for poorer people, choice for customers and the survival of millions in an increasingly arid Africa and elsewhere.
* “Perhaps someone like Arriva should have taken over SWT!” Unfortunately, in the words of Stagecoach’s Brian Cox, you’re a fully paid-up member of the Hindsight Club. Thank the Department for Transport.
* “If we can’t have someone like Arriva, perhaps a state-owned corporation would be the safest bet. Profits could then go into public transport rather than private castles.” Interestingly, the Government is still not talking about taking the railways back into public control. Yet the Guardian of 18/02/08 reported the Chancellor as saying, in relation to Northern Rock, “At the end of the day the biggest issue is the safeguarding of taxpayers’ money. If nationalisation saves that money, that has to be the correct step in the long term”.
‘NO TIME FOR PASSENGERS’ CULTURE AT SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL
* On too many occasions the culture at Southampton Central is more appropriate to a cattle market than to a public service. Train doors are slammed shut long before departure time, whistles are blown to hector them, they may get curt treatment at barriers, announcements are often inaccurate, and posters brag of individuals being fined for not buying a ticket before boarding, despite permit to travel machines having been ripped out across the network so that people without credit or debit cards must carry right change for an unknown fare. Perhaps most persistently of all, train doors are slammed in the faces of passengers running from delayed ‘connecting’ services.
* Flooding caused huge afternoon disruption on 15 January, followed by misery for home-going commuters. The 18.05 and 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth were both halved in length to 5 coaches. A Totton commuter eventually managed to board the 19.05, a train which until last December served Totton. Since the Totton stop had been axed, he raced over the footbridge at Southampton for his Totton connection, just in time to have the doors slammed shut in his face. Sometimes SWT commuters feel their railway is more an obscenity than a public service. In what other area of public service would people pay huge sums of money to be treated with such contempt?
* On 18/01/08, the 19.05 from Waterloo left a few minutes late and arrived at Southampton Central at 20.31, one minute after the scheduled departure time of the Totton connection, which had gone to stand at the Millbrook signals for the 19.05 to overtake it, instead of waiting for connecting passengers. When passengers expressed their frustration to a member of the station staff, he agreed completely, saying "It happens all the time". A passenger on the platform said he had been on the 16.05 from Waterloo on 15/01/08 and had only just been able to sprint to make the connection at Southampton Central but he had seen some more elderly passengers left behind.
* On 20/03/08 Totton passengers were left behind at Southampton only because the doors of the Totton ‘connection’ off the late-running 14.05 from Waterloo had been closed a full 30 seconds early. Staff could easily have reopened them without loss of punctuality, but they refused and the train left 2 seconds before its scheduled departure time. Incidents of this kind are in practice the norm. Until Stagecoach’s savage service cuts of December 2007, the 14.05 itself would have called at Totton, the fourth largest town between Southampton and Weymouth.
* The only saving grace for this station, though in a perverse sense, is that things are no better elsewhere. On 13/03/08, the 20.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke was just 6 minutes late, so all intermediate stops from Farnborough to Hook inclusive were axed and people left standing on platforms. On 15/03/08, the 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo departed just 5 minutes late, so all intermediate stops before Norbiton were axed. On 25/03/08, speed restrictions were imposed in the Raynes Park area so, from lunchtime until late evening, half-hourly London bound local trains from Hampton Court, Woking and Guildford via Cobham all had their Wimbledon stops axed for operational convenience. Putting passengers first? You bet they aren’t.
* From an article in the April 2008 edition of ‘Rail News’, it seems that Stagecoach is now hell-bent on turning its East Midlands franchise into a ‘No Time for Passengers’ railway.
* Such spiteful treatment of passengers can poison society. Young people treated with this kind of contempt can feel slighted. Where the train dispatch officer and abused passenger are of different race, any latent racially-related hostility or suspicion can be aroused. We wonder whether the Department for Transport does Equality Impact Assessments to establish who will suffer most from the award of a franchise to Stagecoach.
* The Government wants a respectful society, and it wants people to be proud to be British. Some hope with ethically-limited, money-grabbing companies like Stagecoach running public services.
SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL WORKER CHARGED WITH RACIAL ABUSE
* A railway worker at Southampton Central has been arrested, bailed and suspended from work for the alleged racial abuse of a black couple who were trying to enter a platform. This was apparently because they attempted to use a manual gate instead of a ticket-operated gate.
A TALE OF TWO £29 MILLION SUMS
* In 2002 Stagecoach was in a desperate situation. It had been chosen for a new, 20-year, franchise on SWT but its appalling performance almost resulted in the franchise being lost. This performance was taxpayers’ reward for their remarkably generous subsidies. Nevertheless, the Strategic Rail Authority bailed out the failed company with a further £29 million of the luckless taxpayers’ money. In the event, the new franchise term was reduced to 4 years after which taxpayers met the cost of a further re-franchising exercise, with the franchise remaining with Stagecoach and a subsequent downgrade of passenger facilities across the board.
* Recently, performance on First Great Western has been flagging behind that on other franchises. As a condition of keeping the franchise (and its others, because of the ‘discharged from one, discharged from all’ policy) the Government has ordered First Group to invest in improvements at its own expense. This has been widely reported as equivalent to a £29 million penalty.
* A case of taxpayers getting luckier, but nothing like as lucky as the two Stagecoach founders with their recent 8- and 9- figure bonuses and nice pair of castles?
SWT’S AWFUL AUTUMN PERFORMANCE
* SWT’s punctuality had an abysmal autumn quarter. This was sometimes due to signalling and other infrastructure problems, but in many cases it was due to duff rolling stock and ongoing crew shortages.
* The target for peak mainline punctuality is a very low 89%. Over the 4 weeks to 10/11/2007, it crashed to 86.2%. Over the 4 weeks to 08/12/07, it further crashed to 83.7%. Over the 4 weeks to 05/01/08 it recovered only to 87.7%.
* In the period to 08/12/07, peak suburban punctuality crashed to 90.9%, below the charter standard of 92%. In the period to 05/01/08, it further fell to 90.6%, while suburban reliability sank to 98.5%, meaning 50% more trains cancelled than allowed under the charter standard of 99%.
WATERLOO-WEYMOUTH TIMETABLE DOWNGRADE: THE EVIDENCE POINTS TO EXTRAORDINARY INCOMPETENCE AND BLATANT DECEPTION
* The new December 2007 timetable between Waterloo and Weymouth was supposed to be one of the few benefits of the third SWT franchise, but the outcome is extraordinary.
* The franchise requirements for the re-specified standard service on the Southampton – Weymouth leg, as consulted on by the Department for Transport, were:
- The existing hourly Waterloo-Weymouth service would omit some stops with the object of saving around 10 minutes in journey time.
- To cover the stops omitted, the existing hourly Waterloo-Poole service would extend to Weymouth and the existing Waterloo-Southampton service would extend to Bournemouth.
- The hourly Brockenhurst-Wareham service would be discontinued.
* These ‘improvements’ were to be achieved by more effectively deploying stock made available by axing the Basingstoke-Brighton service and cutting the Romsey-Totton service back to Eastleigh.
* But some changes were not put to consultation, owing to a serious breach of the Department for Transport’s own standards. Although the existing Waterloo-Weymouth services would lose their stops at Wool, Moreton and Upwey (the consultation document didn’t actually say which stations would be adversely affected and Wool and Upwey serve substantial communities), new stops would be inserted at the suburban stations of Branksome and Parkstone so that any time saving would be negligible.
* The existing Poole trains would additionally serve Woking and Eastleigh, as well as Hamworthy, Holton Heath, Wareham, Wool, Moreton, Dorchester, Upwey and Weymouth. However, the stops at Totton and Ashurst would be axed.
* The axing of the Totton stop was presumably considered much too controversial for consultation, since Totton is the fourth largest intermediate town between Southampton and Weymouth, and Totton station is the railhead for some 60,000 people (30,000 in the town itself and a further 30,000 in the Waterside communities like Marchwood, Hythe and Fawley).
* Totton was already set to lose its Romsey service and few would have expected a double whammy at such a significant station. Ashurst, although a village, has a significant population within its station’s catchment area. A housing development adjacent to the station is being advertised as having good rail services.
* Totton had already seen its standard service reduced by 40% in 2003, under cuts introduced by the Strategic Rail Authority in a desperate attempt to mitigate SWT’s appalling performance. And the December 2004 timetable brought an additional Stagecoach downgrade, with London and Romsey trains running 10 minutes apart in each direction between Southampton and Totton, meaning that connections with other services at Southampton involved waits of up to 50 minutes. Overall, the service was singularly unattractive except to a few destinations like London and Bournemouth where there were hourly direct trains.
* With the new franchise, a replacement service was to be provided at Totton by the extension of the existing Waterloo-Southampton service. This would be slower than the existing service between London and Totton because of additional stops at Shawford, Eastleigh, Swaythling and St Denys. However, it at least retained the fast run from Clapham Junction to Basingstoke.
* It is pretty clear that the service was intended to run from Southampton to Brockenhurst ahead of the slower of the two hourly Weymouth trains (running later than before its extension beyond Poole, because of its additional Woking and Eastleigh stops). So passengers from Totton to New Milton, Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole would have had a fairly quick connection at Brockenhurst instead of their previous direct service.
* Stagecoach then trashed the prescribed service out of all recognition whilst Department for Transport officials watched passively from the sidelines.
* The train which had lost its Totton and Ashurst stops without consultation, also lost its Branksome and Parkstone stops, which were covered by extending the very slow Waterloo-Bournemouth train to Poole.
* The new London-Poole train then lost its Swaythling and St Denys stops. Presumably stops there by the Romsey service which, following a huge campaign, DfT allowed to retain all its previous route, with the exception of Redbridge-Totton, were considered adequate for the huge population of eastern Southampton, including a substantial proportion of the city’s 40,000 university students. However, time-costly stops were introduced at Fleet and Farnborough.
* This meant that the train was overtaken by the faster Weymouth service at Southampton rather than Brockenhurst. London -Totton passengers therefore had to change at Southampton or face journeys 31 minutes slower than previously. Journeys from Totton to New Milton or Christchurch now involved a huge layover at the New Forest village of Brockenhurst with average speeds as low as 19mph.
* Stagecoach’s destruction of services showed little restraint. Shoulder peak services on which scores had travelled between Southampton and Totton were also axed. For example, the departures at 15.24, 15.35, 16.02, 16.24 and 16.35 were slashed to 15.30 and 16.30.
* Stagecoach has always held the Southampton area in particular contempt. The company bought Hampshire Bus and made a huge profit from selling off operations around Southampton, along with the city’s popular bus station. It kept the more profitable operations in the north of Hampshire. Now, a train which was clearly designed by DfT to give a London service to people in the Southampton area (Eastleigh/Swaythling/St Denys/Southampton/Totton/Ashurst) had been quietly modified into an extra Fleet/Farnborough service. Fleet and Farnborough deserve good services, but so do people living around Southampton.
* Possibly, because Southampton is served by four rail companies and a number of bus companies, the city is perceived by Stagecoach as not producing adequate returns towards Mrs. Gloag’s collection of castles.
* So what did all this achieve?
- Weymouth and Dorchester now have two London trains an hour, though only 17 minutes apart.
- The 146-mile journey from Weymouth to Waterloo is now 3 minutes quicker, but the fastest Waterloo service from much-larger Poole 4 minutes slower.
- Services from Totton, the fourth largest town between Southampton and Weymouth are simply unfit-for-purpose, and the culmination of a long period of decline under Stagecoach. Passengers are furious, including because of further lost connections at Southampton (see, for example, correspondence in the Southern Daily Echo). Local MP, Dr Julian Lewis, has condemned the changes as an ‘appalling outcome’. Hampshire County Council wants Totton’s previous London services restored.
- The 2 minutes which the slower Weymouth-London train has saved by not stopping at Totton are swallowed up by slower running between Poole and Bournemouth and longer dwell time at Southampton.
- The remote industrial halt at Holton Heath now has the direct London trains which the 60,000 people in the Totton station catchment area have lost.
- People at significant southern Dorset centres like Wool and Upwey are very dissatisfied with their slower service (for example, see correspondence in RAIL magazine).
- The two trains an hour from New Milton and Christchurch arrive at Southampton 6 minutes apart. There is only one direct train in the opposite direction.
- Eastbound trains from Branksome and Parkstone run 10 minutes apart in each hour.
* How did the difference between what was consulted on, what was prescribed by the Department for Transport (the ‘Service level Commitment’), and what Stagecoach is actually bothering to deliver come fully to light?
* Unsurprisingly, following such a seriously defective consultation, the Department for Transport was reluctant to give details. A Freedom of Information request by the South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group bore no fruit until the Information Commissioner intervened on their behalf. The Department then released the Service Level Commitment they had prescribed.
* South West Trains’ Managing Director twice wrote to Dr Lewis saying that the timetable could not be further changed because stopping patterns had been tightly specified by the Department for Transport. However, Rail Minister Tom Harris wrote to Dr Lewis saying he would welcome ‘further improvements’ (sic). The Department’s SWT sponsor wrote to the South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group saying that the differences between the Service Level Commitment and what SWT is actually running (a structurally very different timetable) are down to changes agreed between SWT and Network Rail. So apparently the Department’s specification can be changed for the convenience of Stagecoach, but not in the interests of passengers.
* Of course Department for Transport officials know that the Stagecoach timetable is trash. When the South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group proposed changes and offered to meet, they agreed and said that timetable changes would probably be on the agenda. But the officials had a pre-meeting with the SWT representative, and the changes slipped off the agenda. Instead, much of the meeting was taken up getting the officials to admit what was self-evident, that there had been no prior consultation on the downgrade of Totton’s services.
* There is little doubt which are the more significant stations west of Southampton. For several years the winter Sunday morning was reduced to one train an hour, and the stops were Totton, Brockenhurst, New Milton, Christchurch, Pokesdown, Bournemouth, Branksome, Poole, Wareham, Wool, Dorchester and Weymouth.
* The skeleton timetable proposed by SWT in the event of an ASLEF strike sees no SWT trains west of Southampton, and the stations served by buses are exactly the same as those listed above, except for the omission of Branksome.
* There is an overwhelming case for remedial changes. The case just for an improved service at Totton is substantial. A frequent Totton-Southampton service could bring big benefits. The journey takes 5 minutes, compared with 15 minutes off-peak and up to half an hour in the peaks by bus. The Totton-Southampton road is officially one of the most polluted in Hampshire because of the motorway link and the vast and expanding traffic from two container terminals.
* As for the Waterside area, potential custom is considered so significant that an additional West Totton Parkway station was in prospect to serve that market until the County Council decided to promote restoration of passenger services between Totton and Hythe instead.
* After trashing Totton’s services, SWT’s timetable manager has repeatedly stated that contingency arrangements are in place for when the London-Totton connection is missed at Southampton. But Southampton management seems to take a spiteful delight in ensuring that the connection is missed as often as possible. So the doors of the Totton train are slammed shut 30 seconds before departure time even when passengers off a late train from London are rushing to catch it. The train then stands at signals down the line for the train from London to overtake. Even when the contingency arrangements are activated, passengers get to Totton over 20 minutes late.
* It’s what Stagecoach calls things like corporate social responsibility and putting the passenger at the centre of everything it does. To the affected passengers it can seem more like contempt. and venom.
* It is instructive to compare departures from Totton with those from similar medium-sized centres of population in southern Hampshire from December 2007:
Emsworth (6 trains per hour by Southern)
Swanwick (6 trains per hour, 4 by Southern and 2 by SWT)
Romsey (at least 5 trains per hour, 3 by SWT and 2 or more by First Great Western)
New Milton (4 trains per hour by SWT)
Totton (2 trains per hour by SWT); direct journeys to and from London to take over 30 minutes longer than previously and journeys to New Milton, Christchurch are at average speeds of less than 20mph. The Southern Daily Echo has already drawn the parallel with Stephenson’s ‘Rocket’.
* With such a ridiculous service at Totton, the advertised booking office opening hours are now regularly cut, usually with closure over two hours earlier on Mondays to Thursdays, and total closure on Fridays, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays.
* Remembering the huge off-peak fare increases, it seems reasonable to say that Stagecoach means taking more, giving less. Or as Brian Souter said: greed before ethics.
* The South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group has proposed various changes, and DfT has asked SWT to consider them. SWT’s latest position is that they are monitoring custom at Totton to see whether it reduces. In other words, damn the customer, we’re just watching our profits. Greed before ethics. Castles before good public services. In a word: Stagecoach.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to her answer of 11 December 2007, Official Report, column 430W, on railways: standards, how many hits there have been on the website; and if she will place a copy of the study in the Library. 
Mr. Tom Harris: This information is held by Stagecoach South Western Trains who can be contacted at the following address: Stagecoach South Western Trains Limited, Customer Service Centre, Overline House, Blechynden Terrace, Southampton, Hampshire, SO15 1AL.
South West Trains
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport by how many (a) Class 442 and (b) Class 444 units South West Trains has reduced its main line express rolling stock fleet since the renewal of the franchise; and what percentage of the fleet the reduction represents. 
Mr. Tom Harris: 24 Class 442 units were taken off lease before the start of the Stagecoach South Western Trains (SSWT) Franchise that commenced in February 2007. The class 442s represented 7 per cent. of the total South West Trains (SWT) fleet under the previous franchise. No Class 442s ran in service under Stagecoach South Western Trains. 45 Class 444 units are on lease to Stagecoach South Western Trains and no class 444s have been cut from mainline express services.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make it her policy to require South West Trains to put Class 442 back in service in the interests of passenger comfort. 
Mr. Tom Harris: No.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment she has made of the reliability of Reading’s Class 458 train coach units; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The miles per casualty (moving annual average) in the period prior to the start of Stagecoach South Western Trains 07/11 (January 2007) for the Class 458s was 14,817 with six units in service.
The miles per casualty (moving annual average) in the latest period available 08/04 (June/July 2007) for the Class 458s was 14,613 with 30 units in service.
This demonstrates that the reliability of the units remains steady despite there being more trains diagrams in service and undertaking more mileage.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will request Passenger Focus to conduct a study into passenger comfort on Desiro Class 450 trains; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Secretary of State will not request Passenger Focus to conduct a study as the independent study which was commissioned and funded by South West Trains was reviewed by Passenger Focus. The findings of this report are available on the South West Trains Website: www.southwesttrains.co.uk
South West Trains
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 7 January 2008, Official Report, column 15W, on South West Trains, what percentage of the mainline express fleet class 442 rolling stock units represented before their withdrawal. 
Mr. Tom Harris: 24 Class 442 units were taken off lease before the start of the Stagecoach South Western Trains (SSWT) franchise that commenced in February 2007. The class 442s represented 10 per cent. of South West Trains (SWT) mainline fleet in unit number terms under the previous franchise. No Class 442s ran in service under Stagecoach South Western Trains.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 7 January 2008, Official Report, column 9W, on railways: standards, how many passengers were given the opportunity by (a) South West Trains and (b) her Department to read an unabridged version of the ergonomic study. 
