HOGRIDER 118 : APRIL-MAY 2008
DEATH OF MRS GWYNETH DUNWOODY
STAGECOACH CHAIRMAN’S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY ON ALLEVIATING POVERTY
ALLEVIATING POVERTY: SWT HUGELY DEARER THAN SOUTHERN
ALLEVIATING POVERTY: SWT PROFITS RISING AT TWICE THE RATE OF PASSENGER NUMBERS
ALLEVIATING POVERTY: FIGURES BEHIND STAGECOACH’S CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
RITUAL ABUSE AND HUMILIATION
PARLIAMENTARY SEMINAR ON ‘RAIL AND THE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT SYSTEM’ 20/05/08 : MINISTER CONTENT WITH MASSIVE RAIL FARE WHILE RYANAIR ANNOUNCES 300,000 FREE SEATS
ELECTIONS - GOVERNMENT PAYS THE PRICE
OTHER POLITICAL ISSUES
SWT: SLOWEST SINCE STEAM, BUT LAGGING IN PERFORMANCE
‘RAIL NEWS’ ARTICLE ARGUES THAT ‘RIGHT TIME RAILWAY’ IS A MYTH
WORST URBAN SERVICE IN THE SOUTH EAST?
CUSTOMER SERVICE SWT FASHION
MORE SWT PASSENGERS ASSAULTED
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION BY SWT’S AUTOMATED VERBAL DIARRHOEA (“e-MOTION”?) - 3
VIRGIN TRAINS RUNNING TO STAGECOACH STANDARDS?
NEW FOREST TRANSPORT FORUM - 12 MAY 2008
TOILETS: RIP-OFF AND CLOSURE
DIARY OF A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER –16
SWT RIGHT TIME RAILWAY: DUFF STOCK, CREW SHORTAGES, CANCELLATIONS, TRAINS TERMINATING SHORT OF DESTINATION, AND STOPS AXED FOR OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE
MEDIA NEWS AND COMMENT
STOP PRESS – STAGECOACH PLANNING HUGE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SECURITY CUTS ON SWT
DEATH OF MRS GWYNETH DUNWOODY
Rail users everywhere will have been saddened by the untimely death of Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody MP on 17 April. She chaired the House of Commons Transport Committee for many years and was a tireless champion of public transport users. We have received a number of thoughtful letters from her, and appreciated the fact that she saw things as they were rather than through the rose-tinted spectacles of political expediency and indifference. We are privileged to have exceptional people like her in politics. They help make Britain a better place and the country would benefit from having many more.
STAGECOACH CHAIRMAN’S THOUGHT FOR THE DAY ON ALLEVIATING POVERTY
[From Private Eye, No.1211] “Stagecoach boss Brian Souter has been telling BBC Radio Scotland his ideas to alleviate poverty: a tax on those who are creating carbon – “and those who aren’t using carbon would be the beneficiaries,” he said. “That would effectively redistribute some wealth in society.”
If he were really interested in redistributing wealth, perhaps Souter (who with his sister Ann Gloag is estimated to have amassed a £720m fortune since bus deregulation in 1986) should look at bus fare increases.
In London, where Stagecoach doesn’t run buses, all kinds of people use them; but outside the Capital the poor are much more likely than affluent people to take the bus. There was thus an outcry when Stagecoach increased fares in Barrow-in-Furness by 8% in February, the fourth local fare rise in three years. Barrow is the 29th most deprived of England’s 354 districts, and Stagecoach has an unregulated near monopoly of bus services there.
PS: Souter worships at Perth’s Church of the Nazarene, which describes itself as a community of people who “strive to express the compassion of Jesus Christ to all persons along with our personal commitment to Christ-like living”. Presumably when Souter’s in the congregation the pastor skips the bits in Mark, Matthew and Luke where Christ says: “Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.””
ALLEVIATING POVERTY: SWT HUGELY DEARER THAN SOUTHERN
(Thanks to a Portsmouth rail user for supplying these examples of SWT’s huge Monday-Friday fares rip-off)
Fratton – Waterloo (SWT)
Depart 08.28; Arrive 10.13
Day return £30.10; Travelcard day return £35.90
Depart 10.28; Arrive 12.13
Day return £24.50; Travelcard day return £29.40
Fratton – Victoria (Southern)
Depart 08.18; Arrive 10.16
Travelcard day return £23.10
Depart 09.20 Arrive 11.16
Pricebuster £13.50 (Not valid for return from Victoria 16.45–19.15);
Travelcard day return £23.10
Southampton – Waterloo (SWT)
Depart 08.33; Arrive 10.19
Day return £33.10;Travelcard day return £38.30
Depart 10.55; Arrive 12.34
Day return £28.00;Travelcard day return £31.30
Southampton – Victoria (Southern)
Depart 08.36; Arrive 11.16 (change at Havant)
Travelcard day return £23.10; Pricebuster £13.50 (Not valid for return from Victoria 16.45–19.15)
ALLEVIATING POVERTY: SWT PROFITS RISING AT TWICE THE RATE OF PASSENGER NUMBERS
* Stagecoach has announced that it is on track for bumper profits this year. Yet on South West Trains passenger numbers have risen only 6% over the past year against a rise in profits of 13.7%. And the rise in passengers is attributed to eastern European immigrants (who are reportedly now leaving Britain in large numbers). The same pattern is evident at Virgin Trains (in which Stagecoach has a 49% share) where passenger numbers are up 8.5% and revenue 13.7%. On SWT’s newly acquired East Midlands franchise, revenue is up 9.9% but passenger numbers only 4%. (Source: Evening Standard 28/04/08)
* Passengers are angry about SWT’s huge fare increases and consider that tickets are over-priced. Stagecoach responded that it had spent more than £5 million on improving stations. [Comment: SWT apparently didn’t mention the quarter of a billion pounds in bonuses shared by the two founders over the past two years.] (Southern Daily Echo 30/04/08)
* National Express’ revenue growth from rail is down to 9% in the first four months of 2008, and this is blamed on reduced demand for the Stansted Express service because of recession in the aviation industry. (Source: Evening Standard 01/05/08)
ALLEVIATING POVERTY: FIGURES BEHIND STAGECOACH’S CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
SWT’s website waxes lyrical, and at considerable length, about its corporate social responsibility and sharing Stagecoach values. So let’s look at some of the figures behind this phenomenon.
* £82 million: Value of Stagecoach shares recently transferred by founders Brian Souter and Ann Gloag to family trusts to beat changes in capital gains tax.
* £61 million: Approximate cost of 4 new Pendolino trains which Virgin Trains (49% owned by Stagecoach) isn’t buying for crowded West Coast mainline services. Rail Minister Tom Harris is accusing Virgin Trains of trying to blackmail the government over procurement.
* £20 million: The amount Ann Gloag wanted to spend on building a golfing resort at one her castles.
* £3 million: Start-up subsidy Brian Souter demanded for a hovercraft shuttle across the Forth, now on hold until taxpayers meet the cost.
* £500,000: Brian Souter’s pre-election donation to the SNP, which suddenly dropped its policy of regulating Stagecoach and other bus services. He is reportedly the Party’s biggest donor.
* Over £100,000: The amount Ann Gloag reportedly spent on hiring 2 QCs in a legal battle to prevent ramblers from accessing the grounds of her other castle. She became the first person successfully to challenge the Scottish Parliament’s right to roam legislation. Ramblers were left facing a £72,000 contribution to her costs as well as their own costs of £20,000.
* £1,930 to £28,750: Estimated change in Brian Souter’s local tax liability if the SNP-led Scottish Parliament’s tax-raising reforms had got on to the statute book. Following press speculation that such people would flee to England, the Scottish Government retreated behind a Green Party compromise which simply said that council tax was unfair and should be changed.
(Sources: SWT website; Dundee Courier 06/06/06; Scotsman 16/09/07 and 17/03/08; Rail News 04/08; Private Eye 18/04/08; Glasgow Metro 18/04/08)
[Why not explore Stagecoach’s corporate social responsibility yourself? Search under ‘Ann Gloag’, ‘Brian Souter’, ‘Stagecoach’ and/or use the search engines on the websites of papers like the Scotsman and Glasgow Herald. Large numbers of Scots seem to be furiously blogging against the company and its founders. ]
RITUAL ABUSE AND HUMILIATION
(Compare with recent Nigel Harris article in ‘RAIL’ – See Hogrider issue 117)
* National Express’ Wessex Trains franchise was noted for its ambitious service innovation and decent treatment of customers, and we were very grateful to managers for coming to Southampton to talk with our Group in the run-up to the SWT re-franchising exercise.
It was very disappointing, therefore, to read the following report in the Evening Standard of 29/04/08:
“A commuter who could not find a seat on her train but managed to squeeze into a tiny luggage space by a lavatory was fined because she was too close to first class.
Nichola Myhill’s hour-long journey ended with the threat of arrest and a £69 fine because she had strayed out of a second-class compartment.
Now the 27-year-old magazine graphic designer is waiting to hear of her appeal against what she described as “the appalling way I was treated”.
Ms Myhill caught the 6.30pm service from Liverpool Street station on her way to her home in Fingringhoe, near Colchester, but there were no seats available.
She said: “I pay just over £4,000 a year for a season ticket yet I usually end up sitting outside a toilet on the dirty floor because everywhere is full up. People were standing in every available space between carriages – it was not possible to stand in the aisle because it would have caused huge disruption. Together with another young couple I stepped into the space at the end of a first-class carriage. A guard saw us and we explained that there was nowhere else to go, which he accepted. But 10 minutes later a pair of ticket inspectors came through and having seen our tickets told us we were all going to be fined on the spot. I felt intimidated by their aggressive attitude – they demanded my details including my National Insurance number and where I worked. I was not at all happy about giving them so much information but they said I would be arrested if I refused to co-operate. They called up two men who showed me their warrant cards and they told us that we had to comply with the inspectors or we would be committing an arrestable offence. I was made to feel like a criminal and I was terrified that I would be taken off the train in handcuffs. Several passengers in the first-class compartment protested at the way I was being treated. They were astounded by what was happening – one man told the inspector to leave me alone because I was not causing any problems and should be allowed to stay.”
Upset and scared, Ms Myhill said she had no choice but to accept the £69 on-the-spot fine – calculated as double the cost of a single first class fare from London to Colchester – but has refused to pay and is appealing.
“Ironically they told me afterwards that I could have paid a £12 upgrade and sat in first class anyway. To add insult to injury as they left they said I could sit in the compartment because I had now paid the fine – but we had almost reached my destination.”
Ms Myhill is waiting to hear from the Independent Appeals Service about her complaint.
A spokesman for National Express East Anglia said: “We are sorry if any customer feels unhappy about their journey with us. We will look into the specific circumstances on this particular train and decide what action is appropriate.””
[Comment: If the facts are as reported, the first step should be to sack the inspectors involved, and name and shame them in the press.]
South West Trains
* Exchange of e’mails between SHRUG’s organiser and a Southampton resident (copied in anonymised form with the resident’s full permission).
“Subject: SWT Revenue Protection bullying
Dear Mr Fryer
I don't want to go into too much detail, I suspect you will have heard it all before, but I hope you can help us with some information.
In the middle of January my son was accosted at St Denys station by two SWT revenue protection officers. He was returning from Brighton to Southampton, but lost his ticket, although he can prove he purchased one. When challenged he gave his details to the revenue protection men but became concerned by their attitude and walked away. A few days later he received the notice that they would take him to court. He wrote a letter straight away, explaining his position, but never received an acknowledgement. Yesterday, 30th March, he received a summons (dated 12th February).
I wonder if you know of a solicitor who specialises in such cases, I have seen the articles on your website and feel sure there must be other people in the same boat. Any help or information you can supply would be most gratefully received.
“Subject: SWT Revenue Protection bullying
Dear [ ]
I'm afraid it sounds all too typical of South West Trains. The two founders of the parent company, Stagecoach, have received bonuses totalling a quarter of a billion pounds over the past two years, but will stop at nothing to squeeze more money out of their passengers. Even general solicitors tend to be more specialised in some areas than in others and, while I would love to be able to help, I just don't have the knowledge you need.
Have you tried the Legal Aid helpline 0845 345 4345? A friend contacted them today about a problem with a bank which seems to be denying him his legal right to cancel a loan. They have arranged for someone to see him tomorrow, so clearly are prepared to act fast. I hope they may be able to sort this out for you, and would be very interested in how it ends. It would be nice to think that, with proof of purchase, one cannot lose this type of case. In general terms it's important that people who consider such issues have all the relevant facts before them.
It's always a good idea to let your MP know when train companies are behaving unethically, and to contact the Southern Daily Echo so that they get any bad publicity which they deserve. MPs can correspond directly with Ministers on behalf of their constituents, so the Government gets to know what is going on.
I'm sorry that I cannot be more helpful, but hope this will be of some use.
“Subject: SWT Revenue Protection bullying
Dear Mr Fryer
I just thought I'd like to tell you about our little victory. You remember my son had a short notice summons dated February 12th but only received it about two weeks ago. He went to court last week to plead not guilty and SWT withdrew the charge "on a technicality". Actually their lawyer hadn't even read the file and got such a shock to get a not guilty plea he didn't know where to put himself. They are such bullies you have to stand up to them. They are the railways equivalent of car clampers, on a par with all the other people who rip off the public just because they can get away with it. My son had a good case and prepared it himself with the help of a legal helpline. I think it was worth risking the extra money and stress a not guilty plea might cost, just to keep his good name.
The clerk of the court was very good and obviously knows the score. He extracted an assurance from their lawyer that there would be no other charges. So we are very relieved. I would recommend that your readers always keep the receipts for the tickets they buy. We had to get documentary evidence of the transaction from the bank.
Keep up the good work and all best wishes.
Beware SWT ticket machines
* One excuse which SWT uses for its savage revenue protection policies is that it has increased the number of ticket machines available at some stations. It doesn’t of course refer to having ripped out large numbers of permit to travel machines. Unfortunately, it seems that SWT’s ticket machines are as duff as its new trains. On 05/04/08, a Totton resident obtained two day-return tickets to Portchester (with senior citizen railcard discount) from the Totton station ticket machine, using a credit card. One came out priced at £5.15 and the other at £5.35.
PARLIAMENTARY SEMINAR ON ‘RAIL AND THE SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORT SYSTEM’ 20/05/08 : MINISTER CONTENT WITH MASSIVE RAIL FARE WHILE RYANAIR ANNOUNCES 300,000 FREE SEATS
Many thanks to John McDonnell MP and the RMT for the opportunity to attend this very worthwhile event. A tentative,unofficial summary is below, with apologies for any shortcomings.
Presentation by James Burt, Chair of the Rail Personal Security Group, on ‘A safer environment for workers and passengers’
* Group set up in 2003 to share best practice, implement research findings, facilitate recording, raise awareness of unacceptable behaviour towards rail staff, and reduce crime against passengers.
* Reported incidents rising year on year but not clear whether more incidents or more reporting of incidents. Position now showing tendency to stabilise.
* British Transport Police had 54% detection rate last year; help from secure stations, CCTV and DNA tests on saliva.
Presentation by Bob Crowe, RMT General Secretary, on ‘Why the environment needs a publicly owned railway’
* Passengers are taking out their frustrations on frontline staff; they don’t see the managers. Mayor of London’s initiative to stop people drinking on the Tube is not new; byelaws already prohibit drinking on London Underground. It’s not bringing cans of drink on to trains that is the problem, it’s drinking before travel.
* Rail industry still plagued by fragmentation. Should have been sold off as a single entity. Privatisation created a ticket for industry, but not one industry to use it in.
* Private companies not concerned with getting people from A to B. They come in to make money and, where they can’t, they get out. It’s all about government contracts and profit margins.
* If the State ran the service, revenue could be used for better service or cheaper fares.
* There could soon be no train building in Britain. It needs to be protected. Japan builds trains and exports them to Britain but runs Japanese built trains itself. It’s the job of politicians to protect industry.
* Chief Executive of Network Rail has not met unions in his first year. Says he wants a 7-day railway all year. What is he prepared to pay for Christmas working?
* Privatisation on London Underground has failed. Now the Tyne and Wear Metro is going down the Public Private Partnership route. Labour opposed rail privatisation. It could simply not have renewed contracts.