Mr. Tom Harris: Only a redacted version of the study has been made available by South West Trains to passengers. South West Trains have, however, made the full report available to Passenger Focus who have confirmed that the redacted version accurately reflects the report’s findings.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the level of compliance of each Hampshire rail station with the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department does not assess the compliance of railway stations with Part 3 of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995. Station operators are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled people do not find it impossible or unreasonably difficult to access their services. Operators are responding to these duties, but where a disabled person believes that they have been discriminated against contrary to Part 3 they can bring a claim against the operator.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the (a) punctuality and reliability statistics and (b) passengers in excess numbers were for rail services on (i) the Portsmouth to Cardiff, (ii) Portsmouth to London via Guildford, (iii) Portsmouth to London via Basingstoke and (iv) Southampton to Havant routes in each month since January 2005. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department does not hold punctuality and reliability information broken down by service groups. Inquiries relating to data should be made to the relevant train operating companies.
For (a) (i): Chief Operating Officer, First Great Western, Head Office, Milford House, 1 Milford Street, Swindon, SN1 1HL and (a) (ii) (iii) and (iv): Managing Director, South West Trains, Friars Bridge Court, 41-45 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NZ.
The numbers of passengers on rail services running in excess of capacity is shown in the following table:
|Number of passengers on all rail services in excess of capacity in each peak|
|(i) Portsmouth to Cardiff||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
|(ii) Portsmouth to London (via Guildford)||411||146||827||487|
|(iii) Portsmouth to London (via Basingstoke)||0||62||106||107|
|(iv) Southampton to Havant||n/a||n/a||n/a||n/a|
n/a = Not available.
The data in the table relate to the previous South West Trains franchise. Data for the successor Stagecoach South Western Trains Franchise in autumn 2007 are being collected and are currently not available.
The rail White Paper was published in July 2007. It sets out the resources we intend to make available to the rail industry and the increases in capacity, as well as safety and performance, that we expect the industry to deliver in return. There are no specific requirements regarding levels of overcrowding on these routes. The Department's general requirements for overcrowding are that passengers should not be expected to stand for more than 20 minutes.
South West Trains: Rolling Stock
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 15 January 2008, Official Report, column 1094W, on South West Trains, what the internal specifications are for (a) seating and (b) stand alone tables for (i) suburban, (ii) mainline and (iii) mainline express rolling stock units; into which of these categories (A) class 442 and (B) class 444 units fall; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: A guidance note for interior design of trains has been issued by the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC). This document will have been taken into account by the designers of new trains like Class 444 and in the refurbishment of older trains like Class 442.
For further information and a copy of this document please contact either South West Trains or ATOC at the following addresses: South West Trains, Friars Bridge Court, 41-45 Blackfriars Road, London, SE1 8NZ;
Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), 3rd Floor, 40 Bernard Street, London, WC1N 1BY.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2008, Official Report, column 700W, on trains: standards, whether the full report commissioned by South West Trains was made available for review by Passenger Focus; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The full report was made available for independent review by Passenger Focus and the findings of the subsequent report published on the South West Trains website. Passenger Focus has confirmed the published findings to be an accurate reflection of the report.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport pursuant to the answer of 10 January 2008, Official Report, column 700W, on trains: standards, who undertook the study commissioned and funded by South West Trains; what the terms of reference of the study were; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department did not commission the report. The hon. Member should direct his queries to: Stagecoach South Western Trains Ltd., Floor 6, Friars Bridge Court, 41- 45 Blackfriars Road. London SE1 8N2.
South West Trains
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what factors underlay her decision to allow South West Trains to close their existing travel centres and not require them to be retained for railway purposes; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The South West Trains franchise agreement does not require the provision of Travel Centres at its stations, nor does the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement (TSA) which governs station ticket offices.
However, the change of use of part of a station or facility at that station, such as a Travel Centre, to another use which is non rail related is governed by the Network Modifications (Closures) regime contained in the Railways Act 2005 (“the Act”). Should South West Trains propose to change the use of Travel Centres with a non rail facility, their proposals will be dealt with under the provisions of the Act.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what specifications requested by her Department were written into the franchise documents for mainline express journeys from Portsmouth to London via Basingstoke for (a) seating and (b) stand alone tables prior to the franchise being won by South West Trains. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department did not specify the internal specification of the rolling stock on the South Western Franchise.
Rolling Stock: Standards
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) if she will bring forward proposals to meet the criticisms recorded in the Rail Passengers Council report of March 2005 in relation to the standard of stock on the Portsmouth mainline express service; and if she will make a statement; 
(2) if she will remit the report of March 2005 from the Rail Passengers Council back to the council requesting that it bring forward specific recommendations to address the views of passengers expressed in the report. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The disposition of rolling stock is a matter not for Government, but for Stagecoach South Western Trains (SSWT).
Network Rail: Portsmouth
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what representations she has made to Network Rail on signal failures in the Portsmouth area in 2008; what steps Network Rail has taken to prevent signalling problems during major works at Easter; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Secretary of State for Transport has made no representations to Network Rail on signal failures in the Portsmouth area in 2008. The prevention of signalling problems during major works at Easter is an operational matter for Network Rail as the owner and operator of the national rail network. The hon. Member should contact Network Rail’s chief executive at the following address for a response to his question: Iain Coucher, Chief Executive, Network Rail, 40 Melton Street, London, NW1 2EE.
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what her strategy is for increasing (a) passenger and (b) freight capacity on the national rail network; and if she will make a statement. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transport’s strategy for increasing passenger and freight capacity through record investment in the railway is set out in the 2007 White Paper, “Delivering a Sustainable Railway”. A copy of this White Paper is available in the House Library.
Railways: Public Participation
Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport if she will make it her policy to bring forward legislation to require Stakeholder Briefing Documents which lay out the specification against which bidders for future franchises are asked to submit their bids to include the results of a consultation exercise in which passengers have been consulted about their requirements, in accordance with the recommendations of the 14th Report of the Transport Committee on Passenger Franchising, Session 2005-06, HC 1354, para 34. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Government’s response to the Select Committee’s report (HC 265, published on 29 January 2007) explained that the Department for Transport already has a policy of consulting with a wide range of statutory and other bodies, including passenger representatives, before inviting tenders for passenger rail franchises. That remains our approach and we have no plans to legislate in this area.
South West Trains
Mr. Willetts: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment her Department has made of the potential effect of decreasing the mainline express stock on the Portsmouth to Waterloo mainline outside peak hours. 
Mr. Tom Harris: The Department for Transport has made no such assessment and is not aware of any off-peak capacity issues on this particular route.
CUSTOMER SERVICE THE STAGECOACH WAY
ANY OLD STORY IS GOOD ENOUGH - 1
* On 08/01/08, the customer information screen at Southampton Central advertised a 06.23 departure to Waterloo. Commuters thought that Stagecoach had at last done something to relieve the misery of overcrowding which it had created by axing the 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo service as part of its December 2004 timetable changes. A woman asked a member of the platform staff whether the train would arrive at Waterloo ahead of the 06.30. He said he didn’t know as it was an additional service introduced with the winter timetable. A few minutes later the 06.23 disappeared from the screen and has never been heard of since.
SO MUCH FOR SECURITY!
* At 06.30 on 10/01/08, the barriers on both sides of Southampton Central station were out of use.
* From SWT’s website:
“Crackdown on assaults
A two-month campaign against antisocial behaviour on the railway has been launched by British Transport Police (BTP) officers in association with our TravelSafe Officers and revenue protection staff.
These operations will target London’s main terminals, as well as rail hubs, such as Andover, Salisbury, Portsmouth and Clapham Junction. And, in a joint policing operation with Sussex Police, Hampshire Police and Chichester District Council on 30 November 2007, police arrested five people for various offences including being drunk and disorderly between Chichester, Havant, Cosham and Portsmouth Harbour. As well as the arrests, three youth reprimands were issued for trespassing, unacceptable behaviour and fare evasion.”
However, while SWT has been busy mopping up relatively minor offences, young people have been subjected to horrific assaults on their trains. On 13/11/07 a 28-year-old woman travelling from Hounslow to Clapham Junction suffered an alleged sexual assault by a passenger who boarded at Kew. 0n 21/11/07, two sixteen-year-old girls had CS gas sprayed on them as their train pulled into St Margaret’s station. Their attacker then hit them directly in the face. One of the girls required hospital treatment after being overcome by fumes and suffering irritation in her face and eyes.
DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT DISABLED PEOPLE?
* SWT’s website helpfully advertised that the lifts at Southampton Central station would be out of use from 9 January until 30 March. Rather a long time? What it didn’t bother to say was that the lifts at nearby Eastleigh station were already out of use until 21 January. During the first week of April the lifts at Southampton Central were still out of use.
* On 08/02/08, the guard of the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth broadcast an apology for wrong on-board announcements in the rear portion of the train. That was commendable, but the same wrong announcements are made evening after evening on the trains which split at Southampton Central. South Eastern doesn’t suffer this problem with dual-portion Kent Coast trains. So is this just another flaw in the cheap Desiros?
STAND AWAY FROM YOUR TRAIN – IT’S DUE TO DEPART IN 5 MINUTES
* SWT schedules are so slow that the morning commuter trains which arrive at Southampton Central in two portions are often coupled up and ready to leave a full five minutes before their scheduled departure time. On 05/03/08, the 07.30 to Waterloo was ready to depart by 07.25 and was repeatedly announced – all the announcements stating that people should not board as the train was not in public use.
WHY BOTHER GIVING RIGHT INFORMATION AT ALL?
* On 10/03/08, there were repeated announcements at Waterloo telling people to stand away from the train at platform 8, because it was not in public use. So passengers for the 17.05 to Weymouth boarded it and were on their way to Weymouth just few minutes late. On 11/03/08, the screens at Southampton advised that the Cross Country train at platform 1 was not in public use. So passengers for the 06.15 to Edinburgh boarded it and found that it left for Edinburgh at 06.15, with the screens still saying it was not in public use. Regular users of SWT stations become adept at dealing with Stagecoach information trash, but it’s a bit hard on non-regulars.
TIME FOR SEAT BELTS ON THE DESIROS?
* The riding qualities of SWT’s bargain basement Desiros continues to cause alarm. The horrific lurching of Waterloo-bound services at Worting Junction, west of Basingstoke, has returned. On 11/03/08 a passenger’s Thermos flask flew off a table on the 05.45 from Poole. Fortunately he managed to catch it in mid-air.
STRANDED PASSENGERS ‘FELT LIKE REFUGEES’
* The Southern Daily Echo of 18/03/08 reported how hundreds of passengers had been stranded in the freezing cold for up to two hours on Brockenhurst station because engineering works overran. Network Rail didn’t tell South West Trains about the overrun, and South West Trains sent away the replacement buses without bothering to check whether the works had finished. Brockenhurst station was reportedly like a refugee camp. You might have thought, after the outcry about the Christmas fiascos, that the two companies would be a bit more customer-focused.
HUGE FARE INCREASES PUT ‘INDEPENDENT’ STAGECOACH DIRECTOR ON THE DEFENSIVE AS REVENUE GROWTH OUTSTRIPS PASSENGER GROWTH
* Huge fare increases are now an annual ritual on the railways. Every January, fares soar above inflation, making rail travel less attractive. The Government, experts and large swathes of the public then spend the rest of the year worrying about global warming and climate change, which the fare increases will have further boosted by turning people back to their cars or the airways. But this year, the complaints in the press have been that much more strident than usual, giving rise to suspicions that transport could well command a substantial profile in the next general election.
* The most outrageous fare increases are on South West Trains, where off-peak day returns to London, from stations which have no competing services provided by less-greedy operators, soared by over 25%: 4.3% on levels already inflated by 20% since the January 2007 increases. This was one of a huge package of disadvantages which Stagecoach cheerfully plotted for its customers in the course of making an unrealistic bid to keep a franchise on which it had an appalling history. It seems tremendously lacking in corporate social responsibility to hit families who may want to take their children on educational trips to London during school holidays.
* So in the January-February edition of SWT’s e-motion (automated verbal diarrhoea?) magazine, the pages devoted to the Passengers Panel – still pretending to be the independent voice of South West Trains Passengers - were totally hi-jacked by Stagecoach director Sir Alan Greengross to argue his company’s case. So we read, “Once the Government set the rules, can one seriously suggest that South West Trains’ parent company should have refused to put in a huge bid when its very business depends on franchises to run railways?”
* The independent voice of passengers? We think not; passengers would be more interested in the trashing of the railway to compensate for overbidding. Sir Alan’s argument might be fair coming from a company with tight profit margins, but not from one whose co-founders have shared bonuses totalling about a quarter of a billion pounds in the past two years. If they put serving customers before collecting castles, they might deserve more sympathy. Compare this with the positions of Nigel Harris, Sir Bob Reid and John Prescott on putting customers first.
* Note especially Sir Alan’s comment that Stagecoach’s very business depends on franchises to run railways. What about buses? They messed up in the US. They pulled out of London because Souter couldn’t stand regulation to give passengers the bus services they needed rather than the ones which is was most profitable to run. Now the Government wants an element of regulation nationwide and Souter has said he will then pull out and sell off the bus stations for commercial development. Scarcely an idle threat since that’s exactly what Stagecoach did in Southampton.
* Irritation at the loss of Southampton’s bus station has persisted over two decades: Note letter in the Southern Daily Echo of 13/02/08: “Southampton had a perfectly good bus station in West Marlands Terrace opposite the Civic Centre (Letters, February 5). It was opened in 1933 and was operated by the Hants and Dorset Motor company. Sadly in the early 1980s it was demolished to make way for shops! Derek Marshall, Romsey”.
* Comeuppance may yet be at hand if high prices and the possibility of recession hit the commuting market. The Evening Standard of 28/01/08 reported, “London’s commuter train companies could be set to announce a series of profit alerts on the back of fears of a slowing economy in the capital and soaring fuel prices. Broker Investec has slapped a “sell” note on Stagecoach, the company behind Waterloo-based South West Trains and which owns half of Euston-based Virgin Trains, on fears of a fall in commuter numbers. “We estimate that flat passenger volumes on South West Trains in 2009 could imply a circa 25% downgrade on our pre-tax estimates,” said analyst Joseph Thomas.”
* The Evening Standard of 25/02/08 reported that SWT’s profits had risen by 14.2% in the 40 weeks to the beginning of February. However, the rise in passengers was only 6.2%, showing that it was massive fare increases which were fuelling revenue. The same pattern is emerging at Virgin Trains, in which Stagecoach has a 49% interest: revenues up 12.4% but passenger growth only 8.1%.
* Now a further threat looms over Stagecoach. It has treated its longer-distance SWT passengers with particular contempt, for example through deploying suburban trains between Waterloo and Portsmouth, trashing the Department for Transport’s Service Level Commitment on the Weymouth main line, and increasing off-peak fares to London by over 25% in one year. But the Mayor of London is seeking to add Southern’s suburban routes to his London Overground network. If that happens, SWT’s suburban routes can be expected to go the same way in the next franchise round. That would leave Stagecoach with the option of bidding just for the routes like Portsmouth and Weymouth. Poetic justice on the ethically-limited operator and perhaps something to celebrate in one of Souter’s musical sessions, such as when he publicly ridiculed Sir George Young?
* Things look no better for Stagecoach in respect of its 49% share in the Virgin Trains. At 1997 values, Virgin was supposed to pay a £130m premium on Virgin West Coast and receive a £6.9m subsidy on Virgin Cross Country in 2006-07. Yet it reportedly received a £221m subsidy on West Coast and a £231m subsidy on Cross Country. Cross Country has already gone to Arriva. It would be remarkable if the Virgin-Stagecoach partnership doesn’t lose West Coast, particularly as the Department for Transport has already refused them a 2-year extension of the existing franchise in return for much-needed additional coaches.
* It may be that Stagecoach feels the game is up in England (though perhaps not in Scotland where it made large donations to the Scottish Nationalist Party and plans for bus regulation were dropped from the party’s manifesto). For it has now decided to return to its infamous bus wars, but on American soil where it intends to do battle with First Group’s Greyhound services in the North East. It’s one thing for Arriva to focus its ambitions on Europe after being denied the South West Trains franchise despite thorough and painstaking consultations with stakeholders. It’s quite another for Stagecoach to look abroad after retaining SWT at a huge cost to its passengers.
* Watch for signs of increasing paranoia as Stagecoach’s greed is threatened. Things we have seen recently: Revenue protection officers making passengers take annual season tickets out of their holders to see whether their name is on the back of the ticket (a pointless irritation: the front of the ticket bears the number of the photocard which must be shown with the ticket); One person with a slightly worn season ticket, which clearly showed an expiry date in ‘May 08’ being assured by a conductor that his ticket machines could check all the details of a ticket, however worn (as if commuters were trying to disguise the expiry dates of their tickets, rather than Stagecoach issuing tatty paper tickets in return for several thousand pounds). This ticket was worn by the gates at Charing Cross. When Waterloo has gates the problem will obviously increase on SWT.
WHAT PEOPLE THINK OF STAGECOACH
* “Fare increases on the Portsmouth mainline have also infuriated South West Trains passengers who have seen services deteriorate since the company’s franchise renewal last year, with the immediate withdrawal of 35 per cent of mainline rolling stock. High-density suburban trains with cramped seating totally unsuited to a two-hour journey now form half of Portsmouth services.
Both SWT and the Department for Transport have declined to conduct an independent survey to establish passenger views. SWT’s decision to downgrade the Portsmouth service was based solely on overcrowding, although of 137 daily services, only five are even remotely busy.
Passengers believe SWT rolling stock changes were due to suburban trains’ significantly reduced leasing costs: 20 per cent cheaper than mainline equivalents. One hundred and twenty of the popular Wessex Electric carriages now lie idle at Eastleigh, Hampshire. While Portsmouth passengers may be prepared to accept fare rises in line with inflation, they will not tolerate a corresponding reduction in service quality. David Habershon, No 450 Campaign” (Evening Standard 03/01/08)
* “Following the 15 per cent price hike for the commuters of South West Trains – another blow. My wife’s season ticket required renewal but Whitton station had only one ticket window open and a queue onto the High Street. She returned in the evening, only to find the ticket office closed. This happened for four nights, until she was forced to queue on the final morning before her ticket expired to avoid those penalties which appear to be South West Trains’ priority. John Bloomfield, Twickenham” (Evening Standard 11/01/08)
* “I’M NOW PAYING EVEN MORE FOR THIS ABYSMAL TRAIN SERVICE
I travel to Portsmouth by train each week, and since starting more than two years ago, I have had only two days when all the trains have arrived on time.
I have heard all the excuses possible, including 11 suicides (three of which were in one week, probably caused by people waiting for their train), missing crew members and trains, animals on the track, and bomb scares. And they still claim 99 per cent of their trains run on time.
Last year I was stuck at Eastleigh for more than two hours because of delays, and people were dropped off before their station because the train was running late.
What is worse is that I now have to leave even earlier because my usual train has been cancelled, and I have to pay even more. Ben Davis, Cadnam” (Southern Daily Echo 14/01/08)
[Could Mr Davis be one of the people who now have to leave Totton at 05.49 instead of 06.06 in order to catch the 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth? As part of December’s huge timetable downgrade, the 06.06 was timed to 06.12 and its passengers get to platform 3 at Southampton at 06.20, just as the doors of the 06.21 are slammed shut at platform 2, a few feet away.]
* “A WORSE RAIL SERVICE
What have the good people of Totton done to be derailed? High prices, less service, big bucks for the buses. Patrick Cooper, Eling, Totton” (Southern Daily Echo 17/01/08)
* “FAR BETTER SERVICE
Thank you, South West Trains, for the improved direct service on the Southampton to Salisbury line. It’s such a relief not having to rely on the atrocious First Great Western, whose timekeeping was dreadful. Jason King, Southampton” (Southern Daily Echo 18/01/08) [Not comparing like with like, though - it must be easier to run a local shuttle service between Romsey, Southampton and Salisbury than to run a long-distance international service via the Severn Tunnel. Worth remembering also, that the service which Mr King likes arose from public and political pressure against DfT’s proposals for the Romsey-Totton service, so no credit due to SWT for introducing it.]
* “IF YOU DON’T KNOW HOW TO CATCH A BUS READ ON
In the modern world, there are a million complex things to understand, including computers, quantum physics… and buses.
Yes, getting on and off a No.21 is now considered so tricky that one operator has published a guide on how to board without bother.
Invaluable advice includes: ‘At the bus stop, signal with your hand for the driver to stop the bus and get on. Tell the driver where you are going and if you would like a single or return ticket. We recommend asking the driver for the most economical ticket available for your journey type. Payment for your journey should be made in cash. Exact change is appreciated where possible, although change can be given”.
The guide tells bus users to remain seated throughout their journey. They should press the bell once and then wait until the bus stops before leaving their seat and getting off. Stagecoach said the guide was written for people who normally drive.
A spokesman added: “Everyone used to know how to catch a bus. That is no longer the case”. But some passengers are not so taken with the helping hand. IT consultant Steve Sanderson, 33, said: “I mean, who doesn’t know how to signal you want a bus to stop? It’s not exactly rocket science, is it?” (Metro 21/01/08)
[This is typical of ethically-limited Stagecoach’s superior attitude towards its passengers, yet it also seems a world away from SWT. Where does Stewart Palmer tell you to ask for the most economical ticket to London, for example by booking a day return to Basingstoke and day return from Basingstoke to London? And if you tarry in your seat until the train stops, platform staff will probably be bellowing or whistling at you as you alight, while the guard is screaming that it’s a train not a sheepdog trial.]
* “GOING BY CAR NOW NEARLY ESSENTIAL
I smiled when I read of the various traffic schemes to ease traffic flow and the possible costs (Daily Echo, January 21).
Yet an option that helped cut car use, the train service from Totton to Romsey via Redbridge, Millbrook, the airport, Eastleigh and Chandler’s Ford has been re-routed, cutting out Totton.
The passenger levels were always higher at Totton than Redbridge or Millbrook. Who makes these decisions?
When it was mooted to include a Salisbury link, why was the route to Salisbury not just extended from Romsey?
The end result is that all the people who picked up this local service have to change with a 40 minute wait at Southampton for the Chandler’s Ford/Eastleigh/Romsey connection, or use the car. Irene Drakeford, Totton” (Southern Daily Echo 26/01/08)
* “EAST MIDLANDS TRAINS PRICED ME OFF THE RAILWAY…
While staying in Northamptonshire with a friend I decided to indulge my fondness for rail travel by taking the train from Wellingborough to St Pancras to see its much acclaimed makeover, and then visit the neighbouring British Library.
One surprise was the £5.50 minimum charge for parking at the station, and then, even with a railcard (which has now increased by £4 to £24) the off-peak day return was £20.10.
My journey was discretionary travel paid out of disposable income, but at these prices I shall not be repeating the experience. The Treasury and East Midlands Trains, for walk-on fares, have just priced me off the railways. My perception is that discretionary rail travel no longer represents value for money. EMT has since raised the cost of unregulated fares 7%. Peter Hume-Sprye, Nottingham” (Rail, 30/01/08)
* “It’s absurd that a pay-as-you-go Oyster customer is encouraged to travel from, say, Waterloo to Wimbledon via Earls Court on the District Line. It’s further, slower, and adds to Zone 1 congestion, but the overground rail operator wants to charge an exorbitant fare.
Wimbledon has Oyster readers but they don’t accept pay-as-you-go; they’re a trap, so travellers who didn’t know the rules get charged a penalty fare. Nigel” (Evening Standard 11/02/08)
* DON’T TRY COMMUTING FROM CHANDLERS FORD TO HILSEA
A Chandlers Ford-Hilsea commuter, who switched to SWT to reduce his carbon footprint, is finding the journey so problematic that he has set up a blog:
* PATHETIC ‘SHORTAGE OF STOCK’ EXCUSE
“Whenever the Department for Transport trots out the usual excuses for overcrowding for the umpteenth time – lack of capacity, shortage of rolling stock, blah, blah – commuters on South West Trains’ Windsor line routes standing on one foot doing a passable impression of a sardine can be forgiven for quietly seething. Because at Waterloo, there are five deserted ex-International platforms with tracks now gently rusting. One could be brought back into use almost immediately by the simple expedient of knocking a hole in the dividing wall between the present platform and the adjacent International Platform 20. And the remainder could be used pretty quickly thereafter by erecting buffer stops part way down the existing Eurostar-length platforms (so too long for even 12-car SWT trains) and erecting some temporary staging behind them.
Meanwhile, squashed commuters on the longer distance routes to Portsmouth, Southampton and Bournemouth would find the ‘shortage of stock’ excuse just a little more believable if, more than a year after their withdrawal, and despite the raid on some for Southern’s new Gatwick Express services, half the class 442 Wessex fleet was not still languishing in full view in sidings at Eastleigh. Indeed, given the DfT’s recent announcement that SWT is to receive 105 extra vehicles under its ‘1,300 new coaches’ plan, one has to wonder why SWT was ever allowed to give up this serviceable and popular 120-vehicle fleet in the first place. A lack of forward planning seems evident. Quelle surprise! ” (Alan Williams, Modern Railways, March 2008)
* EAST MIDLANDS FRANCHISE
“The East Midlands Trains (EMT) franchise is already showing how little the government has learned from 12 years of rail franchising. Three months after Stagecoach took over, passengers are fed up with short trains and overcrowding, especially on the Liverpool-Manchester-Sheffield-Norwich route. EMT promises 10% more capacity – but only by rearranging seats in existing trains. (Cramming more passengers in was perfected by Stagecoach’s South West Trains: see Eye 1169.) Last month the government announced where 1,300 extra carriages will be deployed around England by 2014; and the sprawling EMT franchise will get precisely, er, three more carriages. Stagecoach makes a meager £180 million annual profit, and mustered only a £700 million windfall for shareholders last year. So it’s up to ‘Stakeholders’ (publicly funded authorities) to fund extra carriages.” (Private Eye 22/02/08)
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION BY SWT’S AUTOMATED VERBAL DIARRHOEA (“e-motion”?) - 2
* “UNNECESSARY NOISE
I totally agree with J Stevens’s letter about train announcements (“Loud and annoying”, yesterday). I travel on South West Trains for 45 minutes and have counted up to 40 announcements in that time. These consist of three per station letting us know where we are and where we’re going. The other messages relate to beggars and anything suspicious. There aren’t any beggars at 7am! To add insult, we get a thank you for travelling on South West Trains, as if we have a choice. Mike Trebble, Surrey” (The London Paper 29/01/08)
* “NOISE WILL DRIVE PASSENGERS OFF RAIL
Regarding the non-stop PA barrage on board trains, I have made recent journeys on the class 450 Desiros on South West Trains.
On one occasion I was travelling from London Waterloo to Kew Bridge and the volume of the announcements on board this train was very loud. It was far more annoying than hearing a mobile phone conversation from the girl sitting opposite! It was so bad I had to get off at Wandsworth Town and wait for the next train.
Unfortunately, the announcements on the following train turned out to be just as loud. So I had no choice but to put up with it until I got to Kew Bridge.
Don’t operators realize this noise pollution increases stress levels? As if commuting for many is not stressful enough already.
All this seems to me to be a highly effective way of forcing people off public transport and to use the car instead! At least in your own car you can play whatever music you want to listen to. You are not having to put up with incessant announcements at loud volume which you have absolutely no control over!
I realize these announcements are for the benefit of the visually impaired. However, it should be possible to use a gentle, calming voice at a suitable volume that is not too loud. They seem to have got it right on the Electrostar EMUs used on C2C from Fenchurch Street to Southend and Shoeburyness. >From my experience announcements on these are clear without being deafening.
Perhaps a loop system could be installed for the hard of hearing. Andrew Cook, Goodmayes, Essex” (RAIL No 585)
* On 07/02/08, passengers on the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth had a horrific half hour at the start of their journey. From boarding at Waterloo to passing Woking, they had an automated announcement threatening penalty fares at precisely two minutes intervals, including in the quiet coach. Could this suddenly have stopped because some stressed commuter threatened the guard with a health and safety complaint?
CONTINUING PROTESTS AGAINST STAGECOACH AXE ON WINCHESTER–ROMSEY BUS LINK
* Protesters were to hold their first public meeting on 04/01/08. Their protests culminated in the delivery of a 2,000 name petition to Downing Street. The reduced service is unreliable and too inconvenient for many commuters. Co-ordinator Nadine Taylor says many have abandoned it and gone back to using their cars. She says the rail link ticked all the right boxes for greener integrated transport by getting people out of their cars and on to buses and trains: “If Stagecoach really don’t want this service and don’t put in place things to increase passenger usage then we’ve got to look at other options. We are looking at getting some funding for a commercial operation and teaming up with an existing operator in the area. We wouldn’t be treading on Stagecoach’s shoes because we would be replacing something that has been axed”. (Southern Daily Echo 04/01/08)
* The Southern Daily Echo of 21/03/08 reported, that although a few extra services were running on parallel Stagecoach route 66 until July, they were poorly marketed and their unreliability was forcing people back to their cars.
LYMINGTON BRANCH – HOW TO WASTE £20,000?
* The New Forest Post of 31/01/08 reports that a Community Rail Partnership is trying to secure £20,000 from councils and other organizations to appoint an expert to develop the potential of the Brockenhurst-Lymington line. Low passenger numbers outside the summer peak have raised questions about the line’s future.
* Is the present poor position really surprising? The service is buried in the middle of Stagecoach’s current timetable booklet (Table 14 – the main line service at Brockenhurst is in Table 1), with a warning that ‘connections’ will not be maintained in the event of late running. There is only a general indication as to the times of the connecting Isle of Wight ferries – passengers have to guess whether the peak or off-peak service will be running when they want to travel.
* In BR days the Lymington trains connected with both main line services at Brockenhurst and ferries at Lymington. That was 100% convenient. Now they connect just with the ferries and passengers have waits of up to almost 30 minutes at Brockenhurst for main line trains: 50% convenient for Isle of Wight residents and 0% convenient for Lymington passengers.
* To make matters worse, the branch is the last place on the former BR Southern Region where old slam door trains are in use. All operators except Stagecoach withdrew such trains years ago. They are very unpleasant for the local people who might use them all year, and simply of sentimental value to a few summertime rail enthusiasts.
* Ironically, one extra modern electric unit is required just to run the hourly Waterloo-Poole service to such a slow Stagecoach schedule. This means that Britain’s oldest mainland trains meet some of the country’s slowest trains in Brockenhurst station. Stagecoach territory indeed!
* The only thing people really need to be asked is, in addition to the replacement of their awful old trains, would they prefer good connections at Brockenhurst or direct services between Lymington and other towns and, if so, towards Southampton or towards Bournemouth?
FIRST GREAT WESTERN STAKEHOLDER CONFERENCE - @BRISTOL 05/03/08
* Many thanks to First Group for the opportunity to attend this year’s conference. 82 organisations were represented, and there were opportunities before and after the presentations, as well as during the lunch break, to talk informally to managers. Such openness must inevitably seem impressive to SWT passengers more used to secrecy or Stagecoach word-twisting in their e-motion magazine. Anyone who hasn’t been to the conference venue – Bristol’s Harbourside development, should consider a visit.
Presentation by Andrew Haines, Chief Operating Officer, on the Strategic Direction of First Great Western
* Vision of putting passengers first, real engagement, passion for improvement, reinvesting in business as well returning profits to shareholders. Leadership, behaviour, structure, processes, capability and capacity all need to change. Areas of achievement to date include the new December timetable, high speed train refreshment programme including new engines, station ticket offices and waiting rooms, refreshment and modification of regional train sets and £2 million refreshment of the Penzance sleeper service.
* Strong new management team in prospect. 60% of directors in post less than 5 months. Determination to work closely with Network Rail and not blame them for everything. Customer service function has moved from Swindon to Paddington to help mitigate disruption, when it occurs, for the maximum number of passengers.
* £29 million package of improvements in prospect. More compensation for performance disruption during 2008-09. More train crews and staff depots. Strengthened local management, enhanced operations control, dedicated catering management, more rolling stock hired for regional services.
* Phenomenal route improvement coming. Rebuilding of the Reading station area. In-cab signalling. Redoubling of track on the Cotswold route and the construction of Crossrail.
* Future challenges are rolling stock allocation tight (some additional carriages are on loan), further work on the timetable during 2008, fares, and implementation of major projects.
Presentation by David Ward – Franchise Director, Network Rail, on Network Rail’s Challenges on First Great Western Over the Next 5 Years
* Thames Valley is now the main problem area. Things are much better in the South West. The Thames Valley infrastructure cannot yet absorb the new Reading layout or Crossrail. Signalling failures and track defects. The robustness of Slough signalling centre is a big issue. Contingency plans in place and track tested every night.
* Proactive on points failures. Some 20 sets of monitoring equipment now in place which report back remotely when points are about to fail. There were 64 locations with speed restrictions. There will be none between London and Bristol by the first week in April. Target of 21% performance improvement by Network Rail and 18% by First Great Western in 2008-09. Network Rail and First Great Western working together and owning problems and solutions jointly. Better command structure, and people will be supported when they make decisions. No more blame culture.
* Performance improvement target is heroic. Three quick wins to improve performance at Oxford are being implemented immediately.
Presentation by Councillor Ian Hudspeth of Oxfordshire County Council on Oxfordshire’s Transport Strategy and the Importance of Rail
* The County has had rail accessibility problems since Beeching. Only 4 of the County’s 22 stations are staffed all day. Rail strategy focused on making the best use of what there is. 74% more freight from Southampton Docks due to pass through the County. The railway removes freight lorries from the A34. Bulk materials to Didcot and aggregate from the Mendip Hills. The Cotswold line single track is always a problem. Passengers whose train doesn’t turn up can always get a bus from Thornhill to London within 6 minutes. Good things are the frontline staff, stakeholder relations and improvements in trains and stations.
* How to get more people on the railway? So far more local trains, cycling and walking. Looking at a rentabike scheme for Oxford itself, based on Paris model. Investing £0.5 million in local services in Oxford this year. Better road and rail access to Oxford; £62m from central Government between 2011 and 2016, but railway element being dragged forward. East-West rail link. £4.4m interchange at Didcot. More trains to the Bicester line in December with local bus services integrated more effectively. Oxford Canal Line, with rail/boat link at Heyford: Sunday service introduced.
Presentation by Stuart Baker, Department for Transport, on Strategic Priorities for First Great Western as perceived by the Department, and Replacing the High Speed Trains – Opportunities and Challenges
* First Great Western has seen a 50% increase in traffic since the 1990s. Big plans. Potential timetable changes. The West is to be better linked into the rest of the UK. Gauge and capacity increases for freight. Stone on the move for London’s growth. Challenge of continuing business during change and managing freight as well as passengers. Looking at potential for redoubling track on the Swindon-Kemble and North Cotswold lines. Programme plan to be issued for discussion in the Spring.
* Reading long recognised as a bottleneck and constraint on lengthening trains. It’s got a steam age layout. Previous plans were unaffordable and undeliverable. There are to be two fast line platforms in each direction, and at least two relief lines. Basingstoke and Newbury lines to be separated. Longer commuter trains. There are to be 3 12-coach platforms for Waterloo services and new platforms on the northern side. Reopening of the diveunder will facilitate direct Gatwick-Oxford trains. New elements will be brought in first so that existing operations are not affected. Completion by 2015.
* Crossrail to Maidenhead. Interface between Crossrail and First Great Western. Milton Keynes-Oxford is a local authority scheme, but may be upgraded for Inter City operation.
* New Inter City trains to be deployed on Great Western by 2016 and fully introduced by 2020. Will be around for 30 years so high level of flexibility. Trains are essentially electric units with small power stations and will run as long trains or half trains. Will mean no diesel train pollution under the Paddington station roof.
Points from Questions and Answers
* Aspirations for faster InterCity journeys. This will come in time when greater segregation of traffic flows is justified. Growing centres like Didcot cannot be ignored by express services.
* The 53 additional carriages for First Great Western are from a range of diesel units and will release class 158 coaches for strengthening Portsmouth-Cardiff services to 3 coaches. Some Pacer units and class 150s are on temporary loan. 3 Adelantes will be retained until an additional High Speed Train is available.
* Outline planning application by developers for a new station at Grove. Stops facilitated by absence of coal trains when Didcot A power station closes in 2012-2015.
* Concerns about limited local services in the Bristol area. 20% of Birmingham commuters go by rail; only 1.6% of Bristol commuters. Problems of most commuter services running on main lines. Continuing aspirations for a Metro service to be considered over the next 10-12 years.
* Cardiff-Portsmouth line is an economic driver but leaves people behind - deserves new rolling stock. Network is catching up on expansion, but it’s all a mater of the Department for Transport’s priorities.
* Prospects for electrification? High speed train replacement will be able to use current where it is available.
* Concerns about spacing of First Great Western and Arriva Trains Wales services between Newport and Swansea. Industry is customer led – should allow for growth and sensible travel patterns.
* On branch lines, First Great Western has a commitment to every part of the network. Some branch lines have their best ever service. Community Rail Partnerships a way ahead.
* Concerns that the Kemble-Swindon line had failed the test for re-doubling track. Affordability seen as very marginal. An announcement on the Cotswold line was expected in two months. First Great Western strongly supports redoubling.