* Why not get the State running one rail company and see how it goes? Opportunity to save public funds which could be used for a range of public services instead of going to shareholders.
* Union will keep on campaigning for a publicly owned railway run for the people.
* Crewe is a railway town. Returning industry to the public sector might win this week’s election.
[John Mc Donnell paid tribute to the late Mrs Gwyneth Dunwoody, the Crewe MP who had worked tirelessly for the rail industry and its users.]
Presentation by John Spellar MP
* Country needs a balanced economy. Manufacturing as well as Information and Technology. Too much focus on financial services. London will grow to the economic and social detriment of the regions. * Legacy of the Olympics should not be restricted to investment in London. Training of a skilled workforce should mean spreading skills through the supply chain.
* Big investment in trains in the next few years. When Germany ordered new trains it told Bombardier where in Germany they could build them. Britain needs to play the EU rules much tougher. Orders could be brought on-shore. It’s what companies expect but civil servants don’t enforce it.
* Need to secure industry for the future, with adequate personnel training. Important to support British manufacturing and economic diversity.
Presentation by Tony Ambrose of More Trains, Less Strain on ‘What passengers want, making rail the better option for travel’
* Overcrowding on First Great Western drove passengers to place their liberty on the line through their ticket strike. We’ve got private monopolies, not competition. First has reduced services and increased fares. Profits maximised, poor service and cavalier attitude.
* Hundreds of thousands of commuters subjected to bad conditions. Daily stress for passengers and low morale for staff.
* Passengers want punctuality, room on train, decent conditions, reasonable walk-on fares. First Great Western and the Transport Minister blame each other. The £29 million of extra investment is small compared with profits. Just window dressing.
* Thousands wrote to their MPs and newspapers. What else can passengers do? Two fare strikes, the second bigger than the first.
* Fares strikes a huge success. First Great Western came close to collapse, but things are now slowly improving. No way to go on. Franchising is deeply flawed. Hope Government will listen to the travelling public.
* A few more carriages provided, and only 10% of trains cancelled or seriously late, compared with 35% last year. Still much discontent. Old trains are breaking down. Passengers are paying the highest fares in Europe.
* How can DfT sanction huge fare increases which go straight to shareholders? First is promising shareholders 10% a year increases. Services are maintained only through public protest.
* Other companies are also pushing up fares. Trains are unreliable, overcrowded and hugely expensive. We need one network for a public service. Government must get companies to put passengers before profits. Invitation to Tom Harris to travel some local commuter routes.
Presentation by the Rail Minister, Tom Harris MP, on ‘The Government’s approach to rail and the sustainable transport system’
* Almost nothing that Tony Ambrose said had any validity. Over one billion passenger journeys a year; safety, punctuality; new carriages. System is bursting at the seams but railways privatised on the assumption that rail custom would reduce.
* Challenge of how to accommodate demand. 1,500 new carriages are an increase not replacement. £15 billion expenditure over the next control period. Regulated fares no more than before privatisation in real terms. It cost him £280 to go electioneering in Crewe. Not the Government’s role to subsidise that fare. [Comment: Technically, the Government may not have subsidised the fare but it has handed hundreds of millions of pounds to Virgin and Stagecoach over the years]
* The remedial plan on First Great Western was not a response to the fares strike, but to First Great Western breaking the franchise agreement. That is the strength of the system. Train operators will not get away with shoddy service. £29m investment was on the table before the remedial plan agreed.
* Termination of Great Western franchise would have been a first. Connex was dismissed for dubious accounting. If a company is running a successful franchise, the DfT wants money back for investment.
* No government is going to re-nationalise the railways.
* A seat for everyone would represent a huge cost. French railways are often praised but many parts of the French network are not walk-up-and-go.
* People are far too quick to follow the media’s lead. First Great Western has let down passengers, but there isn’t a big supply of unused trains. The question of who runs services is peripheral to the Government. More to celebrate than to complain about.
Questions / Issues raised
* Rail freight has very low carbon emissions compared with road. Scheme to take rail freight from the Channel Tunnel to the North presented a dozen times. Just needs a nod from Government.
* Fragmented train journeys can mean using several train operators and possibly bus. Big costs can make car the preferred option. What is spending on rail net of profit? How does the £14m fine on Network Rail feature?
* Could the EU force longer and heavier lorries on us?
* Creeping restrictions on Advance tickets are an underhand way of increasing fares.
* One train operating company is saying staff will be dismissed if they are assaulted more than once.
* Will tram trains mean fewer seats, no toilets and no guards?
Replies by Tom Harris
* Tram trains a welcome development. All proposed tram systems spiral in cost. Combining rail and light rail may be the way ahead.
* Restrictions on tickets concern Government. Government can help increase capacity, for example by re-signalling for closer headways.
* Government is unsympathetic to heavier super lorries.
* Real costs of running a car often compare unfavourably with rail.
* Need to drive down Network Rail’s costs which are a lot higher than before Hatfield.
More Questions / Issues
* Tram train trials undermining role of conductors. Fares strikes increase risks of assault on staff.
* Why not protect disused rail routes like the Woodhead Tunnel?
* Metronet collapse hardly a success story.
* National Freight Corporation is a better model than a nationalised system.
* Railways shouldn’t be carrying lorries. We are carrying less freight by rail to and from the Continent than before the Channel Tunnel. Organisation needed to market Chunnel rail freight.
* Very little reference to tram or train in proposals for new Eco Towns.
* Costs of oil rising. Supplies likely to run out by mid-century. Need to review policy on electrification and tram lines.
* High Speed 2 rail line to North needed.
* Tom Harris says he likes what works. With the subsidies given to the private sector, BR would have been wonderful.
* Government meets costs of private failures like Metronet and Northern Rock.
Replies by Tom Harris
* People generally heading in the right direction if not at the same speed.
* No money for High Speed 2 line in the next spending round, but Network Rail has been asked to look at options. There is a good case. People are more concerned with what’s left out of spending plans than what’s in.
* Would like to see industry taking more risks on light rail modes.
* Freight is entirely commercial in Britain. Rail freight doing well.
* Need to make best use of existing freight lines. Government in discussions with National Grid about moving its power lines to the Victorian Woodhead bore from the modern bore.
* Lowest paid frontline staff suffer from fares strikes.
Presentation by Gerry Doherty, TSSA General Secretary, on ‘The sustainable case for an affordable, growing railway’
* Front line staff suffer because managers are never around when things go wrong.
* Planning doesn’t go on in isolation. You can build new trains and new lines at the same time.
* Tom Harris simply dismissed re-nationalisation. So much for Government promise to listen after bad election results. Ears are shut. If he thinks £280 is a fair price for a trip to Crewe, why are we paying him?
* Transport is essential to economic progress and social inclusion. We progress if we get it right.
* Government needs to incentivised changes in travelling habits. High speed railways taking over from short-haul flights. Way of moving forward.
* RPI+1% formula means huge compounded fare increases over the years.
* Unregulated fares do everything for private profit and nothing for the environment.
* A recent check confirmed that for 5 people to go to Scotland, travel was 5 times cheaper by car than by rail.
* Using Advance fares not always realistic. Are grannies supposed to give a month’s notice before they die?
* The railways were used as a political football for 40 years. Government needs to understand that public sector ownership would be better for taxpayers, travellers and employees. People like Branson and Souter make huge profits at no risk. Nationalised risk and private profit.
* Government promises jam tomorrow, but greater jams tomorrow. Can’t see Conservatives putting money into the railways and Labour has probably missed the boat. Traffic congestion costs £20bn a year.
* Crewe proud of the railways but, if the polls are right, people won’t vote Labour.
* Damage to the environment from over-reliance on public transport. Need to think of future generations. Needs political will to improve funding.
Presentation by Sian James MP on ‘Rail strategies in Wales and cross border rail services’
* Devolution has helped change ways in which elected representatives work with others. Powers on rail devolved down. Big steps forward. Investment and change.
* Capacity to grow but industry fragmented. The rolling stock companies are making money and choking the industry. Virgin went to Bombardier because no capacity for building new trains here.
* Stresses between companies. Huge improvements in Wales under Arriva, but having to adjust services because of other operators. First Great Western really important to Wales, providing service from London to Cardiff and Swansea. Has been subjected to huge scrutiny.
* 15.15 London-Swansea cut as an off-peak service, but it was a key commuter train from Cardiff to Swansea. Passengers had to switch to fighting their way on to a two-car train from another platform, with huge overcrowding and some left behind.
* First Great Western’s performance dropped to 72%. Having to make excuses does impact on front line staff.
* Welsh Assembly Government issues Wales & the Borders franchise to Arriva, and DfT issues Great Western franchise to First. The big flows in Wales are on the East-West cross border services.
* MPs have started an All Wales Rail Group. Trade Unions will be invited to future debates.
* Industry needs to talk about things which make improvements for passengers. Network Rail has at last got round to Wales. Improvements in prospect.
* Severn Barrage would present an opportunity for a new line. South Wales would no longer be hostage to the Severn Tunnel.
* Opportunities to increase capacity need to be grasped. People want good facilities for long journeys, not just more seats.
* South Wales’ main lines are ideal for electrification, and also interest in North Wales. Very exciting future for rail if conflicting needs can be balanced.
Presentation by Ann Henderson, STUC Assistant Secretary, on ‘Rail strategies in Scotland and cross border rail services’
* Following the 2007 elections, Scotland has a minority SNP/Labour administration. SNP previously wanted to take rail back into the public sector. Labour manifesto promised to examine fully the case for making Scotrail no-profit.
* Things going fairly well in Scotland. Larkhall and Milngavie custom exceeding expectations. Alloa services agreed. Airdrie-Bathgate and Glasgow Airport lines in prospect.
* Staff expanded since First took over from National Express. Under National Express Scotrail was an understaffed, poor service. First took catering in-house, with 30% wage increase and union membership for all staff.
* 95% of services in Scotland run by Scotrail. Arriva, Virgin and National Express run the cross-border services.
* On April 3rd, Scotrail franchise extended from 2011 to 2014. Still don’t know the reason for the decision or the financial background. £70m investment promised over 4 years but Scotrail, which lost money under National Express, started making £30m a year profit under First. Ticket barriers bringing huge increase in revenue, but taxpayers paid for them.
* SNP wanted connections to get people to London by midday. People just want decision on how best to connect up with cross border services.
* There is no dispute that improvements have been made, but people resent deals being done behind closed doors. No discussion of priorities or social inclusion issues. If the conversation is about longer franchises, people want to know.
Presentation by Stephen Joseph, Director of Campaign for Better Transport, on ‘Summary – what future for rail in the sustainable transport system?’
* All parties are concerned about climate change. Need to change travel behaviour and trends. Not just an environmental issue; oil prices soaring.
* Transport priority is oil based. Transport policy is well behind the curve and based on low projections for oil prices.
* DfT counts the cost of lost fuel tax when road traffic transfers to rail. Traffic lights scheme to ease flow in centre of Birmingham was costed for loss of tax from less fuel burned and therefore less carbon belted out.
* Government’s rail strategy is all about reducing carbon emissions, but rail accounts for about 1% of total. Should be getting out of road and air, and giving people real choices. Insisted on third Heathrow terminal which will extend high carbon behaviour.
* Cheap flights are not promoting social inclusion but helping people with second homes in France. Need to rethink fares. If Eurostar produces 10 times less carbon than air, fares should be 10 times less.
* Fuel duty increases should be used to address fares and capacity. Don’t want a Ryanrail.
* Need for lead on electrification. Costs of light rail schemes should be brought down to European levels.
* Milton Keynes new town was announced by one government department the same week as another department announced closure of the Oxford-Cambridge railway line.
* Some Eco towns have come up with innovative plans to put rail at their heart.
John Mc Donnell noted a coincidence of views. Government response not as inspirational as some would like. Direct discussion of issues with the PM needed.
* Two days after the conference, the Guardian carried a full page Ryanair advertisement for 300,000 free seats in June with no taxes, fees or charges.
* Ten days after the conference, Private Eye noted that Labour doesn’t think passengers pay the private rail companies enough. The so-called simpler fares system is a smokescreen for a second round of fare rises in less than 6 months. Virgin raised some fares from Wales to London by 150% despite the £24m Richard Branson made last from his 51% share in the company (the rest going to Brian Souter’s Stagecoach). National Express East Anglia slapped a 63% fare rise on many Colchester passengers. Arriva announced an average 3.1% increase on unregulated single and period return tickets on Cross Country, and introduced a 9.30 start for Saver tickets.
ELECTIONS - GOVERNMENT PAYS THE PRICE
Political analysts are noticeably divided about the reasons for the various May election results and, in all probability, a whole range of issues has helped to create a feel-bad factor and to push the electorate to what may well be a tipping point in British political history. As so often happens when political parties suffer major setbacks, Ministers have been quick to say that the Government needs to listen more. In reality, it’s probably more an issue of some Ministers needing to listen as much as others do.
Ministers who are off-message might do well to heed the Evening Standard’s “Election Panel”, drawn from the general public in the run-up to the 2005 General Election, which declared, “What we want is honesty, sincerity… something to believe in”.
What would SWT’s long-suffering commuters find to believe in? It was a former Conservative Transport Minister, Steven Norris who lamented, “Awarding the [SWT] franchise to Stagecoach was really taking the fight to the enemy -- It was the most aggressive decision we could take, and if we had tried to dress privatisation in its most acceptable form, it would have been better to award it to almost anyone else … We in the Conservative Party were very happy at the way rail privatisation was going – new investment, new ideas, new services … SWT instantly unwound all that.”
In May 2006, we wrote to Ministers, senior Department for Transport officials and all MPs in the SWT area, setting out in detail Stagecoach’s record on SWT. The document was based on the evidence of many voices: Ministers, MPs, the Monopolies and Mergers Commission, the Advertising Standards Authority, Employment Appeal Tribunals, disabled people, commuters and occasional travellers. We stated:
“SWT is now driven by fantasy and self-praise. Trains and stations are heavily stocked with e’motion magazine, a sophisticated PR vehicle which presents little as much, responds to selected and often anonymous complaints in anodyne tones, unashamedly twists and selectively presents the truth, and attacks MPs who want passengers’ interests put first. Several former critics have been brought into the SWT fold, dampening debate in the railway press and helping to create a falsely favourable image of the company.”
Result: Interest from a number of MPs of all parties but none from transport ministers or officials. Four months later, SWT was re-franchised to Stagecoach. Since then:
* Off-peak fares to London have soared by about 25%;
* Uncomfortable semi-suburban rolling stock with seriously inadequate luggage space has been introduced on the Weymouth main line and, in amazing contradiction of the green agenda, SWT now invites passengers to send their luggage by a road carrier. The charges are too much even for Stagecoach lobbyist Barry Doe to stomach, with transport of a suitcase costing from £50 to £80 return.
* Portsmouth commuters have been stuffed into suburban trains to provide seats for Woking passengers, who could be carried more comfortably in lengthened Salisbury line trains if the necessary carriages were not poaching London-West of England traffic from First Great Western;
* Penalty fare enforcement is particularly savage with passengers punished, as a matter of policy, for inadvertently getting the wrong ticket;
* Booking office opening hours have de facto contracted, and all travel centres except Waterloo are being closed – for ‘Guildford Travel Centre’ you can now read ‘Marks & Spencer’;
* Sizeable populations between Southampton and Weymouth have a hugely downgraded service which is simply not fit for purpose.
* Popular retail outlets are being ripped out at Waterloo to make room for ticket barriers which are just another impediment to rail users - the station hasn’t looked so bleak since wartime;
* The two Stagecoach founders, who first got their business out of the red by depriving Southampton of its bus station, have shared bonuses worth a quarter of a billion pounds.
No doubt a similar analysis could be applied to many other issues where the Government is seen to have got things badly wrong. When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister, he commendably stressed his commitment to the integrity of Government. So why are thousands of commuters left at the mercy of a company whose Chairman believes that “Ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed”?
Looking at the host of critiques published after the elections, isn’t the storyline something like this? Labour’s ‘Third Way’ was about supporting industry chiefs in doing more or less what they liked in return for giving society something back in terms of investment. That left the way clear for ‘Cowboy Country’ operators like Stagecoach to see how much they could take and how little they need give back. Steven Norris had clearly enjoyed the benefit of hindsight on rail privatisation. Tony Blair, on Breakfast with Frost, said outright that it had been a disaster. John Prescott always took the line that the interests of passengers should be paramount. Yet it is abundantly evident that, on some franchises, passengers’ interests are no longer an issue.