* BAA’s Airtrack scheme for Heathrow still in place, but depends on the new platforms at Reading.
* Aspirations for new station at greatly expanded Corsham. Department for Transport very discouraging. Would involve new service [Bristol-Oxford service having been axed], as a stop would slow existing Bristol trains. Many issues to be resolved.
* Re-quadrupling of Bristol Temple Meads – Bristol Parkway line? Being evaluated but no immediate prospects.
* Modular stations? Modular construction is Network Rail policy for stations, crossings and footbridges. Helps meet challenges.
* Tram-trains? Network Rail not pushing them.
* For passengers using First Group’s trains on the Cardiff-Portsmouth line, there is the excellent news of a 40% increase in capacity, through the reintroduction of 3-coach class 158 trains on all through services. This is reportedly to be delivered in months. Some 3-coach trains are in operation already and the interior environment is surprisingly up-market with restful lighting and quality décor. Very different from SWT’s refurbished class 158s, with their harsh lighting and eye-assaulting upholstery.
FILE ON 4 PROGRAMME ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE MAINTENANCE FAILURES – 05/02/08
* Thanks to Julian O’Halloran and Rob Cave of the BBC for the opportunity to talk to them for an hour about the 2006 derailments of SWT trains at Epsom and Waterloo. It’s good that researchers are finding the SHRUG website and are prepared to beat a path to Totton. Many issues were discussed at the meeting, particularly the ongoing pattern of supervisory inadequacies which stretches from the Clapham disaster of 1988 to the recent Grayrigg disaster via the Epsom and Waterloo derailments which were less high-profile only because there was no loss of life. As SHRUG stressed to the BBC, rail is a very safe form of transport but even minor human or systemic failures can have catastrophic effects, and the recurrence of a wide range of maintenance shortcomings over two decades inevitably gives rise for concern. We also highlighted the re-signalling problems at Portsmouth and put the BBC in touch with the No 450 Group.
* Mr O’Halloran was clearly very conscientious in his background research, and conducted his subsequent interviews with officialdom authoritatively and robustly. The resulting programme highlighted the long-term nature of many of the problems, exposed clear tensions between Network Rail which has had its maintenance budget reduced and the Rail Regulator who considers that Network Rail is suffering from a skills rather than financial deficit, and provided an excellent overview of a life-and-death issue.
PENSIONERS’ CONCESSIONARY TRAVEL: IS IT INCREASING SOCIAL ISOLATION?
* Will government never realize that the more subsidy given to some bus operators, the faster their purported costs will increase? The result is that more and more services disappear, the policy of increasing bus usage fails (it has slumped, except in London where regulation is still in effect), and more non-car owners, often elderly people, face social isolation.
* The pensioners’ concessionary travel scheme on local bus services was a great idea… In theory. Older people could afford to get out and about, empty seats would be filled, and bus operators would get guaranteed returns from public funds. But with increasing passenger numbers, the operators wanted even bigger subsidies. It appears as if, since there was a limit to what more they could get out of the concessionary scheme, they simply demanded extra funding for evening and Sunday services. Quite large centres of population, like Lyndhurst (‘capital’ of the New Forest) and the ferry port of Lymington have last bus departures from Southampton before 7pm on weekdays, with only skeleton services on Sundays. Villages which are not on main routes have in many cases lost their services altogether. Pensioners are then isolated.
* From this April, all-England concessionary travel is introduced. Sounds great. Pensioners can make longer journeys. Unfortunately, the Southampton-Bournemouth bus service via Ringwood was axed in January. This is the first time in the living memory of most people when Southampton and Bournemouth have not been linked by direct bus services. Passengers can change at Lymington, but Southampton-Bournemouth takes over 3 hours by this route. The only faster (95-minute) morning service, via a connection at Ringwood, leaves Southampton at 08.50. Free travel starts at 09.00 or 09.30, depending on where people live.
* Southampton-Portsmouth is almost as bad - no bus on which the concession is valid until 11.20. Pensioners with Hampshire’s previous ‘anytime passes’ could travel two hours earlier. It’s not unreasonable for peak services to be restricted to fare paying passengers, who are probably travelling to and from work. But it’s a bit self-defeating to give pensioners free travel on non-existent services.
* It generally takes a long time to get anywhere by bus. Beyond local travel, the national concession is likely to be most useful when going by coach, train or plane to an England holiday destination and then making local bus journeys in the holiday area. Interesting to see how bus subsidies work in major holiday areas like Bournemouth, Blackpool and Torbay. Funds needed for local pensioner populations to be reduced by soaring handouts to bus operators to provide free transport for visitors?
* In Worthing, where a quarter of the population is over 60, Stagecoach has already slashed bus services. The Guardian of 10 March reported speculation that the company may be seeking a judicial review of the concessionary fares scheme. With the two founders’ bonuses over the past two years having amounted to barely a quarter of a billion pounds, they clearly need to keep the wolf from the door.
DIARY OF A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER –15
31/12/07 - 01/01/08 Did not travel.
02/01/08 Totton ticket office was closed at 0645. My newly-issued season ticket managed to work the London Underground ticket barriers - but for how long? Stock for the 1735 from Waterloo arrived just 10 minutes before its scheduled departure time, by which time the platform number for the service had been displayed leading to a scrum on the platform. The in-carriage display showed "Not in service" until after departure from Waterloo and passengers were then serenaded with at least 7 (seven!) renditions of "you must buy a ticket to travel on one of our trains". When the service split at Southampton Central, the first announcement by the guard of the stopping pattern for the rear half of the train omitted mention of Totton.
03/01/08 Totton ticket office was open at 0545. The partial staffing of the station appears to be continuing into 2008 as the temporary staff member standing in for the permanent staff (who apparently remains "seconded to rosters" at Southampton Central) only works on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays - even before accounting for holidays and sickness. Users of the car park can now (finally!) buy their car parking ticket a little easier as the car park ticket now appears on the first page of the platform ticket machine instead of being ludicrously hidden on the "More Popular Destinations" page, but it is still not possible to purchase 2-day or 3-day tickets from the ticket machine when the ticket office is (as so often) closed as the notice in the car park implies. 0549 from Totton left Eastleigh before its scheduled departure time.
04/01/08 Totton ticket office was closed at 0640. 0645 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time, 4 minutes late at Waterloo. Strange hot, sweet, burning odour (like frying honey-covered chicken!) in the carriage of the 1805 from Waterloo.
07/01/08 - 09/01/08 Did not travel.
10/01/08 Totton ticket office open at 0640. This evening, noticed broken glass on the station footbridge at Totton and broken glass on the pavement outside the station.
11/01/08 Totton ticket office open (on a Friday!) at 0645. On the 0645 from Totton, had to twist my foot to avoid a burned ankle from the floor level heating - 4 minutes late at Waterloo.
14/01/08 Totton ticket office was open at 0710 but the ticket machine alarm was flashing red. 0715 from Totton was 20 minutes late at Waterloo with the guard apologising for "slow running due to a backlog of trains". 1805 from Waterloo was 6 minutes late at Totton, with the guard treating passengers with the gloriously uninformative announcement (after specifying the list of stations where passengers need to alight from the front 5 carriages) that "the front 5 carriages are ...er... at the front". Broken glass on the station footbridge at Totton and broken glass on the pavement outside the station has been there since at least last Thursday (10th).
15/01/08 1805 from Waterloo was 5 carriages only, with passengers standing in vestibules and aisles (including in 1st class). Managed to find some floor space only to find that the service did not depart on time, due initially to "awaiting your train crew" who had been "delayed due to the weather", but subsequently changed to "signalling problems outside Waterloo" before ending up as "points failure outside Waterloo". There was no explanation or apology for the gross overcrowding caused by running the train in short formation. Eventually left Waterloo at 1826. The automated announcements and in-carriage displays were useless, with "This train is now approaching its final stop, London Waterloo" being announced twice to the somewhat bemused, but tightly packed, passengers who no doubt appreciated the advice to "Please remember to take all your personal possessions with you when you leave the train" - one passenger was heard to comment "This is pathetic". When we left Waterloo, the in-carriage displays were still showing "Not in service" - possibly contributing to a passenger who had managed to squeeze onto the train at the last minute finding that the first stop was Winchester only when the guard announced the stopping pattern after departure - clearly she wasn't intending to travel there from the look of surprise and horror on her face. As we were travelling, we were also treated twice to "Welcome aboard this South West Trains service calling at London Waterloo", before the in-carriage display settled down to just repeatedly displaying "This train is for Weymouth". Finally got a seat at Winchester having stood on this train for over 90 minutes. 36 minutes late at Totton, where the broken glass on the station footbridge and on the pavement was still there.
16/01/08 A fellow passenger advised me that yesterday evening he had not travelled on the 1805 due to its overcrowding, but then found that the 1835 was also half-length, delayed and overcrowded. Not having seen the 1839 on the departure board, he then asked about that service to be told firstly that it had been cancelled and then, when asking somebody else, that it had already left. Eventually joined the 1905 which was a few minutes late arriving at Southampton Central which allowed him enough time to find out where the "connecting" Totton service was due to depart from and get to the platform just as the guard locked its doors and the train left the station. He eventually left Southampton Central on the slightly delayed 2051, getting to Totton about 95 minutes late.
17/01/08 It is now £7.00 for a standard car park ticket at Southampton Central - with a premium ticket (ie close enough to the station so you don't get soaked if it is raining) costing £10.00 - only a few years back the premium ticket was £4.60! 0930 from Southampton Central had "Not in service" displayed on the in-carriage indicators until after departure. The subway under the platforms at Waterloo is now closed after 1030 - practice for when ticket barriers are installed at Waterloo perhaps. Travelling on the 2035 from Waterloo, found that the ticket barriers at Southampton Central had been left open and unmanned at this "accredited secure station" even before 2200 - the usual time this happens.
18/01/08 Totton ticket office is now apparently to be open every weekday but only to 1030 Monday to Thursday, 0930 Fridays until March - instead of the advertised time of 1230 each weekday. 0715 from Totton had a taped-up broken window in the first carriage. 1905 from Waterloo left a few minutes late and arrived at Southampton Central at 2031, one minute after the scheduled departure time of the Totton connection which had of course been allowed to leave the station to wait just up the line at the Millbrook signals for the 1905 to overtake it, instead of waiting for connecting passengers at Southampton Central. When passengers expressed their frustration to a member of the station staff, he agreed with us completely, saying "it happens all the time" (we later overheard him talking about the situation with a manager). A fellow passenger on the platform told me that he had been on the 1605 from Waterloo on Tuesday and had only just been able to sprint to make the connection from the 1605 at Southampton Central (being relatively young and fit) but had seen some more elderly passengers left behind. As we waited at Southampton Central a family with two young children in a double buggy arrived on a CrossCountry service to find the lift at Southampton Central out of action (as it is until the end of March) but they were left to struggle up the stairs with no offer of assistance from platform staff. To add insult to injury for Totton passengers stranded at Southampton Central, the 2051 service to Totton (which the platform indicators showed incorrectly as having both the front and rear halves of the train for Totton) was shown as running 3 minutes late, but this kept extending by a few minutes every time we checked, with the train eventually arriving 20 minutes late - so for the sake of a minute's connection we were delayed by almost an hour. Glass was still scattered on the footbridge at Totton.
21/01/08 1805 from Waterloo 3 minutes late at Southampton Central. Before the franchise renewal, a 3 minute delay was enough to trigger the guard to make an announcement under the "as soon as we know, you know" banner - but strangely enough there has been no sign of anything similar since SWT got the franchise again.
22/01/08 1805 from Waterloo was short-formed again, this time with a 4-carriage suburban 450 unit attached to a 5-carriage 444 unit instead of the normal two 444 units. The guard apologised for the overcrowding due to "a shortage of train stock at Bournemouth". Noticed that it was very difficult to pass through the 450 unit carriages due to passengers overhanging the undersized seats and effectively blocking the passage through the train. No seat until Winchester! Even more broken glass at Totton which no-one has seen fit to sweep up - on the footbridge steps up from the down platform, on the footbridge itself and also on the pavement outside the station.
23/01/08 My new season ticket has started to be rejected by some of the London Underground ticket barriers with code "09". This evening the departure summary screen in the subway under the platforms at Waterloo (by the steps up from the Waterloo & City line) was not working. 1805 from Waterloo was again a 4-carriage suburban 450 unit attached to a 5-carriage 444 unit. The guard explained this as "we are a bit short of stock" and said "hope it's not too crowded".
24/01/08 The buffet trolley in the rear 5 coaches of the 0730 from Southampton Central to Waterloo was "parked up due to the overcrowding". The departure summary screen in the subway under the platforms at Waterloo was not working again this evening, but this was compounded by the failure of both screens in the subway that show departures from platform 14 - leaving passengers to guess which service was at the platform. 1805 from Waterloo was a 4-carriage 450 unit attached to a 5-carriage 444 unit for the third time running. The guard advised passengers for the 1809 to Portsmouth Harbour (whose passengers were also apparently adding to the overcrowding on the 1805) that their service would start from Winchester. No apology was given for the stock change.
25/01/08 Still have multiple screens not working in the subway under the platforms at Waterloo. 1805 from Waterloo was yet again formed partially with suburban 450 stock inappropriate for long-distance travel. No apology or even mention of the stock change by the guard. Glass was still scattered on the footbridge at Totton and a commercial vehicle from a local business was parked in a station car park space.
28/01/08 0612 from Totton was cancelled and the defined SWT recovery plan failed miserably as the 0545 from Poole (0630 from Southampton Central) thundered through Totton without stopping, despite the temporary ticket office staff member trying to contact "Control" to confirm the recovery plan was in place but receiving no reply. A commercial vehicle from a local business is parked in a station car park space. Apparently, this van and two cars from the same business were in the car park on Friday but when someone was called to enforce the parking restrictions, they didn't turn up. 0715 from Totton departed while the time on the in-carriage displays still showed 0714. 3 minutes late at Waterloo where the failure to provide adequate heating in the carriage meant my legs were numb from the cold. Arriving at work, a fellow worker who travelled down from Wales today told me that he had called the Arriva trains helpline at 5:20 this morning about a cancelled train and received a call back on his mobile giving further details of the problem - excellent service, but sadly contrasting with South West Trains where even their own staff can't get through on the phone. This evening my season ticket was rejected by a London Underground ticket gate. 1805 from Waterloo is finally back to its normal stock. The guard apologised for "slow progress" due to "track problems ahead of us". 8 minutes late at Totton. A local commercial vehicle was parked in a station car park space.
29/01/08 0645 from Totton was 4 minutes late at Waterloo. About 50% of Underground ticket barriers are now rejecting my season ticket. Joining the 1835 from Waterloo, there was no automated announcement or in-carriage display of the Totton and Ashurst New Forest stops for the rear 5 carriages - according to the announcement the service runs directly from Southampton Central to Brockenhurst! Four repeats of "you must buy a ticket before you can get on one of our trains" before departure (and then another one for luck at Southampton Central). The guard apologised for the "unscheduled stop at Basingstoke" which was due to "signal problems between Basingstoke and Micheldever". At Southampton Central, the in-carriage display showed "Welcome about this South West Trains service to London Waterloo" before giving the actual stopping pattern - this time including Totton and Ashurst. 17 minutes late at Totton. A local commercial vehicle was parked in a station car park space. Broken glass on footbridge and on pavement outside the station sign have now been scattered by people walking over it, with the remains still visible, never having been swept up.
30/01/08 Southampton Central ticket barriers left open with no staff present at 0510 for this "accredited secure station". 0515 from Southampton Central is at platform 2 - this is the only train in the station and they force everyone to use the footbridge to reach the train (particularly as the station lift is out of action making disabled access very difficult if not impossible given the sparse staffing levels at this hour). Jocular announcement about progress on the way to Manchester Picadilly, the "European Capital of Umbrellas". Repeated crew changes meant that tickets were checked 3 times during the journey. Arrived on time at Manchester Piccadilly after a 4 hour journey. 1724 from Manchester Piccadilly was delayed during the journey due to "Oxford station has occupied platforms ahead of us". 16 minutes late getting into Oxford where the guard said we "will try to make up time as we go along". The shop assistant later blamed "signalling problems in the Oxford area" for the delay. 19 minutes late at Southampton Central, where all the ticket barriers were open on this "accredited secure station".
31/01/08 The 0707 Totton to Weymouth service was announced at 0707 as running 5 minutes late, but then arrived in the station just 1 minute behind schedule. The 1805 from Waterloo was 3 minutes late at Totton, where broken crockery was now to be found on the bridge at Totton, as well as the broken glass that has been there since the middle of the month.
01/02/08 Totton ticket office was closed at 0545. On the 0549 from Totton, the door to the disabled toilet repeatedly opened and closed throughout the journey. On the 1805 from Waterloo, the guard apologised for the "wrong information on screens at Waterloo" (which had shown passengers able to travel to Totton in both the front and rear halves of the train) and confirmed that Totton passengers should be in the front 5 carriages.
04/02/08 Apparently the local commercial vehicle which had taken to parking in the station car park has now received a parking ticket. Passengers joining the 0645 from Totton were whistled at by the guard to speed up when joining the train, which then left before its scheduled departure time, rushing to get to Southampton Central for its scheduled 9 minutes standing time. On the 1835 from Waterloo, passengers were so pleased to hear the "you must buy a ticket before getting on one of our trains" announcement at least 5 times. Passengers in the rear half of the train at Southampton Central were advised, entirely incorrectly, that "this train is for Weymouth, the next station is Bournemouth".
05/02/08 At Southampton Central, the ticket machine by the platform 4 ticket office refused to accept either a Visa or a Mastercard credit card (in each case waiting a long time before showing "authorisation denied"). Despite identical problems for both cards (which indeed continued to work elsewhere), station staff said "it must be your card".
06/02/08 This morning the Waterloo & City line was closed at 0850 due to "overcrowding at Bank" and passengers advised to use alternative routes. Some hardened commuters wondered exactly how long it would take for a station to clear overcrowding - the answer was surprisingly long as the Waterloo & City line only reopened after almost a 30-minute wait. Stock for the 1905 from Waterloo arrived late into the platform and was very untidy, not being cleaned before departure. Found that the notices on the 444 stock that advised passengers they could complain to Regional Rail Passengers' Committees (that had actually been replaced by Passenger Focus over 2 years previously) have now been updated - and there is now no reference to any independent complaint body as Passenger Focus is not mentioned at all. At Southampton Central, the 2030 Poole service was shown as departing from platform 3B but was actually standing at platform 3A. Still broken glass on the bridge at Totton.
07/02/08 Markings for the parking bays at Southampton Central remain very indistinct despite the SWT threat to clamp passengers' cars that don't comply with them. Ticket barrier at Southampton did not accept my saver ticket to Manchester Piccadilly - station staff said that the barriers do not accept saver tickets before 0930 even though they are perfectly valid for long-distance travel before then. Noted that the 0625 service from Southampton Central to Weymouth was delayed by about 15 minutes "due to signal problems at Basingstoke" and was announced as omitting stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth, with passengers just advised to use the following service. The 0715 from Southampton Central to Manchester Piccadilly was delayed outside Leamington Spa due to a "failed train at Warwick" and "congestion caused at the station". We were 18 minutes late leaving Leamington Spa, 33 minutes late leaving Birmingham New Street and 42 minutes late arriving at Macclesfield, where the train terminated due to overhead power lines down between Macclesfield and Manchester. The replacement bus service that passengers were told about wasn't to be found at the station and after about 15 minutes we were told it would be arriving in another 30! Eventually it turned up and took us the 30 minute journey to Stockport where we transferred back to rail for the final leg to Manchester Piccadilly. Arrived at Piccadilly 2 hours and 4 minutes late on a 4 hour journey. When returning on the 1724 from Manchester Piccadilly we reached Macclesfield in just 23 minutes! Just outside Oxford it was announced that we were "waiting for a platform to become available" - 7 minutes late at Southampton Central, where the ticket gate was left open without any ticket checks being made.
08/02/08 The local commercial vehicle has reappeared in a station parking bay, even after apparently being ticketed last week. Station staff advise that the parking enforcers have been contacted.
11/02/08 A great start to the week with a broken rail at Brockenhurst blocking all trains through the area (the rumour being that the track cleaning train was a little too enthusiastic!). Arrived at Totton to find staff and passengers standing in the car park, with passengers being advised to go to Southampton Central as no services were expected from Totton for over an hour. Taxis were being arranged for passengers (although I heard later that someone with a small dog had been refused transport), but a regular commuter with a bicycle would be stuck so we chucked his bike in the back of my car and, somewhat surprisingly given past form, negotiated a free car park space at Southampton Central. At Southampton, the 0700 to London Waterloo was shown as cancelled, but the 0710 stopping service was shown as running "on time". Sadly that was quickly changed to cancelled as well. Shortly after 0700 a 5-carriage 444 unit terminated at platform 4 having been a service from Waterloo and a staff member who was just opening up the passenger assistance office on platform 4 said that he had been told that it would be the 0730 service to Waterloo and was OK to board. As we were doing so, two other platform staff shouted at us that the train was not in service. After inviting the different staff members to talk to each other, and confirming that we were wanting to travel to Waterloo, we continued to board. Alas, we were subsequently thrown off again as the train was to go into the sidings to reverse before it would come back into the station as the 0730. One staff member apologised saying he had been told three different things "this company I work for is terrible at communication". Meanwhile passengers on platform 1 were being advised to take the 0715 Cross Country service and change at Basingstoke. Instead we waited for the half-length 0730 service to arrive back from the sidings and boarded the same carriage as we were in before! Given most passengers had taken SWT advice and crammed onto the 0715 (standing room only before departure) all passengers joining the 0730 got a seat. Many passengers joined at Southampton Airport Parkway however, so the half-length service was then full and as more joined at Winchester they would no doubt be looking forward to the hour's stand to London Waterloo. On the 1835 from Waterloo there was no mention of Totton & Ashurst stops on the automated announcements before Southampton Central.
12/02/08 On the 0645 from Totton, repeated Verbose announcements were made by the guard ("my name is Theresa and I am your guard today") including "we are going slowly due to a speed restriction but we will be making up time in the next few seconds". Season ticket was rejected again by an Underground ticket barrier. On the 1835 from Waterloo it was a pretty normal journey - just 7 repeats of "you must buy a ticket to travel on one of our trains", no mention of Totton or Ashurst New Forest on the automated announcements prior to reaching Southampton Central, where the "this train is for Weymouth, the next station is Bournemouth" is misleadingly played in the rear half of the train which is actually for Poole with the next station being Totton. After this announcement, overhead a fellow passenger asking station staff if he was in the right train for Totton.
13/02/08 Oyster card readers not working at Waterloo (on the Waterloo & City line) for the second day running.
14/02/08 Southampton Central's "accredited secure station" was wide open for anyone to access at 0510 (and somewhat surreally a man was just waking up in a telephone box outside the platform 4 entrance). 0515 to Manchester Piccadilly was waiting on platform 3A. With the lift out of action for refurbishment, it could just as easily have been at platforms 1 or 4 instead. At Leamington Spa it was announced that there would be a delay of 10-15 minutes due to "an earlier fatality at Coventry" which "has delayed our driver taking us forward from Leamington Spa". Arrived at Manchester Piccadilly 34 minutes late.
15/02/08 Nothing to report
18/02/08 Broken glass, specifically shards of a spirits bottle with large pieces sticking up in the air, was on the platform at Totton this morning.
19/02/08 There are doubly restricted opening hours for the Totton ticket office this week - now closing at 1000 (and 0900 on Friday). The 0549 from Totton made an additional stop at Micheldever. 1805 from Waterloo was 5 minutes late at Totton with no reason given.
20/02/08 On the 0549 from Totton, a call for a doctor was made on the approach to Waterloo. The summary departure screen at the end of the subway under the Waterloo platforms was not working this evening. 2005 from Waterloo was 6 minutes late at Totton with no reason given.
21/02/08 The summary departure screen at the top of the stairs from the Waterloo & City line in the subway under the Waterloo platforms was not working this evening. The rear half of the 1805 from Waterloo was class 450 suburban stock again - as I crammed myself into the middle seat of a set of three saying "It's going to be a squeeze, these aren't supposed to be for long-distance" a fellow passenger commented "I agree - I've just said that". As the guard passed along the carriage he said "sorry folks can I just squeeze through". Arrived 6 minutes late at Totton with no reason given for the delay or for the inappropriate stock.
22/02/08 1805 from Waterloo was again half-formed of suburban class 450 stock
25/02/08 The doubly restricted opening hours of the Totton ticket office are in place again this week - not just the supposedly normal closure time of 1230 nor the 1030 (0930 on Fridays) restriction that appears to have been in place for some time now, but 1000 (0900 on Friday). The 0715 from Totton was 2 minutes late leaving Southampton Central and on time at Winchester, but when it arrived at Waterloo 5 minutes late this was announced as due to "emergency engineering works at Branksome". The 1805 from Waterloo stopped outside Eastleigh, with the guard announcing that we were "not going to move for some time. There's a fatality at Swaythling". 10 minutes later the guard reported we were now going to stop at Eastleigh for a "further delay" but advised passengers they were free to make their own arrangements from Eastleigh. At Eastleigh station at 1930, the 1848 to Romsey was shown as "delayed", so the incident had happened some time before we were told. Many people left the train at Eastleigh, one after talking to his wife who was at Southampton Parkway where the service was announced as being diverted between Eastleigh and Southampton Central, but within 5 minutes "will now be able to proceed at a slow pace - as normal". The guard then announced that "due to late running and the crew having been working a long time" the service would omit all stops between Southampton Central and Bournemouth, with passengers being chucked off at Southampton. A following train, presumably the 1835 from Waterloo, was reported to be "right behind us". The 1805 left Southampton running 41 minutes late but without a large number of its passengers - some late-arriving passengers at Southampton Central might even have joined it as the platform announcements there reported the normal stopping pattern. Passengers joined the train "right behind us" which left 8 minutes later but then stood at Millbrook lights waiting for a Cross Country service, which had not even arrived at Southampton Central before we had left the station, to overtake us - hard luck to passengers on that service that wanted to change for Totton and Ashurst (as a fellow passenger commented). 55 minutes late at Totton, 14 of which were contributed by SWT omitting stops for their own operational convenience.
26/02/08 Passengers on the 1835 from Waterloo heard six repeats of "you must buy a ticket before getting on one of our trains" before departure from Waterloo. No mention on Totton and Ashurst New Forest on the automated announcements before Southampton Central, where the incorrect "this train is for Weymouth, the next station is Bournemouth" was played in the rear half of the train.
27/02/08 On the 0645 from Totton the guard was reported "having some problems with the automated announcements". As the guard "had to restart it, it will start off by announcing all stations from the start of the service" - which it did with a large gap in the announcement between Brockenhurst and Totton (omitting Ashurst New Forest but including Clapham Junction). The guard said "I do apologise, still not getting the right information". Travelled on the 1839 from Waterloo - a very slow stopper. Its automated announcement had a large gap after Southampton Central and omitted mention of Ashurst.
28/02/08 Southampton Central barriers wide open at 0500. Passengers still have to find car park tickets hidden under "More popular destinations" on the ticket machines. The 0515 from Southampton to Manchester Picadilly service was on platform 3 despite being in an empty station with no operational lifts. Poor start to the journey with an unexplained 5 minutes wait just outside Southampton Parkway. Stopped again before Eastleigh due to the "train in front having problems with its brakes". 8 minutes late at Winchester. The guard also reported that they were "Unable to display seat reservations on the train". On the 1724 from Manchester Picadilly a very verbose shop manager insisted in reporting on all items of stock for sale to the entire train and made repeated further announcements.
29/02/08 Got my first replacement season ticket, just 2 months into its year, due to its inability to operate London Underground ticket barriers.
03/03/08 Totton ticket machine alarm was flashing red this morning. The 0645 from Totton was Very warm in the carriage. The summary departure screen at the top of stairs from the Waterloo & City line was not working in the subway under the Waterloo platforms.
04/03/08 On the 0645 from Totton, it was announced that the buffet trolley cannot get through the aisles, so it was now in one of the buffet areas, which somehow had moved itself to "the middle of this 10 carriage train". Summary screen in the Waterloo subway is still not working. The 1805 from Waterloo was half made up of unsuitable 450 stock with no reason or apology given.
05/03/08 Summary screen in the Waterloo subway is still not working. Again the 1805 from Waterloo is half suburban stock. 6 minutes late at Totton with no reason given.
06/03/08 Announcements on Totton station are inaudible if you are any distance away from the ticket office building. On the 0745 from Totton the trolley was "unable to make any further progress through the train" - apparently the train is overcrowded due to a problem with a previous train at Basingstoke. The 1705 from Waterloo was 6 minutes late reaching Totton, This was announced by the guard as due to "Waiting for the late inbound service at Southampton Central" ie the same train before it split at Southampton, so the train was late because it was.
07/03/08 On the 0645 from Totton, there was a hard bash as the rear half joined at Southampton Central - a fellow passenger said "it could put your back out". Approaching Woking the guard announced we had "lost a little bit of time following a slower train" On the 1805 from Waterloo, had no seat until Winchester.
10/03/08 Ticket machine at Totton was flashing its red alarm and was displaying "PSI - DebugViewer" before rebooting as Windows XP Embedded. The 0549 from Totton was shown firstly as on time, then 3 minutes late, then 5 minutes late, then "owning to a fault, no information can be displayed at present". Eventually arrived at Totton 14 minutes late. Platform indicators at Southampton Central were also showing "owing to a fault ...". The guard announced we were "running quite late - currently have a 50mph speed limit across Southern England". 30 minutes late at Waterloo. On the 1835 from Waterloo, a fellow passenger at Southampton Central asked for reassurance he was in the correct half of the train for Brockenhurst, following the entirely misleading automatic announcement that "this train is for Weymouth, the next station is Bournemouth". Another fellow passenger commented that the electrical sockets in the 5th carriage (of unit 444 020) were not working, and we had to prise open the sliding door at the end of the carriage to get out at Totton.
11/03/08 Ticket machine flashing red light at Totton. 0612 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time. On the 0630 from Southampton Central, the "Basingstoke swerve" (at the junction where the single up line from Winchester splits to two up lines before Basingstoke) caused items to fall off the table. On the 1805 from Waterloo, the guard apologised for the delay before departure "due to waiting for signal". During the journey, the guard announced "please ignore the next set of announcements" as they were "going to put the code in again as it is not announcing the stations". Broken bottles on the steps of the footbridge at Totton.
12/03/08 Totton ticket office has even more restricted opening hours - to 1000 Mon-Thu and closed Fri. 0715 from Totton departed while the in-carriage displays were still showing 0714. As the train was waiting on platform 1 at Southampton Central, the platform indicators were showing "PLEASE STAND CLEAR The next train is not for public use", and continued to show this until after we left the station. Guard said that they "do apologise for the overcrowding this morning". Still have blank summary screen in the subway under the platforms at Waterloo. 2105 from Waterloo was 12-carriage suburban 450 stock - so no tables or armrests for standard class passengers and no power for laptops on this long-distance service. Someone on the train said they had been talking to a Siemens engineer who "laughed his socks off" at the thought of this stock being used for long-distance travel, stated that they wouldn't even be used as trams in Germany! The front 4 coaches couldn't even manage a working toilet. Brocken bottles cleared at Totton, but some pieces of glass left behind.
13/03/08 On the ticket machine at Totton it shows that a return ticket to Brockenhurst is £16 with a Young Persons Railcard, £4.70 without! 0612 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time. 0630 from Southampton Central left Winchester before its scheduled departure time. Summary screen in the Waterloo subway was still blank.
14/03/08 Totton ticket office was closed. 0549 from Totton left Eastleigh before its scheduled departure time. Still the summary screen in the Waterloo subway is out of action.
WHAT RIGHT TIME RAILWAY? - AN EVERYDAY STORY OF DUFF STOCK, CREW SHORTAGES, CANCELLATIONS, TRAINS TERMINATING SHORT OF DESTINATION, AND STOPS AXED FOR OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE
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. In the 2007 National Rail Awards, SWT won only the award for train maintenance. So the number of train failures recorded below gives a hint of how poor the other facets of its operations must be.
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.
Tuesday 01/01/08 08.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late.
Wednesday 02/01/08 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 06.28 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.40 Chessington-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.58 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.31 Dorking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 09.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 20 minutes late. 12.50 Poole-Waterloo REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 16.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCEDTO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.58 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.36 Portsmouth-Southampton delayed at Fratton. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.52 Waterloo-Weybridge REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.31 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.09 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.33 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.37 Weybridge-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO BROKEN DOWN TRAIN. 19.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 21.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 22.52 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 03/01/08 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 07.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.22 Basingstoke-Yeovil 26 minutes late. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.53 Waterloo-Alton 10 minutes late. 08.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.31 Dorking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO BROKEN DOWN TRAIN. 18.30 Waterloo-Epsom REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Friday 04/01/08 05.00 Portsmouth-Basingstoke delayed at Hilsea. 05.23 Staines-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.50 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.12 Totton-Romsey 7 minutes late. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton 44 minutes late. 18.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton DUE TO NO CREW. 20.46 Guildford-Waterloo 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Epsom, except Wimbledon, AXED.
Saturday 05/01/08 Signalling problems at Vauxhall and alleged vandalism at Barnes. Passengers on the 07.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Hounslow. Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo services then AXED ALL MORNING. Services from Guildford to Waterloo AXED ALL MORNING. 07.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 22 minutes late. 07.58 Twickenham-Waterloo AXED. 09.20 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 09.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late and REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. 18.23 Waterloo-Alton 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 06/01/08 06.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 08.35 Waterloo-Poole delayed DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. Signalling problems at Kew Bridge: 14.50 and 15.50 Waterloo-Woking omitted all intermediate stops from Barnes Bridge to Hounslow inclusive. 17.52 Woking-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 20.58 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Poole DUE TO NO CREW.
Monday 07/01/08 Passengers on the 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Ascot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.53 Ascot-Guildford 10 minutes late. After the rear portion of the 16.35 from Waterloo was detached at Southampton, it was announced as if it were one of the Sunday dual-portion services about to leave Waterloo for Bournemouth and Portsmouth. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late.
Tuesday 08/01/08 Brockenhurst-Lymington service suspended for hours around the morning peak, DUE TO ANOTHER SLAM-DOOR TRAIN FAILURE. Passengers on the 15.50 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 17.22 Reading-Ascot AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 18.07 Weybridge-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Hounslow. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking 17 minutes late and REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops from Worcester Park AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 20.23 Waterloo-Alton 25 minutes late; stops at Surbiton and West Byfleet AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 55 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.05 Waterloo-Poole 32 minutes late. 21.55 Southampton-Waterloo 26 minutes late.
Wednesday 09/01/08 Day started with familiar signalling problems. 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 05.43 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 06.43 Southampton-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 07.06 Basingstoke-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 07.10 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.23 Waterloo-Alton 20 minutes late. 08.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late. 08.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 09.05 Romsey-Salisbury AXED between Romsey and Southampton DUE TO NO CREW. 09.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 13.39 Waterloo-Poole – Britain’s slowest mainline train? – REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 10/01/08 05.35 Salisbury-Southampton-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.48 Salisbury-Romsey AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 09.05 Romsey-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 14.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth delayed DUE TO A BROKEN DOWN TRAIN. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Newton Abbot. 15.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames and Surbiton stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.30 Waterloo-Epsom AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Farnham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; stops from St Margaret’s to Mortlake inclusive AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.15 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo OMITTED ALL INTERMEDIATE STOPS! 22.05 Havant-Fareham AXED. 22.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Havant.
Friday 11/01/08 Emergency engineering work at Hilsea. 04.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. Passengers on the 05.43 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Fareham. 05.48 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Leatherhead. 06.00 Eastleigh-Portsmouth AXED between Eastleigh and Fareham. Passengers on the 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Fareham. 06.23 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 06.32 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Leatherhead. 06.38 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 06.42 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Fareham. 07.02 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Leatherhead. Passengers on the 07.17 Southampton-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Fareham. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 07.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. Passengers on the 07.51 Southampton-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Fareham. 07.52 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. Around 08.00, many mainline peak services arriving at Waterloo up to 15 minutes late. 08.05 Portsmouth-Basingstoke AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 08.32 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 08.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.50 Bristol-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 09.32 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED. 14.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.52 Waterloo-Weybridge REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.39 Waterloo-Guildford delayed at Ashstead due to a train hitting someone. 18.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.09 Waterloo-Guildford diverted via Hinchley Wood. 19.33 Dorking-Waterloo ‘delayed’. 21.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED. 21.39 Waterloo-Southampton REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Saturday 12/01/08 18.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 18 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Sunday 13/01/08 21.07 Waterloo-Basingstoke 6 minutes late. 21.49 Woking-Alton 5 minutes late.
Monday 14/01/08 Single line working in Southampton tunnel caused delays in the morning peak. 04.40 Southampton-Eastleigh AXED. 05.05 Eastleigh-Southampton AXED. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 06.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 07.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. Passengers on the 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Eastleigh DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.47 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Fatality at Hinton Admiral left no meaningful afternoon service on the Waterloo-Weymouth main line. 13.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. Passengers on the 14.05 Waterloo-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst. 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED. 15.50 Waterloo-Woking AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 16.05 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED between Waterloo and Southampton. Passengers on the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 16.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Southampton. 17.03 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.02 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 45 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Poole 19 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 19.03 WEYMOUTH-WATERLOO 21 MINUTES LATE; ALL INTERMEDIATE STOPS BETWEEN BROCKENHURST AND WATERLOO AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE! 19.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Bournemouth and Southampton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 21.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. Passengers on the 23.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Havant.