Dialogue between Government and rail users was seriously undermined when the Rail Passengers Committees were scrapped. Had they been strengthened to become the Government’s ears on rail issues, the very apparent gulf between passengers and Government could have been avoided. The remaining body, PassengerFocus, seems to be largely concerned with statistics. Figures are only as good as the facts behind them, and choosing the questions and getting them exactly right can be hideously difficult. So boosting passenger stress to breaking point through constant threats and arrogant behaviour, doesn’t count in the Government’s assessment of franchise performance, but keeping the train clean does.
If the Government is not prepared to take urgent action to ensure all rail users get value for money (compare prices on Go Ahead’s Southern franchise and Stagecoach’s South West Trains franchise, as illustrated above) and do not receive humiliation through revenue protection procedures (also illustrated above), they will inevitably be seen to lose moral authority. It was over a decade ago that the High Court refused to block the World in Action ‘Cowboy Country’ programme about Stagecoach. Yet in the Guardian of 05/05/08, Madeleine Bunting writes: “This is Cowboy Boss Britain and it leaves a long trail of anger and resentment”.
Coincidentally, Labour’s recent poll ratings have fallen below even the 33% figure for respondents to SWT’s on-line poll who thought Stagecoach deserved to keep the SWT franchise.
Note this further excerpt from the Guardian of 05/05/08: “One cabinet member said: “We have been given an almighty yellow card with bright red lights flashing at the edges. It is entirely up to Gordon whether it will turn fully red….. The problem with these young cabinet ministers is that they don’t have teenage children who can tell them they’re sounding or looking prats. They’re at the stage with their children of just telling them to go to bed when they’re awkward. You can’t do that with the electorate”.
Interestingly, Douglas Alexander, the Secretary of State who presided over the re-franchising of SWT to Stagecoach, was purported in press articles to have been one of the principal voices urging the Prime Minister to call an election for which there was no real public aspiration – widely seen as the beginning of all his problems.
And note the Guardian front page of 07/05/08: “Returning to Westminster still reeling from the disastrous local election results, he [Gordon Brown] was forced to distance himself from calls by the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Wendy Alexander [Douglas’ sister], to back an early referendum on Scottish independence…." Such a referendum would no doubt please Brian Souter who has reportedly become the Scottish Nationalist Party’s major donor.
The unilateral initiative left some ministers and backbench MPs aghast. One minister said: “She has been pestering Brown about this for months, and he had said no, and now she has used his weekend of the greatest vulnerability and weakness, to press ahead. We are completely perplexed why she has done it now. It is entirely disingenuous for her to say it was the first anniversary of the Scottish elections, or she was simply answering a question from a journalist.”
OTHER POLITICAL ISSUES
Portsmouth line misery
SWT has made clear that it doesn’t care a damn about the misery it has inflicted on thousands of Portsmouth line commuters by cramming them into cramped suburban trains in blatant contempt of the finding of Passenger Focus, the official Government watchdog, that these trains are not fit for such long journeys. On 21 February they wrote to Mike Hancock MP, who has striven tirelessly on behalf of his affected constituents, saying that the decision would not be reversed and “it is for passengers to make the choice on whether they believe that we are offering a satisfactory service”.
We have forwarded the following South West Trains’ advertisement in the Southern Daily Echo of 01/05/08 to Mr Hancock, to highlight the company’s cynicism.
“Customer Services Manager. A passion for service improvement.
We’re determined to give our customers the best service they’ve ever had.
But to do so, we must get really close to them…closer than any train operator has managed before.
Based at our dedicated customer service centre in Southampton, you’ll find all kind of ways to get feedback on how well we’re doing. You’ll transform the way we make contact with people, and package the results into information on which critical business decisions will be made.
You’ll canvas views, impressions and experiences from customers, MPs, opinion formers and rail user groups then you will channel them into positive actions and outcomes…and see that contentious issues are resolved effectively and amicably.
Two-way communication skills are vital. Likewise, the ability to think laterally and work on your own initiative. We need you to have excellent people management skills and the mental agility to handle a demanding and varied workload. A background in the rail industry isn’t essential but you must have a passion for good customer service and service improvement.”
Stagecoach and the Government’s National Passenger Survey
In the Passengers’ Panel section of SWT’s e-motion magazine, the Panel’s Chairman, totally independent Stagecoach director Sir Alan Greengross, strives to put the Stagecoach view of the world on behalf of the totally independent Panel.
But in the latest (May-June) issue, he seems somewhat ambivalent, as if responding to recent criticisms in Hogrider that the Panel is not independent and SWT’s high ratings in the Government’s National Passenger Survey are meaningless. Unsurprisingly, he tries to twist the argument into terms of not getting enough money out of Government (the two Stagecoach founders dissatisfied with the quarter of a billion pounds they have received in bonuses over the past two years?).
So we read, “How can you be “satisfied” with your journey when you have been unable to buy a ticket, found yourself packed sardine-style for 45 minutes on a train, possibly delayed by a signal failure? And “Again, bearing in mind the problems on the railway, overcrowding, rising fares, breakdowns and delays – one might have expected the answers [to the Survey] to indicate a fairly high degree of complaint.” And “While clearly some problems are beyond even the company’s [SWT’s] control, many might have been avoided if the government hadn’t been so intent on squeezing out public subsidies to the railway and concentrated more on seeing that passengers received a reliable service at an acceptable price.”
But at least it’s good to note that he agrees that SWT’s passengers don’t get a reliable service at an acceptable price. Why not tell the whole truth and simply say that SWT was trashed as soon as the third franchise was awarded, in order to maintain Stagecoach bonuses?
Government at odds with Virgin Trains
As if the prospects of (1) a measure of regulation to improve provincial bus services and (2) the possibility of London’s suburban train services being transferred to the Mayor of London with properly staffed stations and, we suspect, an end to stop-skipping for operational convenience, were not enough for ethically-limited Stagecoach!
The April 2008 edition of Rail News reports that Rail Minister, Tom Harris, has written to all MPs in the West Coast franchise area saying that his Department had not rejected the idea of extra Pendolino trains, only Virgin Trains’ proposals to provide them in return for a two-year extension of their franchise. His letter said, “We did say no to Virgin [49% Stagecoach-owned] to their proposal for what they called the two year extension to the franchise, which I perceived as being a new two-year franchise without any competition. And they could not convince me that that process would provide value for money, or better value for money, than an open contest. I was not prepared for the Department to be blackmailed with the prospect of Pendolino line-filling as the prize”.
The Department for Transport is now to appoint a ‘shadow train operator’ to commission 70 new coaches and 4 complete new trains during the remaining four years of the current West Coast franchise. Given the already extraordinarily complex structure of the national rail system, that looks pretty desperate.
Private Eye of 04/04/08 contends the Government still won’t publicly admit that it was taken to the cleaners when Virgin’s West Coast main line franchise was renegotiated in December 2006. When Tom Harris declared in 2006 that he had struck a ‘better-value deal for the taxpayer’, Private Eye had argued that it was a better deal for Virgin. Subsidy per passenger kilometre doubled and Sir Richard Branson made £24 million in one year. But the West Coast service has improved since the nightmare Virgin-Railtrack plan sent people back to cars and planes. It was obvious from traffic growth that extra carriages would be needed soon.
[Comment: ‘Blackmail’ is a strong word, but one which could fall neatly within Stagecoach chairman Brian Souter’s view that ‘Ethics are not irrelevant but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed”. Could we be entering a more ethical period in British history in which companies like Stagecoach have no place?
The answer to this question may be ‘Yes’. The Evening Standard of 22 May sees the re-tendering of the Southern franchise as a question of selecting the safest bidder. Staffing hours must be extended at 50 stations, capacity must be increased by 25%, annual fare increases must be limited to inflation plus 1%, and the new owner will be required to help with the construction of the East London Line and Thameslink programme. Govia will fight hard to retain the franchise, but there is likely to be tough competition, including from the MTR Corporation of Hong Kong and Danish State Railways.]
Romsey-Winchester bus link: further contraction
Despite a strong campaign, supported by Romsey’s MP Mrs Sandra Gidley, SWT announced that Stagecoach will axe all but two of the additional X66 services introduced to compensate for the already-axed rail-bus link. Protestors have vowed to fight on.
SWT: SLOWEST SINCE STEAM, BUT LAGGING IN PERFORMANCE
* SWT is noted for operating the slowest service since the steam era; omitting stops; terminating services short of destination; and closing doors before departure time, even when passengers are running to join a train.
This seems to have come about as a series of panic measures, when Stagecoach was threatened with loss of the franchise for its appalling performance (punctuality) over a long period.
So SWT’s performance must now be outstanding? More a case of ‘also ran’! Looking at the various service groups which serve Southampton, Southern’s Sussex Coast service topped the punctuality league for April at 96.5%. Cross Country achieved 92.6%, Great Western’s South Wales-South Coast service achieved 91.4% and SWT’s mainline services 91.1%.
* Unsurprisingly, at 7 June, the performance board on SWT’s website, prefaced by a paragraph starting “We believe in being open and honest about train performance”, was still showing the statistics for March!
‘RAIL NEWS’ ARTICLE ARGUES THAT ‘RIGHT TIME RAILWAY’ IS A MYTH
* Interesting article by Alan Marshall in the May 2008 edition of the industry newspaper ‘Rail News’:
Last month in Railnews, under the heading ‘We need right time all the time’, [Stagecoach’s] East Midlands Trains’ director Tim Shoveller – widely recognised as one of the smartest operators in today’s rail industry – made an impassioned plea for perfect punctuality.
As the rail network fills up (and some say it is overflowing already in some areas) the need for a Right Time Railway becomes ever more necessary.
My worry, though, is that ever since John Major foisted the Passenger’s Charter on British Rail in 1992, the culture in the industry has steadily moved towards the view that it’s okay for regional or local trains to run up to five minutes late, and for inter-city trains to run up to 10 minutes late.
Worse still, it seems not to matter if trains are even later at intermediate stages of journeys, provided they are considered capable of reaching their end point within five or ten minutes of lateness. The passengers thus inconvenienced, even to the extent of missing connections, may form the majority who use these trains. But lateness at destination is what counts – even if there is no-one on board!
I have often been on right-time long-distance trains that have been stopped to allow a late-running service to overtake. Both trains have then reached their destination eight or nine minutes late. This may not have impressed the passenger, but such performance enables the industry to claim both trains as ‘on time’.
The difference between industry claims for how well it is doing on punctuality and the reality of what passengers actually experience has been highlighted by South West Trains, which laudably launched a ‘Right Time Railway’ project.
The result has been that, while the official method of monitoring punctuality, the so-called Public Performance Measure (PPM), has recorded 92 per cent of SWT trains arriving within five minutes of right time, the reality has been that only about 70 per cent of trains actually reached their destinations at the advertised times. …”
WORST URBAN SERVICE IN THE SOUTH EAST?
* When SWT tore up the Service Level Commitment for the Southampton-Weymouth line, direct off-peak and Saturday services between Waterloo and Totton – the fourth largest intermediate town between Southampton and Weymouth - increased by 32 minutes.
This increase is theoretically reduced to 5 minutes if passengers are prepared to race over the footbridge or rush for the lifts (when working) at Southampton Central: ideal for disabled people or those with heavy luggage.
In practice the ‘connection’ is often missed and Stagecoach even insists on kicking passengers in the teeth by slamming doors shut in their faces, 30 seconds before departure time.
As a wonderful concession, if they feel like it, the following Weymouth train will have a Totton stop inserted. Then your journey will be only 27 minutes slower than a year ago, rather than 32.
Similar arrangements apply in respect of Ashurst, where new property development adjacent to the station has been advertised as having an excellent train service, despite the station’s huge service downgrade.
* Letter published in ‘RAIL’ Issue 591
"Tom Harris' comments present chaos not order over timetable changes!
Tom Harris’s comments on timetables (Open Access, RAIL 590) present chaos as order.
The problems are illustrated by SWT’s ‘accelerated’ Weymouth-Waterloo service. DfT’s original proposals could have achieved wide-ranging improvements, but only if the paths of the faster and slower hourly Weymouth trains in and out of Waterloo had been switched.
Weymouth-Waterloo is now 3min faster, but Poole-Waterloo 4min slower. The additional Waterloo-Poole service takes over 30min longer westbound than eastbound. The two services an hour from Branksome and Parkstone to Waterloo run 10min apart, and the two services from Christchurch and New Milton arrive at Southampton 5min apart.
>From Totton, the fourth largest town between Southampton and Weymouth, trains to London, New Milton and Christchurch now take about 30min longer outside the peaks, and connections at Southampton involve delays of up to an hour. Shoulder peak services have been slashed.
London-Totton is theoretically faster by changing at Southampton but SWT locks the doors of the ‘connection’ before departure time, even when passengers are running to catch it.
The service is significantly different from both the proposals consulted on and the service level commitment. DfT officials attribute this to adjustments agreed between SWT and Network Rail, but SWT have repeatedly told Totton MP Dr Julian Lewis that they cannot make changes because DfT specified the service. Dr Lewis has dubbed the new service an ‘appalling outcome’, but SWT simply say they are monitoring the situation to see whether custom at Totton declines!
South Hampshire Rail Users’ Group”
* Footbridge misery at Totton
To add to the misery at Totton, the station footbridge was closed for resurfacing between 07.00 and 19.00 each day from 12 to 16 May inclusive. A leaflet told passengers to cross the tracks via the Junction Road level crossing, not mentioning that this meant allowing 15 minutes to get from one platform to the other. Staff were to be provided to make sure nobody boarded a train without a ticket (ticket machine on one platform only).
Quite why the work couldn’t have been done at night is anyone’s guess. Savings on temporary lighting, perhaps? The steps were simply re-clad in plywood (a rather cheapskate measure?). No warning notices were displayed in the surrounding area, even though the footbridge is a public right of way (having replaced an old level crossing), and is constantly used by local residents in addition to rail passengers, We understand that one woman, wearing flip-flops, was seen inches from the live rail, as she crossed the tracks with her ASDA shopping bags.
The tarring of the plywood didn’t take place until the following week.
CUSTOMER SERVICE SWT FASHION
COUNCILLOR COMPLAINS OF SWT’S ‘UTTER CONTEMPT’
* A District Councillor’s husband relied on SWT to get from Brockenhurst to Heathrow via Woking. Owing to engineering works, there was road transport from Brockenhurst to Eastleigh. The bus was just a few minutes late and the driver radioed Eastleigh station, but it was too much bother to hold the ‘connecting’ train and about 100 passengers were left stranded. The councillor said this incident followed a catalogue of complaints received about the train service; SWT treated their customers with utter contempt and she urged people to complain when they were not satisfied. (Lymington Times 26/04/08)
SQUALID SURREY STATION
* “I used Byfleet & New Haw station in Surrey, managed by South West Trains, this week for the first time in ages and was appalled at the state it was in. The stairs to the platform stank of urine and were covered in dirt, cigarette butts and fast-food wrappers; the steps I used on the way back up were deep in litter and drinks cans. The station looked as if it had not been cleaned in years. Paul Cheesman, SE21” (Evening Standard 16/05/08)
ANGER OVER CLOSURE OF WINCHESTER TRAVEL CENTRE
* Passengers angry after the long-threatened closure of Winchester station Travel Centre became a reality, making things harder for elderly and infirm people. (Southern Daily Echo 23/05/08)
[Perhaps it will become a Marks & Spencer like the former Travel Centre at Guildford.]
DUFF STOCK FIASCOS
* On Friday 04/04/08, a duff train resulted in no recognizable evening peak service between Waterloo and Portsmouth via Guildford. Trains were either axed or diverted via Eastleigh.
* SWT services during the Late Spring Bank Holiday week (25-31 May) were scandalous by any standards (see reports later in this issue). Should SWT be called ‘Duffer and Dearer’?
* On Saturday 05/04/08, the day of the FA Cup semi-final, Waterloo achieved the seemingly 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 up to 30 minutes longer still. Then a signal cable fire outside Waterloo led to the station being closed for much of the day and main line services running only to and from Basingstoke, Guildford or Woking. The misery endured all day with many trains axed or severely late on a freezing cold evening.
* Comments from popular broadcaster Fred Dinenage in the Southern Daily Echo of 19/04/08: “--- Witness the following, sent by ITV colleague and friend Guy Phillips (a Pompey fan!) after Pompey’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, a couple of weeks ago. Guy writes to me from his home in Swanmore, near Southampton:
“As a regular commuter I am now used to the shortcomings of the UK’s road and rail network, but nothing could have prepared me for the misery of the last 72 hours.
I arrive at Winchester station early Saturday morning full of excitement for the Big Match – Pompey v West Brom at Wembley. All week South West Trains have been warning of “major engineering works” and advising us to “plan your journey”. I have – I am up at the crack of dawn and standing on platform one looking down the track for the 07.54.
Then flashes up the words we all dread. How can one word have such an impact I don’t know. 07.54 CANCELLED.
Mild panic sets in but soon we board a train to Basingstoke – but only Basingstoke. We are reminded through our short journey that this train terminates at Basingstoke. By now that feeling of going nowhere fast has taken hold. But half an hour wait in the freezing cold on platform 3 helps to numb the pain.
The Waterloo train finally arrives packed with Pompey, Arsenal and Liverpool fans. Let’s not go there but someone thought it was a good idea to have 15,000 fans heading for north London at the same time on a Saturday.
The day is back on track but not for long. In the TV series The Life of Reggie Perrin, it was always “leaves on the line at Clapham” that delays Reggie’s arrival for work. Today, far worse – a major points failure and they’ve shut Waterloo!
To make matters worse we are sitting near the rear of the train and Clapham only has room for the first five carriages.
After 20 minutes of slowly nudging forward we finally file our way out of the train and on to the platform. Then it’s over to Victoria, a change on the tube to Green Park and eventually Wembley Stadium appears out of the gloom of a depressing and frustrating morning of travel on Network Rail.
The morning is soon erased as we sing and dance our way to glory. Who cares about the points failing, doors jamming and a third rate service when Pompey are on their way to their First FA Cup final in 60 years!
Well, we do care because we’ve got to get home.
The tannoy announcer tells us we’ve got to go back to Victoria because Waterloo is still shut. We do but when we arrive they tell us there are no trains from Clapham to Winchester. We are told to get back on the tube to Paddington, take the train to Reading, change and catch the Virgin [???] Voyager to Winchester.
Eventually we’re back home at 6pm, four hours after the final whistle!”
[Followed by account of a disastrous motorway journey the next day]”
PARTICULARLY MEANINGLESS EXCUSES
* On Tuesday 15/04/08, SWT’s website was informed at 17.58 that the 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton would be axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke due to electrical supply problems. Hang on, it’s a diesel train, and the infrastructure seemed OK as no other trains were affected. Difficult to see what the problem could be except duff rolling stock.
* On Wednesday, 16/04/08, SWT’s website showed that the 06.01 Hounslow-Waterloo had now departed due to signalling problems! The National Rail website showed it as running just 3 minutes late.
* On Sunday, 18/05/08, the 16.26 Eastleigh-Portsmouth was advertised on SWT’s website as expected to run 20 minutes late due to passengers transferring between trains. Obviously it was all the passengers’ fault and nothing to do with its being a connection off the 16.08 Winchester-Eastleigh-Poole which was being delayed by SWT’s eternal crew shortage! In the event, the 16.08 was axed between Winchester and Eastleigh and between Bournemouth and Poole and ran about 38 minutes late.
SO MUCH TIME IN HAND, YET UNABLE TO IMPROVE SCHEDULES
* On Tuesday 15/04/08, the 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth had passed Worting Junction, west of Basingstoke within 39 minutes, and reached Winchester almost 6 minutes before its departure time. After a very long wait at Southampton Central, the train departed slightly early. There seems no doubt that trains between Waterloo and Weymouth could be accelerated by about 10 minutes, but when the Department for Transport asked Stagecoach to do just that, by omitting stops, they accelerated the Waterloo-bound train by just 3 minutes and many medium-sized centres of population saw their services trashed.
NO TIME FOR PASSENGERS
* On Wednesday 16/04/08, the 06.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo was just 6 minutes late, so all intermediate stops between Teddington and Wimbledon, including Kingston, were axed due to operational convenience.
* On Sunday, 18/05/08, the 14.35 Southampton-Portsmouth was 30 minutes late, due to SWT’s crew shortage. It omitted all intermediate stops before Fareham for operational convenience, leaving a huge 2-hour service gap at many stations. There must be a strong case for transferring this line to the Southern franchise so that passengers can get a half-decent service from another operator; on weekdays Southern already runs half-hourly services against SWT’s hourly service. Chichester is now better served from Southampton than is Portsmouth. The two-hour service gap would have been quickly mirrored by the axe falling on the 17.26 Eastleigh-Portsmouth, leaving a two-hour gap on the Hedge End route, but for the 16.26 having been badly delayed.
ANOTHER COMMUTING FIASCO
* On Thursday 01/05/08, many commuters may not have bothered to vote because of tiredness after a dreadful journey home. A rogue flash of lightning, a power surge, and at 17.00 only about 5 departures advertised at Waterloo. As usual there was a news blackout with passengers told to wait on a concourse increasingly heaving with bodies. It was clear how much Stagecoach cared, because all the spare screens were used to threaten penalty fares. The only long-distance service available was the 17.00 to Portsmouth which departed late with huge numbers of standing passengers. The buffet steward thoughtfully announced his range of refreshments to all the crammed passengers who didn’t have a hope of moving anywhere, and then the inevitable warning about penalty fares. At Haslemere it was announced that the train would call additionally at Liphook and Liss, and at Petersfield it was announced that it would call additionally at Rowlands Castle (why not announced earlier? – passengers for these stations no doubt left behind at other stations). 18 minutes late by Havant. Fortunately for Southampton passengers struggling home, Southern’s new service from Brighton followed the Portsmouth train into Havant station – comfortably upholstered seats and no threatening announcements for the rest of the journey.
ANOTHER BANK HOLIDAY FIASCO
* On Sunday 04/05/08, Weymouth line trains were diverted via Havant due to engineering work. Just one duff train, and all SWT’s coastal services were severely disrupted, with no proper London-Portsmouth/Southampton/Bournemouth/Weymouth service all morning.
FRIDAY NIGHT MISERY
* On Friday 09/05/08 Totton commuters rounded off their week with the sort of journey experience which would be avoided with a half-decent operator. The 18.39 Waterloo-Poole was axed due to duff stock. Now that the 19.05 from Waterloo has lost its Totton stop because Stagecoach can’t be bothered to provide a fit-for-purpose service to the fourth largest town between Southampton and Weymouth, the 18.39 provides the Totton connection out of the 19.05 at Southampton. Naturally it was just too much bother to arrange for the 19.05 to stop at Totton, so passengers were stranded for 30 minutes. They had already fried on the 19.05 because its air conditioning system was in a state of collapse.
SATURDAY MORNING MISERY
* At 10.15 on Saturday 10/05/08 the ticket queue at Southampton Central’s up side stretched across the concourse and almost out to the street. At the same time, the travel centre was crowded out. Things will soon be much worse because Stagecoach has announced the forthcoming destruction of the travel centre, presumably because the quarter of a billion pounds the two founders have received in bonuses over the past two years isn’t sufficient to quench their greed.
COMMUTERS DESERT SWT
* Some commuters from the Portsmouth area are now commuting by Southern to Victoria, to escape from SWT’s hated suburban rolling stock.
WORTING JUNCTION FEARS
* The dreadful, rough-riding Desiro trains appear not to be compatible with high-speed track crossovers. London-bound services off the Southampton line were jolting violently, and with a bang, as they switched tracks west of Basingstoke. Things flew off tables and racks, regular passengers clung to their seats and other passengers turned white. A sharp speed restriction was imposed for a time. Not long after it was lifted, the problems returned. Trains then avoided the high-speed crossover and switched tracks at lower speed in the vicinity of Basingstoke station. They later returned to their normal path, and the violent jolting has returned.
* A passenger who travelled from Ashurst to Weymouth with a ‘Plusbus’ ticket, enabling him to use bus services in the Weymouth area, had to explain at length to three bus conductors what the ticket was.
MORE SWT PASSENGERS ASSAULTED
* Despite SWT squeezing every gram of PR out of its tiny handful of Travel Safe officers, the most serious forms of crime continue whilst these officials may be seen, for example, congregating on Basingstoke station or helping to staff the barriers at Winchester in the peak, presumably to safeguard fares.
* Just before 11pm on the Ides of March, up to 8 white men verbally abused station staff at Wimbledon. As the doors of a train to Guildford opened, they hurled food and a traffic cone into a carriage, hitting a woman on the head. A 44-year-old civil servant who confronted the men was kicked unconscious, suffering a broken collar bone, cracked ribs and two smashed teeth. The men then escaped. (Metro 08/04/08)
* It would be interesting to know whether the ticket barriers had been left open after 10pm, as they are at stations like Southampton Central, to save the cost of an attendant. The Evening Standard of 27/02/06 reported that 11pm to midnight was the worst time for assaults on passengers, so obviously that’s when the Travel Safe officers should be at work.
* In another incident, a youth was admitted to hospital after being stabbed four times in an attack at Chiswick station. Huge inconvenience arose when police sealed off the station and trains did not stop (Evening Standard 08/04/08). We know from the Evening Standard’s campaign of two years ago against unstaffed stations, that other stations in the area such as Barnes, Isleworth and North Sheen are considered insecure by the passengers who use them.
* But hope could be on the horizon. The Evening Standard of 09/04/08 reports that the then Mayor of London was confident about adding Southern’s suburban routes to his London Overground network, and that all LO stations would be staffed during opening hours. South West Trains’ suburban services would be sure to follow Southern’s into LO, if not until the next re-franchising round.
DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION BY SWT’S AUTOMATED VERBAL DIARRHOEA (“e-MOTION”?) - 3
* “The repeated announcements on London trains treat passengers like fools who can’t plan a journey. My commute on South West Trains from Teddington to Vauxhall is unbearable, with more than 35 announcements in a return journey about buskers, tickets, litter and luggage. In the North, the guard makes a short announcement before each stop – why do train operators have no common sense?” Steve. (Evening Standard 01/04/08)
* “A reader writes: “My train today was the 7am from Chiswick to Waterloo. For the entire journey, the longest period of silence was no more than five seconds, as the guard gave us a blow-by-blow account of the entire route. He told us the name of the station we were about to arrive at. As we pulled in, he advised us to take bags and luggage with us, and to mind the step down. As the doors opened, he told us the doors were opening. As people tried to get on, he announced that they should let passengers off before attempting to board the train. He told us to move down the carriage so that as many people as possible could board. He warned us when the doors were about to close, and when the train was about to depart from every station. He told us whereabouts he was on the train, and that if we had any problems (my boiler’s playing up, what are you going to do about it?) we should contact him.
As we were arriving at Waterloo, he advised us that this train was now approaching its final destination, Waterloo. He then proceeded to explain how we should leave (through the metal barriers), and the various transport connections we would find at Waterloo, including an explanation of how to read a Tube map, and what information we would find on that. He thanked us for choosing to travel with his train, and wished us a safe and pleasant onward journey. Oh, and he repeated every announcement twice.
The thing that struck me was that 95% of the people were going to Waterloo, where they found their way to work. Not one iota of his endless twaddle was of the slightest interest.
Is there anyone we can speak to, to ask for this nonsense to stop? We have to listen to enough drivel and rubbish all day long, why can’t we have a period of solace and quiet on the train to work, so we can read the paper? I don’t think anyone benefits from all these useless and intrusive ‘announcements’.”” (Evening Standard 21/04/08)
VIRGIN TRAINS RUNNING TO STAGECOACH STANDARDS?
* The Virgin brand generally has an excellent reputation, and people associate it with high standards. However, experiences on a trip from Southampton to Glasgow strongly suggested that Arriva’s Cross Country is now the guardian of Virgin Trains’ traditionally high standards, whilst the Virgin’s West Coast service wreaks of ethically-limited Stagecoach.
Journey from Southampton to Glasgow 17/04/08
* Used the 07.15 (Arriva) Cross Country Voyager train from Southampton to Birmingham. This was as good as rail travel usually gets. Just a few commuters standing for 20 minutes from Basingstoke to Reading and slight signal checks in the Kenilworth area. So 75 minutes to spare at Birmingham before catching the 11.03 to Glasgow. Could safely have left Southampton on the 08.15 Cross Country service, which was also on time.
* The 11.03 Virgin West Coast service was another world, although it was also a Voyager train. Ten minutes before departure time, it was announced that it was leaving from a different platform. Passengers struggled with heavy cases and small children. Unfortunately the seat reservations hadn’t been downloaded, so people were sitting in seats reserved for others and there was a huge amount of seat swapping and luggage hauling when the reservations were eventually downloaded, at about departure time.
* You might have thought the train crew would have adopted an especially sympathetic attitude after this initial fiasco. However between Birmingham and Crewe the conductor made the following announcements, some several times:
- Shop not yet open and, if anyone approached it, the opening would be further delayed;
- Luggage left near to a door had been removed – it was dangerous and the owner might have found it had fallen on the track.
- No smoking allowed anywhere. Anyone found smoking would be removed at the first stop.
- Doors would remain locked until train had come to a complete standstill.
Journey from Glasgow to Southampton 19/04/08
* The 09.18 from Glasgow to Birmingham and Euston was a Virgin Pendolino. Again no seat reservations honoured. Passengers were welcomed aboard with dire warnings that they would be charged a full fare if they had the wrong ticket for the service. Lecture on where to stow luggage and warnings about leaving bags unattended or in the wrong place.
* Train was already 10 minutes late by Motherwell. From Carlisle to Preston it had a hugely inflated schedule for diesel haulage over the Settle and Carlisle route because of engineering works, including a 30-minute stop at Preston.
* At Carlisle, there were a couple of announcements about attaching the diesel locomotive and testing the brakes. The electrics cut out and there was an announcement about problems with the locomotive. After a station stop of almost one hour, the electrics seemed to be working fine and the steward announced that the buffet shop had reopened.
* A couple of minutes later, the guard told everyone to get off because the train had been terminated due to heating problems (it was much warmer than South West Trains’ usually-arctic Desiros). A coach for Preston was just arriving. Passengers crammed in with bags around their feet and severe discomfort. Some were complaining about the lack of toilet facilities. The coach wasn’t big enough, so several passengers were left behind. There was then a miserable 2-hour journey down the M6 to Preston, where the 13.47 to Euston departed as passengers alighted from the coach. Nevertheless, the failed train’s schedule was so slack that passengers were not actually late (except those left behind at Carlisle, of course).
* Passengers were welcomed aboard Virgin’s 14.28 to Birmingham with dire warnings about being in a penalty fare zone.
* At Birmingham, Arriva’s 16.03 to Bournemouth was about 10 minutes late (excusable, since it had come from Aberdeen). Commendably, it comprised two Voyager units, so no problem finding a seat. There were numerous signal checks on the way to Oxford but there was also some fast running, and the train was just 12 minutes late at Basingstoke.
* A South West Trains’ Basingstoke-Poole local service was then send immediately ahead and, as the Cross Country train could not overtake it until Eastleigh, arrival at Southampton was about 18 minutes late.
The difference in the quality of service as between Arriva’s Cross Country and Virgin Trains’ West Coast services is very apparent, and it is a pity to see the Virgin name dragged down.
Finally, a piece of advice. Don’t forget Glasgow Queen Street station. With the benefit of hindsight, it would have been possible to catch First’s 09.45 or 10.00 from Glasgow Queen Street and change to Arriva’s Aberdeen-Bournemouth service at Edinburgh. This would doubtless have provided a much better journey experience.
Virgin reneges on offer
* Virgin decided to compensate some of its customers with a special day in an exclusive country hotel, with champagne, golf and feasting. The e’mail, ‘headed ‘Now really cancel everything’ should have gone to the 75 members of its first-class Traveller Club, but was actually sent out to some 76,000 people. So Virgin decided to renege on the offer to all but 5 unintended extra guests, who were to be selected in a draw. (Guardian, 09/05/08)
* The revised timetable from18 May to 13 December has brought little change to Hampshire. A few points to note are below.