Tuesday 15/01/08 00.26 Eastleigh-Portsmouth AXED. 05.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED. 07.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst AXED between Weymouth and Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.52 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. Lines closed between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth, and between Fareham and Eastleigh, due to flooding. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 29 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst. 13.39 Waterloo-Poole AXED. 13.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED. 14.03 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Brockenhurst. Passengers on the 14.05 Waterloo-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 14.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Brockenhurst. 14.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED. 14.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED. 15.03 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Bournemouth. 16.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 16.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Southampton. 16.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED and 30 minutes late. 17.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 30 minutes late. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 17.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES and 22 minutes late DUE to no CREW. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. Passengers on the 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Fratton DUE TO NO CREW. 21.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot.
Wednesday 16/01/08 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 06.19 Woking-Portsmouth 24 minutes late and DIVERTED. 06.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 06.42 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late and DIVERTED. Waterloo-Portsmouth via Basingstoke services DIVERTED for the rest of the day due to flooding between Eastleigh and Fareham. 06.43 Southampton-Waterloo REDUCEDTO 4 COACHES. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.52 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton REDUCED TO 3 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 3 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 17.05 WATERLOO-WEYMOUTH REDUCED TO AN 8-COACH SUBURBAN TRAIN! 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 19.05 Paignton-Basingstoke 20 minutes late.
Thursday 17/01/08 06.12 Totton-Romsey was advertised as doubled in length to 4 coaches – unfortunately the front 2 coaches were locked out of use due to their being too freezing cold to use. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 16.05 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.50 Poole-Waterloo 29 minutes late; stops at Fleet, Farnborough and Clapham Junction AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Friday 18/01/08 04.55 Southampton-Waterloo 30 minutes late; stops at Fleet, Farnborough and Clapham Junction AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.18 Winchester-Portsmouth 9 minutes late; stops at Portchester, Cosham and Hilsea AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.55 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 09.06 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 09.28 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.38 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 16.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.05 WATERLOO WEYMOUTH REDUCED TO 9 COACHES INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN TRAIN.
Saturday 19/01/08 10.22 Basingstoke-Poole AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.24 Waterloo-Dorking 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 11.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 12.12 Poole-Basingstoke AXED between Poole and Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.54 Portsmouth-Basingstoke 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.20 Waterloo-Reading ‘delayed’ DUE TO NO CREW. ALL EVENING SERVICES BETWEEN BROCKENHURST AND LYMINGTON AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Sunday 20/01/08 00.13 Basingstoke-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. Afternoon trains between Portsmouth and Southampton delayed due to signalling problems at Netley. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late.
Monday 21/01/08 07.37 Waterloo-Hounslow AXED. 07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 08.02 Woking-Waterloo ‘delayed’; West Byfleet stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.23 Ascot-Guildford 23 minutes late; Bagshot and Frimley stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo FAILED at Oxshott. 09.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 10.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 15.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late; stops at Godalming, Farncombe, Worplesdon and Clapham Junction AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Staines. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Ascot. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 10 minutes late. 18.53 Windsor-Waterloo AXED between Windsor and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot DUE TO DUFF STOCK.22.05 Waterloo-Poole 24 minutes late.
Tuesday 22/01/08 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 07.46 Effingham Junction-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.58 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES, INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT and 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.28 Guildford-Waterloo DIVERTED due to road vehicle hitting bridge. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late.
Wednesday 23/01/08 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 13.39 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 14.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 16.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.33 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Dorking-Waterloo 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.03 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.54 Waterloo-Epsom ‘delayed’ at Waterloo DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.23 Waterloo-Alton 18 minutes late. 21.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.46 Waterloo-Chessington ‘delayed’. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Brockenhurst THROWN OFF at Southampton.
Thursday 24/01/08 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Brockenhurst THROWN OFF at Southampton. Passengers on the 05.31 Hounslow-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Brentford. Passengers on the 06.01 Hounslow-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Brentford. 06.12 Totton-Romsey 5 minutes late. 06.22 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED between Waterloo and Barnes. 06.52 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED between Waterloo and Barnes. Passengers on the 07.52 from Basingstoke were trapped aboard for almost 5 minutes at Waterloo DUE TO DUFF DOORS – DOES THIS COUNT TOWARDS LATENESS IN THE STATISTICS? 13.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 13.50 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late; stops at Fleet and Farnborough AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 15 minutes late. 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke 18 minutes late. 21.00 Exeter-Salisbury 46 minutes late. 21.33 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 23.05 Waterloo-Brockenhurst AXED between Southampton and Brockenhurst.
Friday 25/01/0 8 00.05 Waterloo-Brockenhurst AXED between Southampton and Brockenhurst. 18.48 Salisbury-Romsey AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 20.05 Romsey-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.20 Waterloo-Yeovil AXED between Salisbury and Yeovil. 21.48 Salisbury-Romsey AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 23.07 Romsey-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Saturday 26/01/08 07.00 Southampton-Waterloo 23 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 23.24 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW.
Sunday 27/01/08 07.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 59 minutes late. 09.15 Waterloo-Poole 34 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 09.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 10.22 Woking-Paignton 31 minutes late. 10.55 Poole-Eastleigh AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 12.15 Waterloo-Poole 28 minutes late. 16.02 Plymouth-Woking AXED between Plymouth and Exeter DUE TO NO CREW.
Monday 28/01/08 06.12 Totton-Romsey AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.10 Haslemere-Waterloo AXED DUE TO SPEED RESTRICTION IMPOSED AT 18.30 THE PREVIOUS DAY. 08.02 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO SPEED RESTRICTION IMPOSED AT 18.30 THE PREVIOUS DAY. 08.22 Waterloo-Weybridge ‘delayed’ at Barnes DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 9 minutes late. 08.47 Woking-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 08.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Haslemere, except Guildford, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.50 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 15.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Woking. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 17.24 Waterloo-Dorking AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford AXED. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 14 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading 19 minutes late. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 19.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Southampton 15 minutes late. 20.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 22.08 Guildford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Wimbledon. Passengers on the 22.20 Guildford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Wimbledon. Passengers on the 22.44 Alton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Clapham Junction.
Tuesday 29/01/08 08.01 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops after Hounslow AXED DUETO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.31 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Teddington AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late. 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil 40 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Salisbury. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 26 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 15 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late; Poole portion 19 minutes late. 18.52 Reading-Ascot AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.24 Basingstoke-Fareham 25 minutes late.
Wednesday 30/01/08 01.05 Waterloo-Woking AXED. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops after Feltham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.07 Romsey-Salisbury AXED between Romsey and Southampton. Passengers on the 07.48 Salisbury-Romsey THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 08.07 Romsey-Salisbury 40 minutes late. 09.05 Romsey-Salisbury AXED between Romsey and Eastleigh. 10.05 Romsey-Salisbury 10 minutes late. 10.12 Waterloo-Shepperton ‘delayed’ DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.11.05 Romsey-Salisbury AXED between Romsey and Eastleigh. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES.
Thursday 31/01/08 04.52 Twickenham-Waterloo AXED between Twickenham and Teddington. 05.15 Yeovil-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 06.12 Totton-Romsey AXED. 07.55 Poole-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.50 Bristol-Salisbury AXED. 11.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Obstruction on the line at Witley – services between Portsmouth and Waterloo via Guildford severely delayed or AXED all afternoon. 14.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Winchester AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES, INCLUDING 4 COACHES OF SUBURBAN STOCK, DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Winchester AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.11 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton 13 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 18.46 Waterloo-Chessington 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.00 Waterloo-Epsom AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 20.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.40 Chessington-Waterloo AXED between Chessington and Raynes Park.
Friday 01/02/08 All stops of the 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth, from Esher to Woking inclusive AXED. 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 13.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 14.05 Romsey-Salisbury 34 minutes late. 16.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo ‘delayed’. 17.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo ‘delayed’. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES, INCLUDING 4 COACHES OF SUBURBAN STOCK. 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil 5 minutes late. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES.
Saturday 02/02/08 05.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.20 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 06.50 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late. 07.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.20 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.50 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 12.50 Waterloo-Reading 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops after Ascot AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 13.53 Salisbury-Romsey AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.23 Fareham-Waterloo 18 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 15.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 6 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Yeovil 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 03/02/08 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 07.35 Southampton-Fareham 26 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 09.46 Fareham-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.48 Weymouth-Waterloo replaced by a bus between Dorchester and Wool. 09.55 Poole-Eastleigh AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 16.30 Waterloo-Fratton 15 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 8 minutes late. 17.55 Poole-Eastleigh AXED between Poole and Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.57 Fratton-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Monday 04/02/08 07.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED. 07.48 Salisbury-Romsey AXED. 08.00 Guildford-Ascot 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Points failure at Waterloo during the morning peak with big delay. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 15.28 Waterloo-Windsor THROWN OFF at Staines DUE TO NO CREW. 17.40 Exeter-Axminster AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Tuesday 05/02/08 Information screens at Totton were advertising that some trains replaced by buses between Southampton and Bournemouth, but without details as to when or why. 08.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth an Havant.
Wednesday 06/02/08 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.56 Havant-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.53 Waterloo-Alton 13 minutes late.
Thursday 07/02/08 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.50 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late. 07.11 Havant-Waterloo AXED. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.38 Southampton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke AXED between Paignton and Exeter.
Friday 08/02/08 07.29 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 17.53 Windsor-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops after Richmond AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 7 minutes late.
Saturday 09/02/08 07.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 20 minutes late. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 30 minutes late. Afternoon signalling problems; Vauxhall stop of some trains AXED. 19.28 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.52 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED between Waterloo and Staines DUE TO NO CREW. 20.57 Salisbury-Bristol 20 minutes late. 22.23 Bristol-Salisbury 53 minutes late.
Sunday 10/02/08 07.57 Waterloo-Guildford 13 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 09.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 10.35 Southampton-Portsmouth 15 late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.42 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham due to delay on previous journey. 13.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 14.55 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. Passengers on the 23.30 Waterloo-Petersfield THROWN OFF at Guildford DUE TO NO CREW.
Monday 11/02/08 EARLY MORNING BROKEN RAIL AT BROCKENHURST; LONDON COMMUTER SERVICES FROM SOUTH DORSET AND SOUTH HAMPSHIRE VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT. 15.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo, Kingston and Earlsfield. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.30 Waterloo-Epsom AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 20 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Reading 18 minutes late. 19.35 Epsom-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.33 Woking-Waterloo 14 minutes late.
Tuesday 12/02/08 08.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 08.37 Waterloo-Reading 14 minutes late. 08.50 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late. 15.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late. Passengers on the 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke.
Wednesday 13/02/08 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 10.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 11.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 11.39 Waterloo-Poole REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 12.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES.
Thursday 14/02/08 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late and unheated DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.58 Waterloo-Windsor 24 minutes late. 20.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Wa6erloo 10 minutes late.
Friday 15/02/08 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 5 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.08 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Surbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late.
Saturday 16/02/08 05.25 Woking-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 06.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Staines. 06.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 08.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED. 15.33 Weybridge-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops, except Hounslow, between Staines and Barnes DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.06 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 22.36 Waterloo-Fratton 17 minutes late.
Sunday 17/02/08 10.37 Waterloo-Havant 56 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 10.39 Waterloo-Reading 44 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Ascot DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 10.48 Waterloo-Honiton 37 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Yeovil DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.35 Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 11.44 Waterloo-Windsor AXED between Waterloo and Barnes. 12.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 12.35 Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before North Sheen, plus Vauxhall, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 12.47 Havant-Southampton AXED. 14.37 Waterloo-Havant AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 13.55 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 14.46 Honiton-Basingstoke AXED between Honiton and Yeovil. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.09 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late.
Monday 18/02/08 Overrun of engineering works at Fratton. 04.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Hilsea. 05.00 Portsmouth-Basingstoke 20 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Hilsea. 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 06.23 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 06.38 Portsmouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 06.42 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 06.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. Passengers on the 07.17 Southampton-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Fratton. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo delayed; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 07.29 Portsmouth-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 07.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 16 minutes late. Fleet and Farnborough stops of the 07.52 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 07.53 Waterloo-Alton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.05 Portsmouth-Basingstoke AXED between Portsmouth and Eastleigh. 08.05 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED between Waterloo and Southampton. 08.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.32 Portsmouth-Southampton axed between Portsmouth and Fratton. 09.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 25 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Exeter. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES and AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot AXED. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 48 minutes late; intermediate stops before Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading AXED. Passengers on the 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Barnes. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 14 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Barnes AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late and AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late.
Tuesday 19/02/08 05.43 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 50 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Haslemere AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.23 Portsmouth 23 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Eastleigh AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.38 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 06.42 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 06.43 Southampton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 07.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED between Hampton Court and Surbiton DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 08.00 Guildford-Ascot AXED between Guildford and Aldershot DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 08.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 08.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant 15 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 19.05 Winchester-Southampton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.53 Windsor-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Twickenham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.33 Waterloo-Guildford 25 minutes late; REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK and all intermediate stops before Surbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Wednesday 20/02/08 06.38 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 09.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late. 09.06 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 13.39 Waterloo-Poole FORMED OF A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT! 16.42 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES, INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.39 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.42 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.55 Waterloo-Alton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Fratton. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 25 minutes late. 19.58 Guildford-Waterloo 25 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops after Epsom AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.08 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late; ALL INTERMEDIATE STOPS BEFORE SURBITON AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops after Haslemere AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.39 Waterloo-Guildford 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 20.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.46 Guildford-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 21.28 Portsmouth-Havant AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton DUE TO DUFF TRAIN.
Thursday 21/02/08 04.43 Hilsea-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 05.48 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Leatherhead. 07.46 Effingham Junction-Waterloo 11 minutes late and AXED between Effingham Junction and Epsom. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.02 Dorking-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 08.31 Dorking-Waterloo AXED. 08.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 16.50 Poole-Waterloo 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.03 Weymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES, INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN TRAIN and 6 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Poole AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Fratton. 21.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Friday 22/02/08 05.00 Portsmouth-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. Afternoon diversions from the route through Richmond. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Aldershot and Guildford DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 22.03 Woking-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 22.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late.
Saturday 23/02/08 05.12 Southampton-Waterloo 10 minutes late and AXED between Southampton and Basingstoke DUE TO NO CREW. 05.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 08.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.56 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 22.28 Guildford-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 24/02/08 06.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 8 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 07.00 Weybridge-Waterloo 14 minutes late and AXED between Weybridge and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.43 Portsmouth-Southampton 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.50 Waterloo-Woking 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 09.39 Waterloo-Reading 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 10.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late and REDUCED TO 5 COACHES; New Milton stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.17 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 14.56 Honiton-Basingstoke 17 minutes late. 15.13 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 20.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO NO CREW. 20.35 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 20.39 Waterloo-Reading 22 minutes late. 21.35 Kingston-Waterloo 30 minutes late; Richmond, Clapham Junction and Vauxhall stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 22.24 Reading-Waterloo 30 minutes late.
Monday 25/02/08 Morning overrun of engineering work and afternoon fatalities at Hilsea and Swaythling. 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 35 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Southampton Airport AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.08 Salisbury-Exeter omitted all intermediate stops after Honiton DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.13 Honiton-Exeter AXED. Passengers on the 06.15 Yeovil-Exeter THROWN OFF at Honiton. 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo AXED between Exeter and Honiton. 08.00 Exeter-Honiton AXED. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Havant. 14.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 14.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham. 15.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Havant. 15.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Havant. 15.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. Passengers on the 15.30 Guildford-Ascot THROWN OFF at Aldershot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.42 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 16.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 16.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Havant. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 16.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Ascot and Aldershot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 17.20 Weymouth-Waterloo diverted via Fareham. Passengers on the 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke 13 minutes late. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 51 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 36 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Southampton and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton 23 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.50 Poole-Waterloo 31 minutes late. Passengers on the 19.05 Winchester-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.39 Waterloo-Southampton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 20.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton DUE TO NO CREW. 20.15 Waterloo-Haslemere 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 20.48 Salisbury-Romsey AXED. 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 5 minutes late. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 22.08 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Tuesday 26/02/08 05.00 Poole-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 05.43 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo delayed due to rolling stock in place. 06.42 Portsmouth-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 08.22 Epsom-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.40 Chessington-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED to 8 COACHES. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late.
Wednesday 27/02/08 Passengers on the 05.38 Guildford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Claygate DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 16.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 20 minutes late and AXED between Yeovil and Salisbury DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 9 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton; all intermediate stops between Haslemere and Guildford AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED between Windsor and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 28/02/08 04.52 Twickenham-Waterloo AXED between Twickenham and Teddington. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo AXED. 22.20 Waterloo-Woking AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 22.20 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Friday 29/02/08 15.03 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 17.03 Weymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Moreton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.12 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED. 20.48 Windsor-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 21.23 Waterloo-Alton 18 minutes late. 23.30 Waterloo-Guildford 33 minutes late.
Saturday 01/03/08 05.35 Salisbury-Salisbury 10 minutes late and AXED between Romsey and Eastleigh via Chandlers Ford. 06.08 Staines-Waterloo 20 minutes late. Passengers on the 06.12 Totton-Romsey THROWN OFF at Eastleigh. 07.07 Romsey-Salisbury AXED between Romsey and Eastleigh. 17.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 55 minutes late. 18.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Southampton Central AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 67 minutes late. 19.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 20.09 Waterloo-Dorking AXED. 20.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 45 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 20.42 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 21.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED. 22.10 Weymouth-Eastleigh 29 minutes late.
Sunday 02/03/08 08.13 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 28 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Exeter DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.24 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 08.35 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.54 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.07 Waterloo-Basingstoke 16 minutes late. 11.16 Waterloo-Shepperton 25 minutes late. 14.06 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter. 15.07 Waterloo-Basingstoke 16 minutes late. 16.07 Surbiton-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 17.37 Surbiton-Waterloo AXED between Surbiton and Woking DUE TO NO CREW.
Monday 03/03/08 Delays to early Netley line services due to a bike on the track at Bitterne. 06.12 Totton-Romsey AXED YET AGAIN. 15.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 21.05 Waterloo-Poole FORMED ENTIRELY OF SUBURBAN COACHES.
Tuesday 04/03/08 06.55 Weymouth Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Delayed 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED between Weybridge and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK; Isleworth stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.55 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 09.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 18 minutes late. 09.50 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 10.20 Waterloo-Exeter 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 10.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 10.52 Salisbury-Bristol 17 minutes late. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 8 minutes late. 15.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 15 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES, INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT.