SOUTH WEST TRAINS: The faster (but very slow) Sunday morning trains from Waterloo to Southampton are one minute slower. The 09.39 Waterloo-Poole (Mondays-Fridays) and 13.39 Waterloo-Poole (Saturdays) stop at Beaulieu Road, as do the 10.50 Poole-Waterloo (Mondays-Fridays) and 14.50 Poole-Waterloo (Saturdays). Waterloo-Portsmouth trains every hour from 07.45 to 13.45, and Portsmouth-Waterloo trains every hour from 10.17 to 16.17 are axed between Portsmouth & Southsea and Portsmouth Harbour.
SOUTHERN: The 21.11 Southampton-Littlehampton (Mondays-Saturdays) is diverted to Three Bridges for Gatwick Airport connections.
CROSS COUNTRY: The 11.45 (Saturdays) Bournemouth-Edinburgh train is diverted to Manchester. Sunday services are affected by engineering work and cannot serve Coventry and Birmingham International; until 13 July inclusive, the 09.40 Bournemouth-Edinburgh is extended to Dundee, and the 15.40 Bournemouth-Newcastle terminates at York. From September, the timetable is to be re-issued and morning services from Bournemouth and Southampton will generally alternate between Manchester and York.
GREAT WESTERN: The 06.51 Portsmouth-Cardiff (Mondays-Fridays) departs earlier from some intermediate stations, and calls at Dilton Marsh. The 08.24 (Mondays-Fridays) Southampton-Westbury is replaced by the 08.23 Southampton-Great Malvern via Bristol. Similar, the 08.27 (Saturdays) Southampton-Westbury goes through to Great Malvern. The 12.26 (Mondays-Fridays) Southampton-Bristol Parkway is extended to Worcester Foregate Street. Until 7 September inclusive, no Sunday services between Portsmouth and Cardiff can use the Severn Tunnel; these trains are diverted to/from Bristol Parkway for a bus connection with Newport and Cardiff. This also applies to the 20.22 Portsmouth-Cardiff on Saturdays until 6 September inclusive. No Great Western services now call at Mottisfont or Dean.
NEW FOREST TRANSPORT FORUM - 12 MAY 2008
By David Mead
I attended the New Forest Passenger Transport Forum in Lyndhurst this morning. Here are some of the more interesting items:-
South West Trains
Phil Dominey, Stakeholder Manager, gave a talk on potential developments.
Key issues raised by forum:-
1. Ampress Works Halt - A stop had been made at the platform with some assessors. Their report was not favourable on re-opening to serve Lymington hospital, disabled access being the key issue. HCC and Partnerships looking to see if it is possible to build a more easily accessible new platform to the south of the current platform.
2. Despite rumours and anti-rail critics living in Lymington, the branch will remain open and has an assured future. Central Government have stated that there will be no rail closures considered until 2014. The slam door stock will remain as the key stock on the line. It is too expensive to run a 450 electric on the line on a permanent basis. Some complaints have been received concerning traffic congestion in Lymington, caused by the gates being closed at Lymington Town four times an hour!
3. Swanage - Wareham - ( Bournemouth ) service - this is still being considered but nothing will happen until after the Weymouth re-signalling, which is not expected until 2011.
4. Southampton Tunnel Closure - Christmas and New Year Period 2009 / 2010 is the latest proposed first total closure. This will be followed by a number of weekend total closures. The track will be lowered to allow for the 12ft 6in containers. Options for passenger train diversions being assessed. It may be possible to operate some diesel trains (very limited service?) to Southampton via Romsey and Andover.
5. Olympics - Looking at impact on the Weymouth line's passenger business. Suggestion to Olympic Committee that re-doubling of the Moreton-Dorchester South section would be a great legacy from the Olympic investment in Dorset.
Speaker also covered "Travel Safe" scheme; "gating" Waterloo and Bournemouth Central stations; better access and station environment including Totton Station; and Partnership.
Under general questions, the issue of Totton and Ashurst off-peak trains was raised including the long wait at Brockenhurst, and also the annoyance of having to change at Southampton Central on and off the "faster" Waterloo services. Speaker noted the concerns.
1. Wilts and Dorset withdrawing all X35 services. Last ones to operate would be on Saturday 24th May 2008.
2. New Service Run by Black Velvet Travel from 27th May on Mondays - Saturdays.
Route 300 Express - Southampton West Quay 08.40, 11.40, 14.40 to Ringwood via M27 and A31. Return from Ringwood at 10.45, 13.45 and 16.45.
3. New Service run by Black Velvet Travel as from 27th May - Mondays to Saturdays.
Route 35 - Ringwood dep. 07.15 to Southampton via Burley, Lyndhurst and Ashurst.
Route 35 - Southampton dep. 17.30 to Ringwood via Ashurst, Lyndhurst and Burley.
4. Three return trips Ringwood to Lyndhurst at 09.30, 12.30 and 15.30 returning at 10.05, 13.05 and 16.05.These will be extensions of the route 300 service (Buses running fast Southampton-Ringwood and then making a return journey from Ringwood to Lyndhurst before the fast run back to Southampton).
5. No additional fare for Burley passengers travelling to or from Southampton via Ringwood.
6. Proposed that Wilts & Dorset buses should use Ashurst station forecourt on Summer Saturdays to offer a direct hourly bus to Lyndhurst - understood to be a £1.00 supplement to rail ticket holders. (No times had been given - I assume it will be the current 56/ 56A services).
7. Proposed increase in Summer-only Sunday services between Brockenhurst Station - Lyndhurst - Ashurst Station. ( Again no details were available).
8. Lymington Cango services now taken over by "First" Group.
9. Totton and Waterside to replace existing contracts which expire this summer, includes opportunity to look again at issues that arose in February. Marchwood Bus Focus Group has been formed. Contracts to run for four years. May include non-conventional solutions.
10. Wilts and Dorset withdrawing Routes 121, 123 and 124. Bournemouth - Christchurch - Mudeford - Highcliffe - New Milton - Lymington services all revised as from 27th May under new number X12.
11. Route 175 - 14.35 Ringwood to Bransgore service withdrawn.
12. New Forest Open Top Bus will run for 100 days. Same fares as 2007. Alterations to First and Last Buses. Revised commentary. Bicycles will be taken inside bus if required - no trailers on the buses.
13. Bus concessionary scheme in New Forest now 09.30 on weekdays but no restrictions on weekends. NFDC pass holders only - free travel on New Forest Open Top Bus and Hythe Ferry / Pier Railway.
* How typical of transport planning that Ashurst station may play a more significant interchange role, so soon after Stagecoach severely downgraded its train services;
* Late news: from 23 June, the NFDC concessionary pass is to have no time restrictions, wherever used in England]
TOILETS: RIP-OFF AND CLOSURE
* From the Evening Standard of 17/04/08: “City Spy’s piece on the increased charges at the Gents at Waterloo prompts this tale of woe from a reader. “Armed with 20p, I nipped down the stairs to use the conveniences, only to find it now cost 30p. So I put £2 into the change machine. Out came 5 10p pieces and the indicator said ‘£1.50 owed but no more cash in the Machine’. I grabbed the attendant, who said it was nothing to do with him. I should go to the booking office upstairs. ‘But I need to use the toilet.’ I said. He let me in for free and then decided that with no change available he would open the barrier and made all visits free. After my free call – well, it cost me £1.50 – I went to the booking office to try to get my £1.50 back. Nothing to do with them! They said it was down to Network Rail in the entrance. No luck there! They said it was South West Trains beside the taxi rank. ‘Not us mate’, said the chap on reception. ‘Go to the ticket office – the supervisor can sort it.’ “I tried the booking office again, the ticket office and the Help Desk on the forecourt, which suggested South West Trains. Then I gave up and caught my train home to Weymouth. After a 50% increase at the start of yesterday, it cost me another 500% to use the lavatory. So, if you had a free visit after 6.30 on Tuesday evening it’s thanks to me. Oh, and South West Trains you owe me £1.50. Knowing them, they will probably send me five vouchers to be used within 28days. At least the keeper of the loo knew what to do – make visits free for all.”
Basingstoke Bus Station
* Report in the Basingstoke Observer of 17/04/08: After vandalism at Stagecoach’s Basingstoke bus station, the toilets were permanently closed, to the discomfort of older passengers. Following investigations by the local press, the notice on the door has been changed from ‘permanently closed’ to ‘closed until further notice’. Stagecoach say they may introduce charges. (Basingstoke Observer 17/04/08)
[Basingstoke is still relatively lucky – Southampton lost its whole bus station due to Stagecoach profiteering.]
DIARY OF A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER –16
17/03/08 Did not travel.
18/03/08 Nothing to report.
19/03/08 The 0645 departure from Totton to Waterloo was initially shown as due on time, then due at 0647, then at 0653. It left at 0654 with the delay reported to be due to "speed restrictions at Ashurst", later changed to "track defect at Beaulieu Road".
20/03/08 The 4th carriage of the 0645 from Totton had no heating on this frosty morning and was very cold. The guard apologised for slow running but did not know the reason for it. An almost inaudible announcement then reported (I think) that a passenger had been taken ill on a preceding train. 15 minutes late at Waterloo. Two abandoned supermarket trolleys were at Totton station this evening.
21/03/08 Bank Holiday.
24/03/08 Bank Holiday.
25/03/08 The guard of the 0700 from Southampton apologised for there being only one buffet trolley on the 10 carriage train. The departure summary screen at the top of the stairs from the Waterloo & City line in the subway under the Waterloo platforms was still blank.
26/03/08 Totton ticket office opening hours now apparently end at 1000 weekdays (0900 Friday) every week, instead of the advertised 1230 which has not been kept to since the start of the year (and for months before that on some weekdays). 0645 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time. The screen at the top of the stairs from the Waterloo & City was working again (finally!). 1835 from Waterloo was slow running through Eastleigh due to a freight train ahead of us - 4 minutes late at Totton.
27/03/08 0715 from Totton left Southampton Central before its scheduled departure time.
28/03/08 The ticket machine at Totton was not showing any display on its credit card reader - a confused passenger abandoned the transaction and went to the ticket office - but what do people do after the ticket office has closed early? Noticed on one journey this week that the internal carriage door is not working in the last carriage (counting back from 1st class) of unit 444 020. This is the same problem as that found on 10 March - surely SWT can't be sliding back to Wessex Electric standards of maintenance?
31/03/08 Did not travel.
01/04/08 Did not travel.
02/04/08 The in-carriage displays on the 0745 from Totton were giving the full stopping pattern of the service, including all the stations that had already been passed. As I approached the 1935 from Waterloo, the platform displays reported that both halves of the train were for Totton, but only the first 5 carriages can actually be used due to the length of the station platform. On board, the guard announced that today the rear 5 coaches would travel on from Bournemouth to Weymouth, immediately followed by an automated announcement that the front 5 coaches would do so.
03/04/08 Rather chilly air conditioning in the carriage of the 0645 from Totton. At Southampton Central noted that the 0733 to Romsey was shown as cancelled. The guard on the 0645 apologised for leaving Southampton 3 minutes late due to "problems attaching the rear 5 carriages".
04/04/08 Totton ticket machine had "card reader not working" stuck on it - to the exasperation of users who only noticed after entering their ticket details (one a season ticket renewal with the photocard details having been entered). 0645 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time, rushing to stand 9 minutes at Southampton Central waiting for the rear half of the train. The train left Southampton with the platform indicators showing "PLEASE STAND CLEAR This train is not for public use". Joining 1939 from Waterloo heard the automated announcement "This train is at its final stop, London Waterloo". The 1939 left Winchester before its scheduled departure time.
07/04/08 The truncated Totton ticket office opening times for this week were advised as being to 1000 Monday to Wednesday, and to 0900 on Thursday and Friday, reducing even further from the advertised hours. At Southampton Central on the 0645 from Totton, the guard made an announcement (repeated later in the journey) "with regret" that the Waterloo & City line was "suspended for the day" due to "shortage of staff", but when we got to Waterloo, the line was open as normal! The platform displays reported that both halves of the 1805 from Waterloo were for Totton, but only the first 5 carriages can actually be used due to the length of the station platform. After departure, the guard on the 1805 announced there was an unattended item in the last coach and asked the owner to return to it. 5 minutes late at Totton.
08/04/08 Travelling on the 0645 from Totton, noted that a glazed door panel was smashed in the ticket office building at Southampton Airport Parkway. The 1805 from Waterloo left 4 minutes late and stopped before Clapham Junction. The guard announced that there were "a number of trains ahead of us", there was "congestion" and trains were "queued back up from Clapham". 19 minutes late at Totton.
09/04/08 At Southampton Central, the only working ticket barrier for incoming passengers at the down side entrance refused to accept my season ticket ("code 99") - approximate 6 weeks after it was printed for the second time. Also at Southampton Central, the 1102 arrival from London Victoria and the 1111 departure to Victoria were both shown as cancelled, the 1051 to Weymouth was running 10 minutes late and the 1104 to Portsmouth Harbour was announced as running 26 minutes late. Travelling on the 1130 from Southampton Central, noted that the broken door panel at Southampton Airport Parkway has been boarded up and the door is marked "not in use". Approaching Winchester, the guard announced that "we are being held by a slow moving service ahead" (probably the freight train that passed through Southampton Central at 1120). The passenger information screen at the entrance to platform 8 at Waterloo was blank this evening, so passengers had to walk up the platform to confirm whether the 2135 from Waterloo was the service at the platform. Arriving at Southampton Central at 2250, walked through the open, unmanned ticket gates and hiked to the far end of the downside car park, along the way disturbing a large rat in the undergrowth opposite the old parcels depot.
10/04/08 Managed to just catch the 0645 from Totton, arriving at the platform as the doors were closing but sprinting up the platform to the open door by the guard - I was however inside the carriage while the in-carriage display was still showing 0644. My reissued season ticket is now being rejected by the London Underground ticket barriers. Somewhat surreal announcement on the Waterloo & City line that "this train will not stop at the next station". The 1835 from Waterloo was slow running through Clapham Junction and later Woking when the guard announced that this was due to "signalling problems between Waterloo and Clapham Junction" and we were "just suffering the knock-on effects of that delay". 13 minutes late at Totton.
11/04/08 The approach to Totton station has an open gas meter box (with the box door lying on the pavement) and uncollected recycling bags by the roadside. A warning of wet paint on some door frames at Totton station has attracted graffiti on the new paintwork. On the 0645 from Totton, a regular commuter was observed moving carriages to avoid a loud snorer. Also saw passengers struggling to place heavy cases on the overhead shelf as there was no floor level storage available nearby. At Southampton Airport Parkway, the broken door panel was still boarded up but the door is now marked "Ticket office entrance". Shortly after the departure of the 1835 from Waterloo, automated announcements instruct passengers to move to the correct part of the train for their station - but anyone rash enough to actually follow these instructions immediately will end up standing to Winchester. Shock at Southampton Central as a late-running Cross-Country train pulled into Southampton Central alongside the rear half of the 1835, which stayed at the platform giving passengers from the Cross-Country time to connect. Was this the start of some customer service at Southampton Central or simply a one-off?
14/04/08 On the 0645 from Totton, overheard fellow passengers commenting "not very warm, is it?" and they were "fed up with these trains, I want the old ones back" - referring to the Wessex Electrics withdrawn from service as soon as SWT got its franchise renewal. Another passenger decided that a commuter train was exactly the right place to apply nail polish - leaving a heady aroma of solvent in the carriage. At Southampton Airport Parkway the broken door panel is still boarded up. My reprinted season ticket is now rejected by every ticket barrier. Approaching the 1935 from Waterloo, platform displays showed both halves of the train were for Totton at the same time as the platform announcements were telling passengers travelling there to join the front half of the train only. The carriages swayed as we pulled away from the platform with a jerk. A child (travelling with an adult) was playing a Shrek movie without headphones in the carriage - they were ticket-checked by the guard with no comment. At the train left Southampton Central, the next stations were automatically announced as Totton, BRANKSOME and Bournemouth.
15/04/08 Totton ticket office hours continue their creeping reduction as last week's 0900 closure on Thursday continues this week and the ticket office will be closed completely on Friday. The 0645 from Totton left the station while the in-carriage displays were still showing 0644. Passing through a tunnel on the journey, there was a significant change in pressure and the train brakes were immediately applied to bring the train to a halt - those that know said that the pressure had cause a door to be detected as open, triggering the emergency brakes. As soon as we had stopped, we set off again. An announcement was made "information for the guard, when you get to the front of the train, can you pop in to see the driver". Travelling on the 1935 from Waterloo, confirmed that the automated announcement after leaving Southampton Central says Branksome instead of Brockenhurst!
16/04/08 Totton ticket office was closed at 0710, despite the notice displaying this week's (much reduced) hours reported that it would be open from 0540 to 1000 today. The 0715 from Totton left the station while the in-carriage displays were still showing 0714 and the train also left Southampton Central before its scheduled departure time. Stopped at Surbiton with the guard announcing that the "driver is trying to find out the reason for the delay". Then announced that "due to a cable fire at London Waterloo, all trains are being delayed". Very slow running after Surbiton resulted in arriving at Waterloo 33 minutes late. One of the 3 screens on the ramp down to the Waterloo & City line (installed during the major closure of the line in 2006, but hardly working since) had been switched on, but it still displayed "no signal".
17/04/08 A fellow commuter told me that the yesterday's 0645 from Totton was about 25 minutes late into Waterloo, but they were told that it was due to "signalling problems at Vauxhall". The 0645 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time and also left Southampton Central before its scheduled departure time. The broken door panel still boarded up at Southampton Airport Parkway. On the 1835 from Waterloo, I was unable to power my laptop as the 4 tables in the rear carriage of the train were occupied by families with children - obviously suffering from a lack of tables in this stock but preventing access to any of the (only) 8 power sockets provided in standard class of this 5-carriage unit. Using the laptop on the airline type seating instead, found the large latch for the drop-down table was exactly where the laptop screen wants to be. Passengers were subjected to a loud buzzing from the speakers after one of the guard's announcements. Outside Totton station, piles of recycling rubbish have been stacked on the pavement for 3 days now.
18/04/08 Totton ticket office was closed. One passenger was studying the notice advising of the severely shortened opening hours and commented "it's amazing - it's useless". The queue for the automatic ticket machine was 3 deep when the 0645 was announced as approaching the station. The broken door panel at Southampton Airport Parkway has now been replaced. The 0645 stopped just before Raynes Park. Moving through Raynes Park, the guard apologised for the "slow running" due to "train failure in London Waterloo that has caused congestion". This was quickly updated to "train failure in the Clapham Junction area". Approaching Waterloo, we got a further update that the delays were due to a "train failure in the Wimbledon area" - the failed train seems to have been moving between stations with no problems! 15 minutes late at Waterloo. The 1835 from Waterloo left Winchester before its scheduled departure time.
21/04/08 No restricted opening hours are displayed at Totton ticket office this morning - perhaps it is going to keep to its published opening hours this week. The 0653 from Southampton Central to Portsmouth Harbour was made up of stock in TransPennine Express livery. On the 1835 from Waterloo it was announced in the rear half of the train that "this part of the train is for "...Southampton Central, Brockenhurst...." with no mention of Totton or Ashurst New Forest.
22/04/08 Seats on the 1805 from Waterloo still had reservation slips from the inward journey to Waterloo.
23/04/08 Alas, Totton ticket office hours are even worse this week - closing at 1000 on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 0915 on Tuesday and closed entirely on Friday. At Waterloo, the screen on the ramp down to the Waterloo & City line that is turned on, but showing "No signal", has developed an annoying flicker. The departure screen in the subway under the Waterloo platforms displaying the 1805 service, shows on its last line that "Due to short platforms, passengers for To" without scrolling to actually show the list of stations affected. On joining the train, the automated announcements reported that "this train is approaching its final stop, London Waterloo". No buffet facilities were available on the train "due to staff sickness".
24/04/08 Joined the 0645 from Totton to find 3 revenue protection officers sitting down having a nice chat. This evening, the Waterloo & City line was suspended while I was sitting in the carriage at Bank. The driver reported that it was due to "track failure at Waterloo", but communication from the control room to the platform staff was poor as they were told on their radios that the service was suspended, but no reason why, eventually announcing the reason as "signal failure". It took almost 10 minutes to clear the station (good job it wasn't an emergency!) - probably due to the platform staff not getting round to opening all the ticket barriers until most of the people on the station had passed slowly through the very few barriers available for use.
25/04/08 With Totton ticket office closed today, the queue for the ticket machine was 4 deep as the 0645 pulled into the platform. The 0645 was 7 minutes late at Waterloo. Stock for the 1905 from Waterloo had rubbish on the seats as passengers boarded. Changing trains at Southampton Central (as you annoyingly have to do on this service), noted that the platform display screens spend rather too long displaying details of forthcoming engineering work and not enough time showing where to go for the connecting service. Joined the 2030 from Southampton which, as the 1839 from Waterloo is appallingly badly timetabled with several excessively long stops en route for Poole. Following an automated announcement, the guard announced "this train also calls at Ashurst New Forest".
On one train this month, a guard was seen to have a sense of customer service as he told a young passenger who asked to buy a saver ticket that he had been "told I have to sell only standard singles and returns" followed by "but it's a Friday night" and sold him the saver. Clearly he has not been fully assimilated into SWT and will have to be sent away for re-education!
28/04/08 The permanent staff member has returned to Totton station after an extremely long absence on secondment to Southampton Central, during which the advertised ticket office opening hours for Totton ticket office were a pure work of fiction. The 0549 from Totton left both Totton and Eastleigh before its scheduled departure times and was early at Winchester with 2 minutes to wait after all the passengers had got on, so it left there early as well. Joined the 1835 from Waterloo, where just before departure, it was announced that "this train is approaching its final stop, London Waterloo".
29/04/08 The permanent staff member at Totton advises passengers of imminent work on the footbridge at Totton that will cause it to be closed with at least a 10 minute walk around the streets to get from one side of the station to the other. Strange we hadn't heard about this before! 0612 left Totton before its scheduled departure time. The single departure screen at Millbrook was blank today. On the 0630 from Southampton Central, passengers commented that we appeared to be changing tracks (onto the up fast line) much closer to Basingstoke station than before, presumably to avoid the "Worting Wobble", the strong sideways lurch that we normally get when encountering Worting Junction. On the 1805, reservation tickets from the incoming journey had not been removed. During the journey, the guard provided the vital information for passengers wondering whether they were in the front 5 carriages that "the driver sits in the front five coaches. Right at the very front".
30/04/08 Totton ticket office was closed at 0545. Someone must have a sense of irony, as on the closed ticket office door was a poster with a banner "No ticket. No excuse" telling passengers that they must have a ticket even if the ticket machine isn't working (and the Permit to Travel machine has been removed and the ticket office locked shut) - how's that for customer service! 0549 from Totton was 10 minutes late at Waterloo due to "having to swap to the slow line to drop off the fitter for a Salisbury / Waterloo train". A good joke at Waterloo this evening - putting the 1839 (extremely) slow Poole service on the normal platform for the 1835 Weymouth / Poole service - making it very easy for passengers rushing for their train to get on the wrong one. Joining th 1835, passengers were greeted with "This train is approaching its final stop, London Waterloo". After leaving Southampton, it was announced that "the next station is Southampton Central".
01/05/08 Totton ticket office was open at 0610. On the 0612 from Totton, an internal carriage door needed persuasion to open and a "coach out of use" sticker was visible above the door inside the carriage. The toilet was engaged for a long period - but the guard then confirmed it was out of order and he would stick a notice on it. The single passenger information screen at Millbrook was blank again today. The 1935 departure from Waterloo was not displayed on the departure screens at 1930. In fact, the screens were showing departures from 1900 and announcements were being made about "problems with the information screens". At one stage, all the information screens were showing no information apart from the not very friendly message that "penalty fares operate from this station". Notices at Waterloo reported a power surge at Wimbledon, but the Evening Standard headline referred to a lightning strike. The "information" point on the Waterloo concourse has been moved from next to W .H. Smith (where it had screens showing where inbound trains actually were) to middle of the concourse where all the staff appeared to do was uselessly repeat the information that was on the main display boards. The 1935 service appeared on the information screens about 5 minutes after its scheduled departure time - passengers pushing through the crowds to join the train were greeted with "you must buy a ticket to travel on one of our trains". Left Waterloo 10 minutes late. Outside Basingstoke the driver announced we were "awaiting a platform to be free". 17 minutes late at Totton.
02/05/08 The ticket machine at Totton was flashing its red alarm. The 0612 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time. Significant building work has been completed at Redbridge station - perhaps they have also finally installed passenger information screens - alas not, making Redbridge probably the only SWT station with no passenger information. Even Millbrook has a display screen that works sometimes - although not today. On the 0630 from Southampton Central, the automated announcements reported that "the next station is Southampton Central" as we left the station, and "please mind the gap between the train and the platform edge" as we were passing through the tunnel under Southampton city centre. There was a stink of sewage on the Bank platforms for the Waterloo & City line this evening. The 1905 from Waterloo left with the in-carriage displays saying "Not in service". As we were pulling out from Waterloo, the automated announcements reports "passengers leaving the train here, move forward from this part of the train due to short platforms at this station". Why oh why does this train not stop at Totton? It helps make the evening Totton service very confusing with Totton passengers having to be in the front half or rear half or change at Southampton Central depending on which service they are using and introduces delay and frustration if the connection at Southampton Central is not held.
05/05/08 Bank Holiday.
06/05/08 The 0612 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time. At Southampton Central, all the platform indicators were showing "we regret that owing to a fault no information can displayed at present". The 1805 from Waterloo stopped alongside New Covent Garden with the announcement "can the guard please contact the driver". The guard then announced that we would be "coming to a stand at Clapham Junction for the guard to contact the signaller" due to a "technical problem with the train" and the "driver cannot contact the signaller on his in-cab phone". After two further announcements it was reported that the driver has rectified the fault, but shortly afterwards that we would be stopping at Earlsfield for the driver to "reboot the train". Stopped outside Winchester "behind a Cross Country train held at signals". 57 minutes late at Southampton Airport Parkway, following which the guard announced that the train would now omit all stations between Southampton Central and Bournemouth. He apologised for the decision by "SWT Control" but could not give any information about alternative services for the passengers being thrown off this one. At Southampton Central, a large number of passengers besieged the Passenger Information Office on platform 4 to be told that the following service (the 1835 from Waterloo) would split here and the rear half would cover the omitted stops. The announcements on this train reported the delays were due to "signalling problems in the Winchester area". 70 minutes late at Totton, 13 minutes of which were due to SWT's decision to omit stop for their operational convenience.
07/05/08 Totton footbridge is apparently going to be closed next week between 7am and 7pm each day. Overhead a regular passenger complaining that he got a penalty fare (presumably having forgotten his ticket) from an "arrogant" SWT staff member. The automated announcements on the 1835 from Waterloo omitted any mention of Totton and Ashurst until we got to Southampton Central. During the journey, the guard announced that "due to a failed freight train at Micheldever" there will be "heavy delays" as only one line is open - also due to earlier cancellations we would have additional stops for Basingstoke, Micheldever and Shawford. When we stopped before Micheldever, the guard announced that the signaller had told him we were "4th back in the queue". After leaving Southampton Central 41 minutes late, we then stood at Millbrook lights for 10 minutes for two trains to pass us on the down fast line - as the guard said "to add to our woes". 51 minutes late at Totton.
08/05/08 Confirmed that the work on the passenger footbridge at Totton will be taking place between 7am-7pm daily from next Monday with passengers during those times having to walk 10-15 minutes detour to cross from one platform to the other (or from the down platform to the car park). 0549 left Totton 29 minutes late (and after the 0612 departure to Romsey) due to "a power failure at Bournemouth depot" but was shown as omitting all stops between Southampton Airport Parkway and London Waterloo. Hard luck for anyone travelling to Clapham Junction (this is the only service that normally stops there) and for the passenger wanting to get to Basingstoke who was advised to change at Southampton Central onto the 0643 from Southampton. Slow approach to Basingstoke, slow running through Woking and slow approach to Clapham Junction. Arrived at Waterloo 22 minutes late, despite omitting the intermediate stops. Waterloo & City line was closed today (this was not advised on the incoming 0549 service) due to "signal failure at Waterloo". As my reissued season ticket no longer works any ticket barriers, station staff had to let me through the barriers into the Underground, but the barrier gates closed on me as I was passing through and I had to force myself through. One of the two escalators to the Bakerloo line at Waterloo is not in use. On the 1805 from Waterloo the guard apologised for the "lack of air conditioning" in the 4th carriage and the resulting overheating. The guard also announced a "slight delay" due to "emergency speed restrictions between Basingstoke and the junction to Salisbury". Cars parked near Totton station have had leaflets left on them about next week's daytime footbridge closure, but there are no notices on the station.
09/05/08 Noted on the 0612 from Totton that the single passenger information screen at Millbrook is working again. Waterloo & City closed for the second morning running due to "signal failure at Waterloo" - this time it was advised on the incoming SWT service. The stock for the 1905 from Waterloo did not arrive until after 1900 (where passengers observed a wedding party getting off!). Sauna conditions in the second carriage of this unit (444 016) with noisy but entirely ineffective air conditioning. Passengers were visibly wilting by the time we reached Winchester in these tropical conditions but there was no offer of drinks. Passengers getting off at Southampton Central were greeted with the news that the "connecting" 2030 service from Southampton Central had been cancelled due to "a fault on this train which cannot be rectified". When I asked whether the 1905 would therefore stop additionally at Totton, I was told that no stop orders had been issued. Platform staff said that there would have been time to do this even when we were at Winchester (and also that there had been a lot of air conditioning problems with the 444 stock today). All anyone could advise was to wait for the next service, while the announcements of the cancelled said "we are sorry for the delay to your journey", but not sorry enough to have done anything about it, obviously. Decided to travel instead on the 2038 Salisbury service and walked to Totton from Redbridge (taking 14 minutes, arriving 4 minutes after the direct service).
12/05/08 Notices have finally appeared on Totton station about this week's daytime footbridge closure (and the long diversionary route).
13/05/08 0645 from Totton ran slowly approaching Woking.
14/05/08 On the 0715 from Totton, the doors closed a minute early and the train left Totton before its scheduled departure time, rushing to stand 10 minutes at Southampton Central. Passengers were standing from Southampton Airport Parkway - they can't have been looking forward to 68 minutes on their feet. Approaching London Waterloo, the guard announced "there are reported delays on most of the London Underground network this morning" but this turned out to be just 2 lines with delays.
15/05/08 Apparently there was a near miss at Totton yesterday when a woman was seen crossing the tracks due to the footbridge closure laden with Asda carrier bags and wearing flip-flops as she stepped over the live rails - clearly whatever arrangements South West Trains put in place to avoid potential fatalities (albeit from someone's stupidity) were ineffective. Was alongside the 0645 departure from Totton at 0644 and 45 seconds, but the doors had already closed and the train left without me, despite it being scheduled to stand for almost 10 minutes at the next stop. Actually, why is the time in the passenger timetable not the latest time a passenger can get on a train (passenger-focused) instead of being the time the train leaves the station (operations-focused) with passengers being prevented from boarding 30 or 60 seconds earlier depending on which station you are at? Travelling on the 0715 from Totton, the guard announced at Southampton Central that we had a buffet trolley in the rear five coaches but it "may not get through to the front five coaches before London". 4 minutes late at Waterloo. The 1935 from Waterloo was showing Basingstoke on its destination indicators and both platform screens were blank as passengers walked along the platform to join the train. At Totton, the new plywood fixed over the existing footbridge steps is delaminating due to being soaked by rain.
16/05/08 On the 0715 from Totton, the guard announced at Southampton Central that he was "pleased to announce that we have two at-seat trolley services" - perhaps it is becoming a rare event to have both on board. On the 1835 from Waterloo the Totton and Ashurst stops were announced in the front half of the train (advising passengers to move to the rear half) but not in the rear half itself until we reached Southampton Central.