Wednesday 05/03/08 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. Passengers on the 19.03 Weymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW.
Thursday 06/03/08 Passengers on the 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo 15 minutes late; 07.52 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 08.20 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 15.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 15.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops after Haslemere, except Guildford, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 16.54 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 5 minutes late. 17.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Fareham and Fratton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton 19 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Woking AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke 8 minutes late. 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 14 minutes late. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops between Farnborough and Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke 7 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 8 minutes late.
Friday 07/03/08 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 42 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Salisbury. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; stops at St Margaret’s, North Sheen and Mortlake AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Barnes AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.00 Guildford-Ascot 19 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Exeter REDUCED TO 3 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 9 minutes late.
Saturday 08/03/08 09.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 13.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 14.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.03 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 18.39 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 29 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking. 20.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 20.59 Brockenhurst-Lymington AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.14 Lymington-Brockenhurst AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.29 Brockenhurst-Lymington AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.42 Reading-Waterloo 27 minutes late, DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops except Wokingham, Ascot and Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.44 Lymington-Brockenhurst AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 23.37 Waterloo-Kingston AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Sunday 09/03/08 07.45 Fareham-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.16 Waterloo-Shepperton 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.16 Waterloo-Shepperton 15 minutes late. 18.23 Paignton-Waterloo 20 minutes late.
Monday 10/03/08 HIGH WINDS AND RAIN: NO RECOGNISABLE LONG-DISTANCE SERVICES ON SWT. TO MAKE MATTERS WORSE, SWT’S CUSTOMER INFORMATION SYSTEM COLLAPSED. Problems started on the West of England line: passengers on the 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Salisbury; 06.08 Salisbury-Exeter REDUCED TO 6 COACHES; passengers on the 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Yeovil; passengers on the 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Yeovil; 07.20 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED between Yeovil and Salisbury. Speed limit of 50mph imposed south of Basingstoke. 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 30 minutes late and other trains on the route similarly delayed. 07.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst AXED. By afternoon there were no trains between Bournemouth and Weymouth and the Waterloo-Portsmouth service was in chaos. By evening the Brockenhurst-Lymington line was closed. By late evening things were getting back to normal, with the 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Tuesday 11/03/08 04.00 Guildford-Waterloo diverted: Woking stop AXED. 05.05 Waterloo-Reading AXED. 05.23 Staines-Reading AXED. 07.03 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED between Weybridge and Staines. 07.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Virginia Water. 07.14 Alton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK AND THEN AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED between Weybridge and Staines. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 18.08 Guildford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Surbiton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.37 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED between Weybridge and Virginia Water DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Wednesday 12/03/08 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.25 Weymouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.55 Weymouth Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Poole and REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.20 Poole-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 07.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 37 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.55 Weymouth-Waterloo 34 minutes late. 08.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 41 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Dorchester. 08.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.50 Poole-Waterloo 22 minutes late; stops at Fleet and Farnborough AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 09.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late. 09.06 Poole-Waterloo 53 minutes late. 09.50 Poole-Waterloo 27 minutes late; Fleet and Farnborough stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 10.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 10.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 11.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester.
Thursday 13/03/08 04.58 Staines-Waterloo REDUUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.50 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.58 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 07.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.30 WATERLOO-PORTSMOUTH REDUCED TO 8 COACHES AND 27 MINUTES LATE DUE TO DUFF STOCK; ALL INTERMEDIATE STOPS BETWEEN GUILDFORD AND FRATTON AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 20.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 6 minutes late; ALL STOPS FROM FARNBOROUGH TO HOOK INCLUSIVE AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. Farnborough stop of the 20.39 Waterloo-Southampton AXED.
Friday 14/03/08 Passengers on the 04.52 Twickenham-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Kingston DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.20 Waterloo-Reading 8 minutes late. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES.
Saturday the Ides of March 05.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 06.22 Haslemere-Portsmouth 19 minutes late. 06.53 Waterloo-Alton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.52 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 11.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.16 Waterloo-Chessington AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 12.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 13.10 Chessington-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 15 minutes late. 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 5 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.17 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 20.50 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 21.30 Southampton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO NO CREW. 22.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Staines DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 16/03/08 08.54 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.02 Waterloo-Dorking 32 minutes late. Passengers THROWN OFF at Epsom. 10.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.08 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Epsom. 11.20 Guildford-Waterloo AXED between Guildford and Effingham Junction DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Engineering work overrun. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 56 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Bournemouth – except Poole, Wareham and Dorchester – AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 34 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.54 Waterloo-Poole 28 minutes late. 15.13 Ascot-Guildford AXED. 15.15/15.45/16.15/16.45/17.15 Alton-Woking AXED. 15.17/16.17 Guildford-Ascot AXED between Guildford and Aldershot. 15.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 15.42 Portsmouth-Southampton 28 minutes late. 15.49/16.26/16.49/17.26/17.49 Woking-Alton AXED. 16.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 16.35 Southampton-Portsmouth 41 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Fareham AXED and passengers THROWN OFF at Fratton DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.42 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 18.54 Waterloo-Poole AXED between Waterloo and Woking.
Monday 17/03/08 18.20 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.30 Waterloo-Epsom REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 22.35 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF AT Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW.
Tuesday 18/03/08 04.35 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 04.40 Havant-Portsmouth AXED. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Guildford DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.50 Waterloo-Yeovil REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading 7 minutes late.
Wednesday 19/03/08 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 07.38 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers made to change trains at Southampton. 07.55 Weymouth-Waterloo 63 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.50 Poole-Waterloo 52 minutes late; stops at Fleet, Farnborough and Clapham Junction AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 09.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late. 09.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 55 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Dorchester. 09.06 Poole-Waterloo 53 minutes late. 09.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late and AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester. 09.39 Waterloo-Poole 32 minutes late. 10.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester. 10.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 10.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; stops at St Margaret’s, North Sheen and Mortlake AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 10.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 35 minutes late. 10.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 12.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester. 14.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 14.50 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.56 Havant-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.03 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.05 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 16.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 16.50 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 6 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton 6 minutes late. 17.30 Waterloo-Epsom REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 6 minutes late. 17.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton REDUCED TO 9 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.24 Basingstoke-Fareham AXED between Basingstoke and Eastleigh. 20.15 Waterloo-Haslemere 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 13 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 20/03/08 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton forced to change on to a bus at Basingstoke due to emergency engineering work. 05.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.55 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 05.58 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.12 Waterloo-Shepperton 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.11 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 08.17 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 40 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops after Eastleigh AXED DUE TO OPERATIONALCONVENIENCE. 09.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 13 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Teddington AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 09.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 09.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and Kingston. 09.42 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 09.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 11.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 11.12 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.05 Waterloo-Reading 8 minutes late. 16.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 12 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Teddington and Raynes Park AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.12 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.17 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 12 minutes late; all intermediate sops before Fulwell, together with Norbiton and New Malden, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.12 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.31 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.07 Alton-Waterloo AXED. 19.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 12 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.39 Waterloo-Guildford AXED. 20.45 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 22.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Kingston AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Friday 21/03/08 (Bad Friday) 05.30 Southampton-Waterloo AXED between Southampton and Basingstoke DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 11.39 Waterloo-Kingston THROWN OFF at Twickenham DUE TO NO CREW. 12.03 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 13.00 Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. NO TRAINS BETWEEN STAINES AND WINDSOR FROM 14.00, DUE TO A TREE ‘THREATENING TO FALL ON THE LINE’ – THE 14.30 WATERLOO-WINDSOR HAD ALREADY BEEN AXED BETWEEN WATERLOO AND STAINES DUE TO NO CREW. 14.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Wareham. 16.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 17.00 Guildford-Ascot AXED between Guildford and Aldershot DUE TO NO CREW. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.09 Waterloo-Kingston AXED between Waterloo and Hounslow DUE TO NO ROLLING STOCK IN PLACE. 17.57 Waterloo-Basingstoke 20 minutes late. 19.00 Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Kingston and Twickenham. 19.20 Waterloo-Yeovil called additionally at Overton, Whitchurch and Grateley DUE TO PASSENGERS TRANSFERRING FROM ANOTHER TRAIN (DUFF STOCK OR CREW SHORTAGE?) 19.23 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Ascot and Aldershot DUE TO NO CREW. 20.20 Alton-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 22.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; stops at West Byfleet, Weybridge and Walton-on-Thames AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 22.50 Alton-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
Saturday 22/03/08 Passengers on the 14.20 Waterloo-Penzance THROWN OFF at Exeter DUE TO NO CREW. 14.35 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.07 Waterloo-Woking AXED DUE TO NO CREW. All intermediate stops of the 19.35 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late. 20.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 52 minutes late. Passengers on the 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Guildford DUE TO NO CREW. 20.35 Portsmouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late. Passengers on the 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Fratton. 21.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO NO CREW. All stops of the 21.35 Shepperton-Waterloo from Teddington to Wimbledon inclusive AXED. 21.54 / 22.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo, between Woking and Clapham Junction, AXED. 22.13 Woking-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 23.27 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Basingstoke, Micheldever, Winchester and Eastleigh stops AXED from the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole.
Sunday 23/03/08 11.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 11.50 Guildford-Surbiton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 12.28/12.58 Surbiton-Hampton Court AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 12.42/13.12 Hampton Court-Surbiton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 12.57/16.57 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 13.32 Surbiton-Guildford AXED DUE TO CREW. 13.35 Waterloo-Poole AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke DUE TO NO CREW. 13.50 Penzance-Waterloo AXED between Penzance and Truro. Passengers on the 14.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO NO CREW. 14.20 Guildford-Wimbledon AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 14.27/15.27 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.17 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO NO CREW. AND SO ON UNTIL: Passengers on the 21.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Woking; 23.16 Basingstoke-Woking AXED DUE TO NO CREW; 23.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking DUE TO NO CREW and 10 minutes late.
Monday 24/03/08 00.11 Woking-Alton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 00.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Haslemere. Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Winchester THROWN OFF at Woking. 06.30 Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 11.20 Waterloo-Reading 13 minutes late. 12.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 12.35 Shepperton-Waterloo 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.48 Salisbury-Romsey 11 minutes late. 13.36 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 14.39 Waterloo-Kingston 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 15.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.50 Poole-Basingstoke 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW.
Tuesday 25/03/08 06.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK; stops from Mortlake to St Margaret’s inclusive AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 28 minutes late. Speed restrictions imposed in the Raynes Park area; SWT punished its passengers by AXING the Wimbledon stops of afternoon and evening trains from Guildford via Cobham, Woking and Hampton Court. 14.05 Dorking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 22 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.39 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Wednesday 26/03/08 05.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 05.38 Guildford-Waterloo DELAYED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.46 Waterloo-Chessington REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.50 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.40 Chessington-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late; stops between Waterloo and Clapham Junction AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.07 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.25 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES AND AXED between Windsor and Staines. 12.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.50 Waterloo-Reading 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.50 Poole-Waterloo 23 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.42 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED between Southampton and St Denys. 18.25 Waterloo-Woking 25 minutes late. 19.02 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late. 19.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court 15 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Guildford 14 minutes late. 19.12 Waterloo-Shepperton 13 minutes late. 19.16 Waterloo-Chessington 13 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Woking 12 minutes late. 19.24 Waterloo-Dorking 10 minutes late. 19.40 Chessington-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 9 minutes late; intermediate stops after Wimbledon AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Thursday 27/03/08 Infrastructure problems. 04.58 Guildford-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late; train diverted and all intermediate stops between Clapham Junction and Woking AXED. 05.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late. 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late. 05.48 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Epsom. 05.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED between Hampton Court and Surbiton. 05.58 Guildford-waterloo delayed; all intermediate stops before Epsom AXED due to operational convenience. 05.59 Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 06.11 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and Kingston. 06.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late; stops from Mortlake to Whitton inclusive AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED between Windsor and Staines and REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo delayed; all intermediate stops before Twickenham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Bracknell. 07.32 Dorking-Waterloo AXED. 12.10 Exeter-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 16 minutes late. 16.09 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. Passengers on the 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton THROWN OFF at Strawberry Hill. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. Passengers on the 18.16 Waterloo-Chessington THROWN OFF at Wimbledon DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED from Waterloo and started from Kingston. Passengers on the 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton THROWN OFF at Teddington. 18.46 Waterloo-Chessington REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late.
Friday 28/03/08 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 06.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.15 Alton-Waterloo 10 minutes late; West Byfleet stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton THROWN OFF at Strawberry Hill. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED from Waterloo and started from Kingston. Passengers on the 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton THROWN OFF at Teddington. 18.48 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Saturday 29/03/08 07.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 08.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late DUE TO BROKEN DOWN TRAIN. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 9 minutes late and AXED between Waterloo and Woking DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.03 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED between Weybridge and Virginia Water. 18.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.30 Guildford-Ascot 9 minutes late. 20.38 Guildford-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 22.20 Guildford-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 22.30 Southampton-Waterloo 8 minutes late.
Sunday 30/03/08 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 12.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.39 Waterloo-Reading 34 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Ascot AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 13.44 Waterloo-Windsor 29 minutes late. 14.09 Waterloo-Reading 8 minutes late. Passengers on the 20.22 Shepperton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Strawberry Hill. Passengers on the 20.35 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 22.05 Waterloo-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 22.46 Waterloo-Kingston THROWN OFF at Kingston. 23.05 Waterloo-Poole diverted via Botley and Netley. 23.16 Waterloo-Shepperton apparently AXED in its entirety (sum effect of two advertised changes). Passengers on the 23.22 Shepperton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Kingston. 23.35 Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Kingston and Twickenham. Passengers on the 23.46 Waterloo-Kingston THROWN OFF at Twickenham.
Monday 31/03/08 Passengers on the 00.18 Waterloo-Kingston THROWN OFF at Twickenham. Passengers on the 00.42 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill THROWN OFF at Twickenham. 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton diverted via Botley and Netley. 07.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 07.20 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Ascot. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 07.32 Dorking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 08.11 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Thursday 03/01/08 – HEADS MUST ROLL FOR LATEST RAIL CHAOS Even for an industry which never stops inventing new ways to make its service third-rate and its customers’ lives a misery, yesterday on the railways was pretty special. In addition to the annual ritual of fare increases way above inflation, by up to 14.5% this time, Liverpool Street, Britain’s third busiest station, had no trains and much of the country’s busiest main line, the West Coast, was shut. This followed some of the longest planned closures ever for engineering work. This week’s fiasco shows that railway privatisation is a continuing crime against the public interest, for the chaos is merely an extreme version of what happens all the time. To add to the misery, Birmingham International station was closed due to a café fire.
The first rule of business is that the customer is always right, but those responsible for the chaos don’t have to confront angry commuters and long-distance passengers. If they did, they might know how it feels to pay what seems like a ransom and be forced on a bus. Heads need to roll and the Government must rethink its strategy. There are too many vested interests, too many operators and a hopeless engineer. Network Rail chiefs are earning between £250,000 and £750,000. Re-nationalisation may not be entirely desirable but is now a necessity.
Network Rail claimed that it realised at the last minute that it was 40 specialists short but sources said much of the problem was due to staff with hangovers phoning in sick. Department for Transport Ministers were widely attacked for their invisibility during the crisis. (Evening Standard)
[The press reacted with disbelief on 28-29/02/08, when Network Rail’s Chairman was knighted just as the company was handed a record £14 million fine. The Metro of 29/02/08 reported that MPs, unions and passenger groups had branded the fine as meaningless because Network Rail is effectively a public company and taxpayers will have to pay.]
Thursday 03/01/08 – 40 PER CENT OF JOURNEYS IN THE CAPITAL STILL MADE BY CAR A report published by Transport for London shows that almost 40% of the 28 million daily journeys in London are made by car, whilst 37% are by Tube, bus, train or tram. The rest are by foot or bicycle. Car use is particularly high in outer London where campaigners claim as few as 13% of journeys are made by public transport. However, a record number of journeys are being made on the Tube (up to 4 million a day) and buses (around 6.5 million on weekdays). Experts say the annual London Travel Report figures show how vital it is to invest in weak public transport links in outer London. Almost £1 million more journeys were made in London than in the previous year; Londoners spent 39 minutes a day travelling to work, almost twice the average of 20 minutes in the rest of Britain; the average number of passengers on a bus rose above 15 for the first time; Oyster cards accounted for 85% of bus trips and 66% of Underground journeys; 231 people were killed and 3,715 seriously injured on the capital’s roads; 1.1 million people entered central London between 07.00 and 10.00 on an average weekday. Of those who work in central London, 80% travel by public transport and just 11% use a car. (Evening Standard)
Thursday 03/01/08 – QUEST FOR PROFITS CANNOT BE DERAILED Sergio Romagnoli of Bristol is not convinced by First Great Western’s promises that fare increases will result in a better service. It’s always the same old story of passengers being let down. As a profit-making company, First is focusing on profits for shareholders and that’s it. Any service improvements are by-products of this objective. Companies are out to make profits and do not care about people. The only real option is for the Government to intervene, but if it’s not in its best interests either it won’t. Michael Thompson of Kent writes that it’s unfortunate that the railways are a monopoly and can charge rail-dependent commuters what they like for some tickets. (Metro)
Wednesday 09/01/08 – NETWORK RAIL UNDER TORY ATTACK FOR NEW YEAR DELAYS Shadow Transport Secretary, Theresa Villiers, accused the Government of complicity in the ‘monumental foul-up’ of the previous week, saying it must bear responsibility for creating an organisation with inadequate regulatory and ownership structures. She also considered that fines levied by the Office of Rail Regulation were counter-productive because they ultimately came from the taxpayer’s pocket. (Guardian)
Friday 11/01/08 – GREED BEFORE SERVICE AND AIR BEFORE RAIL The real purpose of public service is personal enrichment, not serving the public. In the week that Tony Blair cashed in on his premiership with J P Morgan, the Sunday Times reported that Stagecoach chairman Brian Souter paid himself £1 million last year, while Moir Lockhead, chief of First Group, received £745,000 despite public discontent with First Great Western. It didn’t have space to report the £24 million pocketed in one year by Richard Branson for franchises bailed out with massive public cash when he failed to deliver on his promises. Nor to show how Grand Central had its new Kings Cross-Sunderland service blocked by Tom Winsor while he was regulator, only for him to make a tidy sum advising the company afterwards. Nor to explain that First Great Western’s delays were partly down to the incompetence of Network Rail, where four directors pocketed £286,000 in performance bonuses. Even some Conservative MPs have called for franchises to be surrendered. The underlying assumption is that remuneration should reflect the performance encountered by passengers. Yet no company has lost its franchise because of delays or cancellations. The only performance that matters in the industry is financial and, to that extent, Labour’s policy of pricing people off trains instead of increasing capacity makes sense.