19/05/08 After failing to be completed last week due to rain, some work on the footbridge was done over the weekend as the delaminating plywood has been tidied up and some cement work redone. There has been a big fanfare over the introduction of the "Advance" name for tickets bought before the date of travel and leaflets say that fares will not increase as a result of the changes in ticket name, but without any such fanfare is the 6-7% increase in peak return fares from Totton to London (a £4.00 increase in standard open return, standard day return and standard day return with Zone 1 making them £62.00, £60.50 and £66,50 respectively). A standard day return with Travelcard has not gone up - is this now the only regulated fare? The 0645 departure from Totton was still shown on the platform indicators at 0700 well after it had departed. Joining the 0715 from Totton, I advised the guard of a wheelchair user by a door at the front of the train whom he hadn't spotted. Platform indicators at Southampton Airport Parkway just said "Welcome to Southampton Airport Parkway". This evening the Waterloo & City line was closed due to "points failure at Waterloo" (on the board outside the closed gates to the platform at Bank) and "signal failure at Waterloo" (on London Underground information screens elsewhere).
20/05/08 On the 0645 from Totton, after passing through Clapham Junction the guard announced "apologies for the slow progress" due to "points problem just outside London Waterloo" - arrived 16 minutes late at Waterloo. Severe delays on the Central line were reported at London Waterloo but on the incoming train this was reported to be a "good service". Arriving back at Totton, further work on the footbridge has been carried out but no notices of the footbridge closure remain.
21/05/08 On the 1835 from Waterloo the guard apologised for the "slow progress" due to "congestion in the Swaythling and St Denys area".
22/05/08 Temporary ticket office staff are at Totton today and tomorrow, covering for staff leave, and next Tuesday and Wednesday, covering for staff secondment (again!). The footbridge resurfacing work is apparently expected to finish today, but without the bridge being closed to passengers. An alarm was showing on the automatic ticket machine and no passenger information was available (the departure indicators just read "Welcome to Totton" and then "We regret that owning to a fault no information can be displayed at present"). At Southampton Central, no passenger information screens were working between 0750 to 0815 just showing "Welcome to Southampton Central" instead. Travelling on the 0815 Cross Country service from Southampton Central, there was similarly no working passenger information screens at Southampton Airport Parkway and Winchester.
23/05/08 0645 from Totton left before its scheduled departure time and stood at Southampton Central before 0650 waiting for the rear 5 coaches to attach. At Southampton Central, the 0653 to Portsmouth Harbour was shown as cancelled. From 0654 to our departure at 0700, the platform indicators alongside the train at Southampton Central displayed "PLEASE STAND CLEAR The next train is not for public use". Leaving Southampton Central, the guard announced we would be calling additionally at Woking due to an "earlier cancellation of a service to London Waterloo". Later updated to "an earlier cancellation of a train from Southampton Airport". Large number of people joined the train at Woking, none of whom got a seat. Guard estimated the delay at Woking as 5 minutes "as long as we got a good run now into London", and apologised for the delay and overcrowding.
26/05/08 Bank Holiday
27/05/08 The 0645 from Totton was very prompt in departing as the following stock for the combined 0700 departure from Southampton Central passed through Totton before 0648 (unfortunately for passengers, this was class 450 suburban stock). A temporary ticket office staff member is at Totton again. The "ticket machine not working - no excuse" poster has been removed from the ticket office door. 1805 from Waterloo had very noisy but ineffective air conditioning.
28/05/08 Alarm showing on automatic ticket machine at Totton. Stock for the 1835 from Waterloo was late arriving - platform indicators showed "penalty fares apply from this station" and "you must buy a ticket before travelling" but there was no train to travel (and be penalised) on. Stock arrived 10 minutes after the scheduled departure time and the service departed 14 minutes late with no reason for the delay being given.
29/05/08 At Totton one station car park space is on the mini roundabout next to the public road, but there is no car park sign next to the space and the road markings are very faded - just waiting for unwary members of the public to get clamped. At Southampton Central, the 0625 to Weymouth was shown as running 14 minutes late. Following the resurfacing work on the footbridge at Totton, when there is wet weather there is now a large puddle at the top of the steps from the up platform.
30/05/08 Did not travel.
SWT RIGHT TIME RAILWAY: 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 speaks volumes.
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 01/04/08 SIGNALLING FAILURE AT BASINGSTOKE WITH COLLAPSE OF MORNING PEAK SERVICE INTO WATERLOO. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo was a typical 20 minutes late, arriving in London after its schedule departure time as the 08.00 to Portsmouth. 15.33 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Weymouth portion of the 16.35 from Waterloo REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN SET – FOR 146-MILE JOURNEY! 16.38 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.58 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Wednesday 02/04/08 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.20 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED between Yeovil and Salisbury DUE TO NO CREW. 08.14 Alton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 13.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late. 13.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 5 minutes late. 17.02 Waterloo-Guildford 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.10 Chessington-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.09 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 03/04/08 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 6 minutes late. 08.07 Romsey-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.20 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED between Yeovil and Salisbury DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.53 Waterloo-Alton 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.58 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.46 Waterloo-Chessington REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.50 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late.
Friday 04/04/08 04.40 Southampton-Eastleigh AXED. 05.05 Eastleigh-Southampton AXED. 05.35 Salisbury-Southampton-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 06.55 Weymouth-Waterloo delayed at Bournemouth DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.37 Waterloo-Hounslow AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.48 Salisbury-Romsey 13 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 14.44 Alton-Waterloo delayed. 16.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 21.46 Guildford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Epsom. 23.03 Waterloo-Guildford AXED between Waterloo and Surbiton. DUFF TRAIN AT WITLEY DESTROYED AFTERNOON AND EVENING SERVICES ON THE WATERLOO-PORTSMOUTH MAIN LINE. Haslemere and Petersfield stops of the 14.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. All intermediate stops of the 14.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth between Woking and Havant AXED. Haslemere, Petersfield and Havant stops of the 15.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 15.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 15.37 Haslemere-Waterloo delayed. 15.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 16.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 17.33 Woking-Waterloo 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant AXED. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton DIVERTED VIA EASTLEIGH. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Haslemere. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED. 19.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late.
Saturday 05/04/08 Passengers on the 06.28 Poole-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Eastleigh DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.35 Portsmouth-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 07.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.42 Reading-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 09.23 Windsor-Waterloo 18 minutes late. SIGNALLING PROBLEMS AT WATERLOO FOLLOWED BY A SIGNAL CABLE FIRE – STATION CLOSED FROM MID-MORNING UNTIL LATE AFTERNOON. With all mainline trains already re-scheduled to run via Staines, there was no recognizable service for most of the day. Mainline trains ran only to and from Woking, Guildford or Basingstoke. Local services ran to and from Wimbledon. Semi-fast trains to and from Weymouth AXED between Dorchester and Weymouth. Passengers THROWN OFF and STOPS AXED across the Network. Waterloo reopened by 17.00 but the mess was beyond repair. 18.35 Portsmouth-Waterloo 40 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 40 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 19.20 Waterloo-Exeter AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Poole 25 minutes late. 19.35 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 20.13 Waterloo-Basingstoke 14 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Yeovil AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 28 minutes late. Passengers on the 20.35 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Southampton DUE TO NO CREW. 20.43 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 20.44 Lymington-Brockenhurst AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.17 Waterloo-Twickenham AXED. 21.20 Waterloo-Reading 31 minutes late. 22.07 Waterloo-Chessington AXED. 22.13 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED. 22.19 Twickenham-Waterloo AXED. 22.20 Waterloo-Salisbury AXED. 23.04 Chessington-Waterloo AXED. 23.30 Woking-Alton AXED. 23.35 Waterloo-Salisbury 21 minutes late.
Sunday 06/04/08 06.55 Southampton-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 07.10 Salisbury-Exeter 34 minutes late. 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.48 Basingstoke-Poole 27 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. Passengers on the 07.50 Poole-Eastleigh THROWN OFF at Brockenhurst DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.54 Reading-Waterloo 16 minutes late. Passengers on the 08.13 Ascot-Guildford THROWN OFF at Guildford. 08.17/09.17/10.17/11.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo had their Botley and Hedge End stops AXED. Passengers on the 08.35 Woking-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Petersfield DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.47 Woking-Plymouth 91 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; passengers THROWN OFF at Exeter. 09.17 Guildford-Ascot AXED between Guildford and Aldershot. Passengers on the 09.20 Exeter-Woking THROWN OFF at Salisbury DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 09.35 Waterloo-Poole 45 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 09.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.47 Woking-Paignton 64 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 09.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 58 minutes late. 09.55 Poole-Eastleigh AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 11.17 Guildford-Ascot AXED between Guildford and Aldershot DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 11.25 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED between Yeovil and Salisbury DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 11.26 Eastleigh-Portsmouth 38 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; passengers THROWN OFF at Fareham. 12.25 Paignton-Woking 35 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 12.55 Poole-Eastleigh AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 13.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham DUE TO NO CREW. 14.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN TRAIN. 14.06 Plymouth-Waterloo AXED between Plymouth and Exeter DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.55 Poole-Eastleigh AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN TRAIN.
Monday 07/04/08 06.08 Salisbury-Exeter 40 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.41 Exeter-Waterloo REDUCED TO 3 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.00 Exeter-Honiton 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 0All intermediate stops of the 08.16 Waterloo Chessington before Raynes Park AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE DURING SPEED RESTRICTIONS. 08.25 Exeter-Waterloo AXED between Exeter and Honiton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 09.11 Shepperton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Kingston DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE DURING SPEED RESTRICTIONS. 10.12 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Kingston DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE DURING SPEED RESTRICTIONS. 10.50 Waterloo-Salisbury REDUCED TO 3 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.24 Waterloo-Dorking 34 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Epsom. 15.33 Waterloo-Guildford AXED between Waterloo and Wimbledon. 15.53 Windsor-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo had ALL INTERMEDIATE STOPS BEFORE NORBITON AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.03 Waterloo-Guildford AXED between Waterloo and Wimbledon. AFTERNOON AND EVENING SPEED RESTRICTIONS: so services between Waterloo and Hampton Court AXED FOR THE REST OF THE DAY between Waterloo and Surbiton; services between Waterloo and Epsom or Dorking AXED IN THEIR ENTIRETY UNTIL LATE EVENING. 17.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo had ALL INTERMEDIATE STOPS AFTER RICHMOND AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE DURING SPEED RESTRICTIONS. 18.12 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED between Waterloo and Kingston. 19.50 Waterloo-Woking had ALL INTERMEDIATE STOPS BEFORE SURBITON AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE DURING SPEED RESTRICTIONS.
Tuesday 08/04/08 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo 8 minutes late; intermediate stops between Haslemere and Guildford AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.20 Waterloo-Yeovil AXED between Waterloo and Salisbury DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.39 Waterloo-Brockenhurst DELAYED at Farnborough DUE TO SOMEONE NEEDING MEDICAL ASSISTANCE. 16.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED between Weybridge and Staines. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 6 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 21 minutes late. 18.18 Waterloo-Haslemere 19 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 20 minutes late. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton 20 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late. 19.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke THROWN OFF at Salisbury DUE TO NO CREW.
Wednesday 09/04/08 06.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late; stops at Mortlake, North Sheen and St Margaret’s AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.17 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.50 Bristol-Salisbury DELAYED at Keynsham (BLOCKING THE MAIN BRISTOL-PADDINGTON LINE) DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES.
Thursday 10/04/08 Passengers on the 06.12 Totton-Romsey trapped for 2 minutes at Southampton Central DUE TO DUFF DOORS. 06.55 Weymouth-Waterloo delayed at Brockenhurst DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 15.30 Guildford-Ascot THROWN OFF at Aldershot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.03 Weybridge-Waterloo delayed at Staines. 16.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Ascot and Aldershot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.55 Waterloo-Alton 10 minutes late. 19.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 12 minutes late. 19.15 Waterloo-Havant 14 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton 15 minutes late. 19.25 Waterloo-Alton 15 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 14 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Southampton 11 minutes late. 19.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 13 minutes late. 19.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 13 minutes late. 21.48 Salisbury-Romsey-Romsey AXED between Salisbury and Romsey DUE TO NO CREW. 22.07 Romsey-Romsey AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 22.58 Romsey-Romsey AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Friday 11/04/08 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 08.02 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Weybridge AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 08.23 Ascot-Guildford 8 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter 8 minutes late. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.22 Ascot-Waterloo 8 minutes late. Passengers on the 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Kew Bridge DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Surbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 21.28 Waterloo-Windsor THRIWN OFF at Clapham Junction DUE TO NO CREW. 22.53 Windsor-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Saturday 12/04/08 All stops of the 05.05 Waterloo-Reading, between Clapham Junction and Twickenham exclusive AXED. 15.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 17.32 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea.
Sunday 13/04/08 10.50 Templecombe-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 12.50 Templecombe-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 15.27 Hampton Court-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.52 Woking-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 17.54 Reading-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 18.50 Templecombe-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 21.35 Southampton-Portsmouth 10 minutes late.
Monday 14/04/08 05.12 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo 3 minutes late starting DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.32 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.55 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 20.53 Windsor-Waterloo 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Tuesday 15/04/08 08.00 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 09.23 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 23.03 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Wednesday 16/04/08 06.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 6 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Teddington and Wimbledon AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Twickenham and Richmond stops of the 06.50 Reading-Waterloo AXED. BY 08.00, THE LINES BETWEEN WATERLOO AND CLAPHAM JUNCTION WERE BRIEFLY CLOSED IN THE MORNING PEAK DUE TO SIGNALLING PROBLEMS. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. SERVICES SUSPENDED BETWEEN STAINES AND WINDSOR DUE TO YET ANOTHER FATALITY. 08.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 29 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Brockenhurst, except Bournemouth, Poole, Wareham and Dorchester AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 08.37 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Wokingham DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 09.02 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Epsom. All intermediate stops before Surbiton of the 09.03 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 09.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE AND PASSENGERS THROWN OFF AT DORCHESTER. 09.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED. All intermediate stops after Kingston of the 09.11 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 09.12 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED. All intermediate stops before Guildford of the 09.15 Waterloo-Haslemere AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. All intermediate stops, before Staines, of the 09.22 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED. 09.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 09.35 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Ashstead. 09.40 Chessington-Waterloo AXED. 09.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 09.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED. 10.11 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 10.05 Dorking-Waterloo AXED between Dorking and Ashstead. 10.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Bracknell. 11.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED. All intermediate stops before Woking of the 11.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Haslemere, except Guildford, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.20 Waterloo-Woking 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Surbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED. 12.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Basingstoke and Dorchester. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 39 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Salisbury. 15.12 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late; stops at Twickenham, Richmond and Clapham Junction AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late; all stops after Ascot AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 17.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 17 minutes late. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor 12 minutes late. 17.31 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.25 Salisbury-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 21.28 Waterloo-Windsor 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 17/04/08 05.35 Salisbury-Southampton-Salisbury AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.48 Salisbury-Romsey AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Saturday 19/04/08 18.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth Harbour and Fratton. 18.54 Portsmouth-Basingstoke AXED between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea. 20.00 Guildford-Ascot AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.23 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 20.33 Waterloo-Kingst6on-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 22.10 Weymouth-Eastleigh AXED between Weymouth and Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 23.11 Basingstoke-Yeovil delayed at Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 20/04/08 08.09 Basingstoke-Paignton 21 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 15.27 Waterloo-Hampton Court 20 minutes late. 15.32 Waterloo-Guildford 22 minutes late. 15.50 Basingstoke-Poole AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.10 Chessington-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.35 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 16.40 Chessington-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Wimbledon. 17.27 Waterloo-Hampton Court AXED. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford AXED between Waterloo and Wimbledon. 18.27 Waterloo-Hampton Court AXED. 19.35 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED.
Monday 21/04/08 17.35 Waterloo-Reading 10 minutes late. Duff stock on the 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo; stops at St Margaret’s, Richmond, North Sheen and Mortlake AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Twickenham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.03 Woking-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo delayed. 19.33 Dorking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading 11 minutes late.
Tuesday 22/04/08 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.32 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. Passengers on the 15.30 Guildford-Ascot THROWN OFF at Aldershot. 16.53 Ascot-Guildford AXED between Ascot and Aldershot DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 19 minutes late. 17.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 8 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.16 Waterloo-Chessington 11 minutes late. 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Epsom 8 minutes late. 18.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 5 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Guildford 7 minutes late. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Wednesday 23/04/08 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 28 minutes late. 06.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 06.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 07.18 Southampton-Weymouth 12 minutes late. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea. 07.25 Weymouth-Brockenhurst delayed. 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Kingston. 08.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 08.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 8 minutes late. 08.25 Weymouth-Southampton 15 minutes late. 08.50 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 09.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late and AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester. 09.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 09.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 34 minutes late; train attached to a later service and passengers for some stations THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 15.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 23 minutes late and REDUCED TO 6 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK; Clapham Junction stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter REDUCED TO 6 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 24/04/08 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; Micheldever and Woking stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.32 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 08.44 Alton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 17.05 Romsey-Salisbury 15 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 6 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.50 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.30 Waterloo-Epsom REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late.