Labour has two parallel policies: expand airports to meet and stimulate growth; and refuse to expand railways in line with past growth and forecasts. Air fares have fallen whilst rail fares keep being raised above inflation. The bad news for the government is that the policy seems to be failing. Even the Civil Aviation Authority admits that growth has slowed as more people have switched to rail. The day that the CAA dropped this bombshell, the Transport Secretary announced that adding two coaches to each Pendolino train would be poor value for money. This is not surprising, given that the coaches would be procured through one of the rolling stock companies which the government reckons make too much profit, and when Virgin’s proposal for the extra coaches was in return for a 2-year extension of a franchise which recently had a massive subsidy rise. The railways are so messed up that extra carriages to make the most of the £8 billion upgrade of the West Coast Main Line are now unaffordable and it makes less sense to simplify the rail industry than to give Heathrow a third runway and sixth terminal – to handle extra flights for all the passengers who won’t be able to take the train to Manchester and Glasgow. (Private Eye)
Thursday 17/01/08 – CHEAPER IN MILTON KEYNES A report commissioned by the Mortgage Advice Bureau has found that the best bet for escaping London’s high housing costs is to move to Milton Keynes and commute. Allowing for housing and travel costs, this could typically save nearly £7,000 a year. Moving to Brighton, Reading or Crawley could save around £3,600. (Metro)
[Useful reminder that many people commute because of limited resources, not because they are well off. This fact is often conveniently overlooked, for example by SWT sycophants.]
Monday 21/01/08 – SECRET TRAFFIC PLANS FOR SOUTHERN HAMPSHIRE A secret report proposes a range of road schemes for southern Hampshire, including extension of the M271 from Redbridge to Millbrook flyover for docks traffic (along the route of one of the most polluted roads in the county, with a residential estate on one side); a Botley bypass; widening of Northam rail bridge; and widening of parts of the M3 and M27. Since 1997 the county has seen a 14% increase in traffic compared with 12% nationally. The largest rise (20%) took place on Northamptonshire [surprise, surprise: Beeching left the county with 5 railway stations]. The only rail schemes are a triangular junction west of Eastleigh station and double-tracking of the Botley-Fareham line [difficult since the double-track Knowle-Fareham section was disposed of, and trains travel the single-track ex-Meon Valley line which has two tunnels.] (Southern Daily Echo)
Tuesday 22/01/08 – DEUTSCHE BAHN BUYS CHILTERN RAILWAYS Germany’s national rail operator has bought Britain’s Laing Rail, owner of Chiltern Railways, for an undisclosed sum. The Chiltern franchise runs until 2020 and DB say it is the basis for going further into the British market. (Guardian)
Friday 25/01/08 – NEW YEAR FIASCO AND HIGH COSTS OF VIRGIN Network Rail’s new year fiasco that closed main lines at Rugby and Liverpool Street could not have happened without the help of the US consultancy Bechtel and a ragbag of other engineering firms. Network Rail decided to keep on the contractors who were renewing infrastructure for Railtrack after it took maintenance in-house in 2003. Five engineering companies were involved over Christmas at Rugby alone and, with several train companies also affected, corporate lawyers will be enjoying a feast of blaming and claiming. In September 2002, Bechtel was appointed project manager on the West Coast route upgrade, but with no benchmark for measuring attainment and after no competitive tendering. Bechtel boasts of having turned the project round, but was it really an achievement to dump the daftest bits of Failtrack’s plan and then spend another 6 years on the rest? The £8 billion project has had a bumpy ride under Bechtel. Upgrading near Wilmslow took twice as long as planned in 2006, shutting the Crewe-Stockport line for over 6 months. Yet Network Rail chief Iain Coucher ruled out ‘knee-jerk’ sacking of contractors after the Rugby chaos. Despite its shortage of expert engineers for power cables, Network Rail scheduled major work for them in 3 places over Christmas. It therefore deferred work south of Peterborough and reopened the East Coast main line on time. At Liverpool Street, power cables needed reinstatement but engineers had been switched to Rugby. The extra and faster West Coast trains scheduled from next December there must now be a danger of Bechtel’s not completing preparatory work on time.
News that Richard Branson pocketed £24 million last year from Virgin Rail shows how generous Labour can be with taxpayers’ money. Virgin Rail claimed that this was a reward for all the risk it had taken. The risk is an illusion. Virgin and Railtrack agreed to upgrade the main line from Euston with 140mph Pendolino trains and hi-tech signalling. Virgin expected to attract so many more passengers that it would pay higher charges to Railtrack for the improved infrastructure and £1.2 billion of premiums to the state over 10 years. When the plan proved woefully unrealistic, Virgin blamed Railtrack. The Government then waived the franchise deal and introduced ‘management contracts’ guaranteeing annual profits however badly Virgin performed. In December 2006, Virgin’s West Coast franchise was ‘reinstated’. Instead of reinstating the premium requirements, Labour agreed a huge increase in Virgin’s subsidy, which rocketed to 5.9p per passenger km in 2006-07 from 2.8p in 2005-06. That was just the effect of the higher subsidy starting in mid 2005-06. This year’s results should be as mouth-watering for Virgin as they are eye-watering for taxpayers. In the winning franchise bids, Virgin agreed to pay the state £130 million (at 1997 prices) in 2006-07 for the West Coast franchise, and receive £6.9 million for Cross Country. In the event, West Coast got £221 million subsidy and Cross Country £231 million. Virgin’s franchises have involved risk, but only for passengers and taxpayers who continue to pay dearly. (Private Eye)
[Presumably Virgin is on course to lose its West Coast franchise in succession to its Cross Country franchise]
Friday 08/02/08 – FIRST GREAT WESTERN’S TRAIN FLEET First Great Western fended off planned protests by London commuters living in Oxfordshire and Berkshire by offering higher season ticket discounts for delays. The Government, Network Rail and First Group know they can only get away with so much on services to and from London, where significant concessions have been made since the unpopular December 2006 timetable. Yet, in the South West, a fares strike went ahead, There, Labour has shortened trains to save cash. Staff shortages and infrastructure faults are so common that services are routinely cancelled or terminated short of destination. The protesters’ fake tickets were branded ‘Cattle Class’, but farmers would be prosecuted for daring to transport livestock in such conditions. One Bristol-Portsmouth train was half the required length and so overcrowded that the police had to be called to remove passengers so that the guard could get on. This sort of thing is a daily occurrence. Hampshire County Council had warned what would happen but the government went ahead with cuts anyway. Despite passenger revolts in January 2007 and again this year, another 28 carriages are being removed from FGW’s main Wessex routes. FGW must generate £1.3bn for the government as well as profits for First Group shareholders. FGW denigrated protesters for their “publicly stated agenda of the renationalisation of the railways”. It seems that demanding reasonable public services is tantamount to subversion today. In January last year, FGW said it was bringing train maintenance in-house to give customers a better service. Wessex trains became much less reliable after FGW started maintaining them in Bristol, and scores of long-distance carriages have been replaced by bus-bodied Pacer trains. The Adelantes have gone back to the leasing company and other trains have gone to Arriva Trains Wales where their reliability has suddenly improved. (Private Eye)
Friday 15/02/08 – FIRST GREAT WESTERN THREATENED WITH LOSS OF FRANCHISE The Chancellor has told FGW to ‘get a grip’ or face risking its franchise. The company had caused problems which had gone on far too long. Passengers were entitled to expect far greater reliability and punctuality in a far better service. (Metro)
Monday 18/02/08 – ANOTHER OVERRUN OF ENGINEERING WORKS ON THE PORTSMOUTH LINE Rail commuters at all train stations around Portsmouth were today faced with trains running up to two hours late because of overrunning engineering works. Network Rail was supposed to finish the track renewal work by 4am but the electricity wasn't back on until 5am, causing massive problems throughout the morning. The delays in getting the power switched on meant no trains held overnight at Fratton depot could be used, with big crowds of commuters stuck on platforms cramming into trains whenever they could. The problem came only a month after Network Rail admitted it had let down passengers when engineering work in the Midlands overran over the New Year period. Network Rail chief executive Iain Coucher insisted there would be less use of contractors in future to avoid a repeat performance, but he has already seen the promise backfire. It is the latest in a litany of problems to hit the area's rail service – after a year of disruption there were more problems two weeks ago when weekend works overran. Liberal Democrat Councillor Alex Bentley said: “We were told there would be a full running of the train service by now. This is very dispiriting for all who choose to use the trains. It doesn't encourage people to use the service if they can't rely on it. It has got to the stage where it is seriously affecting the economic viability of the area. It isn't good enough.” One passenger at Fratton station David Colville, who was at the station at 7.10am to get to work, said: 'I was amazed at how many people were jammed on to the platform. Many fed-up passengers decided to get taxis to work or called their partners to get lifts. 'I saw a train that was due to arrive at Fratton at 5.53am but it didn't arrive until 7.35.' (Portsmouth News)
Friday 22/02/08 – METRONET COSTS AND REGULATED FARES The Mayor of London’s press machine was strangely silent on 6 February when the government slipped out that it would be taking a £2 billion hit on the debts and future costs of Metronet, the failed Underground PPP. The deal is remarkably generous in that the government is guaranteeing all the debts incurred by Metronet and making all taxpayers, not just those in London, foot the bill. That suits the Prime Minister, who was responsible for the PPP and £500 million it cost to set up when he was chancellor. Only the taxpayer has suffered as a result of the scandal. The chancellor moved next door while Stephen Byers, the Transport Secretary who signed the deal, moved to obscurity on the backbenches. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the consultancy that pushed through the idea, is now being paid to find solutions to unravel it. Gordon Brown’s special adviser, Shriti Vadera, who negotiated the contracts, is a minister, and Denis Tunnicliffe, the London Underground boss at the time, sits in the Lords. // Bureaucrats at the Department for Transport say “We check all regulated fares to make sure increases do not exceed the limit”. Yet it was London Travel Watch (not the Department) which forced First Great Western to reduce illegal rises on season tickets. The maximum permitted rise was 4.8%, but FGW increased fares from places like Slough and Maidenhead by twice that amount. Of course, there’s no limit on unregulated tickets. Since Virgin became the sole operator on the London Manchester route in 1997, a return ticket for travel at anytime has increased by 142% standard class and 167% first class. Richard Branson got £24 million from Virgin Trains last year. (Private Eye)
Thursday 28/02/08 – NATIONAL EXPRESS ON TRACK OF SOUTHERN National Express will try to regain its title as Britain’s biggest train company by winning control of Southern when Go Ahead’s franchise comes up for grabs later this year. (Evening Standard)
Wednesday 05/03/08 – CHARGING ON ROADS ‘OFF RADAR’ Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly has said hard shoulders will be used to ease motorway congestion and satellites to track and bill motorists were so far off that they didn’t even enter her thinking. Some 1.8 million people last year signed a petition opposing any extension of road charging. (Metro)
Thursday 06/03/08 – ARRIVA TO FOCUS EFFORT ON EUROPE Arriva may not bid for the Southern franchise. The company says it has many opportunities in mainland Europe and UK franchises are now very competitive. It runs Arriva Trains Wales, Cross Country and nearly a fifth of the London bus market. Europe helped push group revenues up 16% to £2 billion, while underlying operating profits were up 7% at £249 million. (Evening Standard)
[Considering the excellent start Arriva has made on Cross Country, what a shame Stagecoach was allowed to outbid them for South West Trains and then trash just about everything which matters to passengers]
Thursday 06/03/08 – PARTNER OF FAILED METRONET IN LINE FOR NEW TUBE CONTRACT Balfour Beatty, a shareholder in failed Tube maintenance firm Metronet, is close to renewing a lucrative public private partnership contract despite government criticism of investors’ role in the collapse. The engineering group is expected to win track renewal business on the Underground as Transport for London sifts through the wreckage of a £17 billion public private partnership programme (PPP). The Metronet collapse was widely blamed on an ownership structure that gave work to the company’s shareholders, including Balfour Beatty, which then broke the budget by up to £2 billion. In an appearance before the Transport Select Committee last year, the Transport Secretary, Ruth Kelly, indicated that the insolvency would affect the chances of Metronet’s shareholders winning other PPP contracts. “One of the issues we look at is competence and delivery record …. And of course those issues will be taken into account,” she said. (Guardian)
Friday 07/03/08 – THAMESLINK TO GET 44 NEW CARRIAGES TO EASE CRUSH The overcrowded Bedford-Brighton service via central London is to get 44 extra carriages this year. Some 130,000 people a day use the service, and many more rush hour trains will be doubled in length to 8 carriages. The new station at Blackfriars, which will span the Thames, should be open by 2011. (Evening Standard)
Friday 07/03/08 – FIRST GREAT WESTERN / VIRGIN TRAINS The Transport Secretary attacked First Great Western for the ‘unacceptable’ performance of a franchise which her own department specified in detail and managed from the wings. Her ‘remedial’ measures include the most basic items needed to run a railway, including extra trains, drivers, guards and technicians, to reduce cancellations. England is conducting a bizarre experiment where inexpert civil servants run the rail network. The problems started when InterCity, regional and London commuter operations were combined, ignoring British Rail’s lesson that each should have its specialised management. The Transport Department then delayed consultation on the franchise specification until after firms were invited to submit final bids on it. The specification’s flaws were unmasked when the franchise was a done deal. Ever since, the franchise has been on the back foot, confronted by groups of angry passengers. Another mistake was giving the franchise to First Group, a bus company which had coped with the Great Eastern franchise but was out of its depths in more complex situations. First North Western was a shabby outfit when one Mike Mitchell was managing director in 1998. Manchester’s transport authority was so dissatisfied with management explanations for the “atrocious” service, it threatened legal action to recoup subsidy First Group had pocketed for services it wasn’t running. Mike Mitchell, then elevated to Chief Operating Officer at First Group, didn’t stop First Great Western achieving fame as Britain’s least punctual intercity and commuter franchise. The Government was apparently unaware of these failures when it awarded First Group two of the most complex franchises of all, Greater Western and Thameslink. It should have been aware, because Mike Mitchell was by then the Government’s Director General of Rail. Ruth Kelly’s outburst revealed that the Government was handing First Great Western a “breach notice” for misreporting cancellations. But still there was no criticism of the company for raising regulated fares by twice the legal amount – anyone would think the Government approved of companies ripping off passengers. // “OOOPS, we made a mistake”, says a poster at Virgin rail stations apologizing for a misprint in fares leaflets. But so far the Government has made no apology for a much bigger mistake it made in December 2006 when it agreed to give Virgin massive public cash to continue the West Coast franchise. If a franchise brings in more or less revenue than expected, the state shares the profits or losses. The theory is that economic circumstances in the last years of a franchise are difficult to predict. Yet Virgin made so much money in the first year of the new deal that it had to pay the state nearly £7 million. Civil servants spectacularly underestimated current demands , more than doubled Virgin’s previous subsidy, and let Richard Branson pocket £24 from Virgin Rail last year, even though he has only a 51 per cent stake. If the Government hasn’t a clue about what the immediate future holds, how can it possibly negotiate long-term contracts that will hold good for taxpayers and passengers for up to 20 years? (Private Eye)
Friday 14/03/08 – RAIL DELAYS ‘COST PASSENGERS £1 BILLION’ The National Audit Office reckons that there were almost 800,000 rail incidents in 2006-07, delaying passengers for 14 million minutes. The Chairman of the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee says that this cost passengers over £1 billion a year in lost time. (Metro)
[No doubt SWT’s unreliable Desiro and Juniper units, along with their famous crew shortages, played a significant role in this. But good to know that over the past two years the two Stagecoach founders enjoyed bonuses amounting to around a quarter of a billion pounds.]
Tuesday 18/03/08 – POOR TRANSPORT LINKS HIT WEALTH OF OUTLYING NORTHERN TOWNS The Centre for Cities thinktank considers that the economies of northern towns are falling behind their southern counterparts because of inadequate transport links to Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle. Congested roads and trundling trains across Lancashire, Yorkshire and the North East have left residents of outlying districts behind. Research by the thinktank found that less than 3% of Burnley’ s residents travel to work in Manchester, while 10% of Reading’s working population commutes twice as far to London. The journey across Lancashire takes at least 70 minutes with a change, compared with Reading to London in 25 minutes. Towns in the South East benefit more than towns in the North from the spread of economic growth from the concentration of people and business in the big cities. The difference in economic wealth between the average resident of Blackburn and south Manchester has grown from £1,800 to £6,000 between 1995 and 2004. Over the same period the average wealth gap between Barnsley and Leeds has grown by £4,000 a person. The average person’s wealth in Reading is now higher than in London, and the wealth gap between Oxford and London has grown by only £1,000. (Guardian)
Tuesday 18/03/08 – COSTS OF SEVEN ROAD PROJECTS SOAR BY £1.1 BILLION The Department for Transport has been severely criticised by the National Audit Office and some MPs for letting road construction costs spiral out of control. The costs of some projects have nearly doubled. These include the A14 from Ellington to Fen Ditton in Cambridgeshire (£490m to £944m); widening of the M1 between junctions 10 and 13 (£382m to £601m); the A5-M1 Dunstable bypass (£48m to £124m); 3 M25 widening schemes (a total increase of £386m) and a project on the M40. (Guardian)
Friday 21/03/08 – FIRST GREAT WESTERN’S REMEDIES A draft copy of the Transport Secretary’s ‘remedial measures’ on First Great Western shows interesting changes. The final press statement said First Great Western had breached its franchise agreement by misreporting cancellations. But a deleted part of the draft states, “First Great Western has contravened its franchise agreement twice” – once by misreporting and once by “exceeding the cancellations breach threshold in two periods”. Five bullet points were padded out. These described pathetic benefits like lengthening Portsmouth-Cardiff trains to the length they were before shortening two years ago, against the advice of Hampshire County Council and others. To make the list look more substantial, mandarins resorted to such waffle as, “Fares offers will commence from 1 April of this year until 31 March 2009”. The Transport Secretary was going to claim that the measures were the ‘best possible deal’ for passengers, but this was too much even for her special adviser and was changed to ‘would lead to a reduction in train cancellations and also provide a substantial package of benefits’. What would give passengers the best possible deal? Try ending the farce of civil servants attempting to manage a railway from Whitehall, and stop using First Group as a protective shield, a set-up that keeps rail managers so busy discharging obligations to shareholders and officials that passengers remain bottom of the list. The best deal for passengers would also return assets to the public sector and create a state rail company to manage operations, maintenance and development. Managers, drivers, guards, station staff, signallers, timetable planners, and train and track engineers would all belong to the same accountable organisation. Their prime duty would not be to maximise profits but to serve the public in the most cost-effective way for passengers and taxpayers. This is how most major European railways function. It’s also how British Rail provided a better service (without closing for maintenance on weekends and bank holidays) for around a quarter of today’s subsidy and for fares that were in real terms much lower. (Private Eye)
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