Friday 25/04/08 07.22 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED. 07.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 22 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Kingston. 08.07 Twickenham-Waterloo AXED. 08.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Kingston. 12.10 Exeter-Waterloo REDUCED TO 6 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 14.03 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester and 10 minutes late. 14.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Exeter REDUCED TO 6 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.37 Waterloo-Woking 6 minutes late. 18.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 22 minutes late. 21.46 Guildford-Waterloo 16 minutes late.
Saturday 26/04/08 Passengers on the 00.09 Waterloo-Guildford THROWN OFF at Woking. 04.00 Guildford-Waterloo AXED between Woking and Surbiton. Passengers on the 00.42 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill THROWN OFF at Wimbledon.
Sunday 27/04/08 Passengers on the 00.42 Waterloo-Teddington THROWN OFF at Wimbledon. 01.42 Waterloo-Teddington AXED. Hourly Surbiton-Basingstoke trains from 18.02 to 23.02 AXED between Surbiton and Walton-on-Thames.
Monday 28/04/08 04.55 Southampton-Waterloo 20 minutes late. Signalling problems at Waterloo during the morning peak; trains such as the 05.45 Waterloo-Poole running 5-10 minutes late, but screens at Waterloo showing all arrivals as on time. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late. Richmond and Twickenham stops of the 19.50 Waterloo-Reading AXED. Richmond and Twickenham stops of the 20.20 Waterloo-Reading AXED. 20.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 19 minutes late. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 35 minutes late; train AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction, and stops AXED at Godalming, Haslemere and Petersfield. 20.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 20.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 23 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Barnes and Hounslow AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 24 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Fulwell DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 20.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late. 20.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. Richmond and Twickenham stops of the 20.50 Waterloo-Reading AXED. 20.58 Waterloo-Windsor 25 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late. 22.28 Waterloo-Windsor delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.41 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and Teddington. 21.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED.
Tuesday 29/04/08 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK; Clapham Junction stop AXED. 17.50 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 19.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 20.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 21.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 21.08 Guildford-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 21.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 14 minutes late; Earlsfield stop AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 21.33 Woking-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 21.35 Epsom-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 21.35 Dorking-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 21.40 Chessington-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 21.54 Waterloo-Epsom 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo delayed. 22.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Feltham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Wednesday 30/04/08 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo REDUCED TO 6 COACHES. 05.15 Salisbury-Waterloo 50 minutes late: 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO SETTING DOWN A FITTER TO ATTEND THE STRICKEN TRAIN. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED between Windsor and Waterloo DUE TO NO STOCK IN PLACE. 07.00 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED between Shepperton and Strawberry Hill DUE TO NO STOCK IN PLACE. 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. Emergency engineering work closed the line between Wokingham and Bracknell after the morning peak. 09.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 09.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo THROWN OFF at New Malden DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 10.12 Waterloo-Shepperton Diverted to Chessington DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. All stops, from Earlsfield to Strawberry Hill inclusive, of the 10.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 11.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 11.11 Shepperton-Waterloo diverted to start from Chessington DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 11.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 11.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 12.12 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 13.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED. 13.11 Shepperton-Waterloo AXED. 13.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 19.50 Poole-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Eastleigh DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 22.05 Waterloo-Poole AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Southampton. 23.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking DUE TO DUFF TRAIN.
Thursday 01/05/08 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 06.23 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 95 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 14.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 35 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 67 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Twickenham. All intermediate stops of the 15.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo, after Norbiton, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. 15.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. All intermediate stops of the 16.03 Weybridge-Waterloo, after Staines, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 16.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.31 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo AXED between Waterloo and Twickenham. TERRIBLE EVENING DELAYS DUE TO A POWER SURGE AT WIMBLEDON – ONLY 5 DEPARTURES ADVERTISED AT WATERLOO AT ABOUT 17.00. FURTHER EVENING DELAYS DUE TO DUFF TRAIN AT WOOL. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 35 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 43 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Tisbury DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading AXED. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED. 19.05 Waterloo-Reading 40 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Ascot DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton THROWN OFF at Tisbury DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 20.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 22.35 Waterloo-Poole AXED.
Friday 02/05/08 Morning peak delays due to line problems in the Havant area. 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; passengers THROWN OFF at Guildford DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.20 Poole-Waterloo REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 07.53 Waterloo-Alton AXED between Waterloo and Woking DUE TO NO CREW. 12.46 Guildford-Waterloo 12 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Wimbledon AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Saturday 03/05/08 05.35 Salisbury-Eastleigh-Salisbury 40 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Eastleigh DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.25 Southampton-Weymouth 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 09.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 09.55 Poole-Eastleigh 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 12.52 Eastleigh-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 13.03 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 14.30 Guildford-Ascot 20 minutes late. 16.17/16.47/17.17/17.47/18.17/18.47 Barnes-Clapham Junction AXED. 16.32/17.02/17.32/18.02/18.32 Clapham Junction-Barnes AXED. 20.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.00 Guildford-Ascot AXED BEFORE 17.30 DUE TO NO CREW. 21.46 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 22.23 Ascot-Guildford AXED BEFORE 17.30 DUE TO NO CREW. 23.30 Guildford-Farnham AXED BEFORE 17.30 DUE TO NO CREW.
Sunday 04/05/08 07.27 Waterloo-Hampton Court 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 07.54 Waterloo-Weymouth severely delayed at Havant DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 08.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 79 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; passengers THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 09.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth delayed at Haslemere DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 09.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 35 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 09.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 43 minutes late. 10.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Havant AND REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Havant DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 11.31 Portsmouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 12.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 13.17 Guildford-Ascot 20 minutes late. 13.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 13.48 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Bournemouth. 14.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 15.13 Ascot-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 15.50 Basingstoke-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Fleet DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.52 Woking-Barnes 20 minutes late. All intermediate stops, after Woking, of the 16.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DELAY ARISING FROM DUFF TRAIN. 21.20 Guildford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 22.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Farnham.
Monday 05/05/08 06.28 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. Passengers on the 13.44 Alton Waterloo THROWN OFF at Farnham DUE TO NO CREW. Collapse of afternoon service between Dorking and Waterloo, and Guildford and Waterloo via Epsom, DUE TO A FATALITY AT Leatherhead. 15.08 Dorking-Waterloo expected to be 60 minutes late and the 15.38 30 minutes late. Many other services diverted.
Tuesday 06/05/08 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.58 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 08.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late. 13.39 Waterloo-Poole 50 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. Signalling problems at Winchester from early afternoon. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 15.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 15.39 Waterloo-Brockenhurst 16 minutes late. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 29 minutes late. 16.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 31 minutes late. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo 18 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.24 Basingstoke-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 45 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Dorchester DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.38 Winchester-Totton 23 minutes late. 16.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 51 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 52 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 50 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 41 minutes late. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 56 minutes late. 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton 55 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 60 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; passengers for intermediate stops between Southampton and Bournemouth THROWN OFF DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.11 Waterloo-Basingstoke 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.18 Waterloo-Haslemere 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 30 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Twickenham, except Richmond, Clapham Junction and Vauxhall, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.32 Waterloo-Guildford 17 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.39 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 19.05 Winchester-Southampton AXED. 19.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester. 19.42 Shepperton-Waterloo 10 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Kingston AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 20.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 25 minutes late. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton DUE TO NO CREW. 22.10 Weymouth-Eastleigh 21 minutes late. 22.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late.
Wednesday 07/05/08 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 14.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED via Havant. 16.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 48 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 16.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 50 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 16.24 Basingstoke-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.50 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.50 Poole-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 16.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.03 Weymouth-Waterloo DIVERTED via Havant DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.05 Romsey-Salisbury 25 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford 10 minutes late. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 42 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.20 Weymouth-Waterloo DIVERTED via Havant DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. Passengers on the 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth THROWN OFF at Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.45 Waterloo-Havant REDUCED TO 9 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.50 Poole-Waterloo 60 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED via Havant DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.03 Weymouth-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 48 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED via Havant and REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.16 Waterloo-Chessington REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.17 Southampton-Winchester AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.20 Weymouth-Waterloo delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.39 Waterloo-Poole 28 minutes late. 18.50 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late and DIVERTED via Havant. 19.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke delayed. 19.58 Waterloo-Windsor 15 minutes late. 20.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 33 minutes late. 20.44 Alton-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 21.39 Waterloo-Southampton 35 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops before Basingstoke AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Thursday 08/05/08 05.00 Poole-Waterloo 31 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Southampton Airport AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 29 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops before Woking AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.38 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 23 minutes late. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 19 minutes late, all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Barnes AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE.
Friday 09/05/08 07.24 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 17.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 18.39 Waterloo-Poole AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Saturday 10/05/08 06.15 Salisbury-Paignton 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 10.38 Guildford-Waterloo AXED between Guildford and Effingham Junction DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.52 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 10.58 Waterloo-Windsor 19 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Staines AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 11.34 Kingston-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 12.09 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late. 12.16 Waterloo-Chessington 16 minutes late. 12.20 Waterloo-Woking 18 minutes late. 12.24 Waterloo-Dorking 19 minutes late. 12.24 Waterloo-Kingston 21 minutes late. 13.23 Waterloo-Alton 16 minutes late. 13.24 Waterloo-Dorking 19 minutes late. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 13.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 23 minutes late. 13.39 Waterloo-Guildford 33 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Effingham Junction. 13.42 Waterloo-Kingston 16 minutes late. 13.46 Waterloo-Chessington 18 minutes late. 13.50 Waterloo-Woking 24 minutes late. 13.57 Waterloo-Kingston 21 minutes late. 14.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 14.20 Waterloo-Penzance 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.33 Woking-Waterloo 21 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Surbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.58 Waterloo-Windsor AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 15.08 Guildford-Waterloo AXED between Guildford and Effingham Junction. 16.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 20 minutes late. 20.33 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 20.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Wimbledon DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.39 Waterloo-Guildford AXED between Waterloo and Raynes Park DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Sunday 11/05/08 09.45 Alton-Waterloo 16 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Haslemere DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.50 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 22.00 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Monday 12/05/08 05.05 Eastleigh-Southampton AXED. All intermediate stops before Teddington of the 05.12 Waterloo-Shepperton AXED. 07.10 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 13 minutes late; stops at St Margaret’s, North Sheen, Mortlake, Barnes, Wandsworth Town and Queenstown Road AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 07.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 8 minutes late. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Farnham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 7 minutes late. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 21 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.18 Southampton-Winchester 10 minutes late. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 Coaches.
Tuesday 13/05/08 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 06.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Hounslow DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.38 Southampton-Waterloo 17 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 26 minutes late. Passengers on the 18.20 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Virginia Water DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.37 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. Passengers on the 19.20 Weymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.10 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Upwey. 21.55 Southampton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 23.05 Waterloo-Poole AXED between Waterloo and Woking.
Wednesday 14/05/08 08.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 7 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 28 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. Fatality and signalling problems affected afternoon Windsor lines services. 15.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 15.52 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED. 15.58 Waterloo-Winds0or 20 minutes late and AXED between Waterloo and Staines. 16.20 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late. 16.22 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED. 16.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED. 16.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed between Weybridge and Twickenham. 16.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED. 16.50 Waterloo-Reading 29 minutes late. 16.53 Windsor-Waterloo AXED. 16.58 Waterloo-Windsor AXED. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading 44 minutes late. 17.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 41 minutes late. 17.35 Waterloo-Reading diverted, with all stops from Richmond to Sunningdale inclusive AXED. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 30 minutes late; all intermediate stops from Barnes Bridge to Whitton inclusive AXED. 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton 45 minutes late. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 41 minutes late. 17.48 Plymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading 64 minutes late; diverted, with all stops from Richmond to Sunningdale inclusive AXED and passengers THROWN OFF at Wokingham. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor 30 minutes late; Putney and Richmond stops AXED. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot AXED between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter 18 minutes late. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading 61 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 18.52 Reading-Waterloo 45 minutes late.19.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 19.06 Shepperton-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 19.12 Reading-Waterloo 56 minutes late. 19.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 40 minutes late; all intermediate stops to Hounslow inclusive AXED. 19.23 Windsor-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 19.33 Waterloo-Guildford AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.35 Alton-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 19.37 Weybridge-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 19.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 19.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Bracknell and 15 minutes late. 19.42 Shepperton-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 19.53 Windsor-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Woking AXED. 19.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED. 20.03 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo 47 minutes late and AXED between Reading and Ascot. 20.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 20.23 Windsor-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 20.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 20 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Norbiton AXED. 20.37 Weybridge-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 20.46 Guildford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 20.50 Waterloo-Reading AXED. 21.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 21.53 Windsor-Waterloo AXED. Passengers on the 22.20 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Staines DUE TO NO CREW. 22.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED.
Thursday 15/05/08 07.20 Waterloo-Reading 9 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.55 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 16.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.56 Havant-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.30 Waterloo-Epsom REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.43 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.54 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 21.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Twickenham DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Friday 16/05/08 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading delayed at Clapham Junction DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 17.37 Weybridge-Waterloo 29 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.07 Weybridge-Waterloo 11 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Barnes AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading 30 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.50 Waterloo-Reading 19 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 20.42 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot. 21.36 Portsmouth-Southampton AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Saturday 17/05/08 06.55 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 08.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 09.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 11.15/11.24/11.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED via Cobham. 11.53 Windsor-Waterloo 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.22 Basingstoke-Poole 36 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops between Basingstoke and Southampton Central AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. All trains between Eastleigh and Romsey CANCELLED, from the 16.48 service from Salisbury, DUE TO EMERGENCY ENGINEERING WORK; SWT’S WEBSITE SHOWED THE TRUNCATED ROMSEY-SALISBURY SERVICES AS TERMINATING, RATHER THAN STARTING AT EASTLEIGH, AND AS NOT STOPPING AT THE STATIONS AT WHICH THEY WERE STOPPING! 17.12 Poole-Basingstoke AXED between Poole and Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 19.54 Portsmouth-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 22.00 Basingstoke-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 22.20 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Sunday 18/05/08 06.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth DUE TO NO CREW. 08.00 Farnham-Waterloo AXED between Farnham and Aldershot DUE TO NO CREW. 07.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; Brockenhurst and New Milton stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 09.45 Waterloo-Alton AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 11.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 13.35 Southampton-Portsmouth 25 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 13.57 Waterloo-Hampton Court delayed DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.35 Southampton-Portsmouth 30 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops before Fareham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.42 Portsmouth-Southampton 30 minutes late. Passengers on the 14.45 Alton-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Woking DUE TO NO CREW. 15.28 Southampton-Winchester AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 15.42 Portsmouth-Southampton 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Fratton and Fareham AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.48 Waterloo-Shepperton DIVERTED to Surbiton. 16.08 Winchester-Poole delayed DUE TO NO CREW; eventually AXED between Winchester and Eastleigh, and between Bournemouth and Poole, and ran 38 minutes late. 16.26 Eastleigh-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 16.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; Woking and Clapham Junction stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 16.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 17.26 Eastleigh-Portsmouth AXED. 19.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 22.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED DUE TO NO CREW.
Monday 19/05/08 05.05 Waterloo-Reading ‘delayed’ DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.55 Poole-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.19 Woking-Portsmouth 23 minutes late. 06.42 Exeter-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 06.55 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES. 07.11 Havant-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.20 Waterloo-Exeter 17 minutes late. 13.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 13.39 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 13.50 Poole-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 13.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 14.48 Salisbury-Romsey 23 minutes late. 14.53 Waterloo-Alton 15 minutes late. 15.00 Guildford-Ascot 30 minutes late. 15.05 Romsey-Salisbury 25 minutes late. 15.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.23 Ascot-Guildford 12 minutes late. 15.30 Guildford-Ascot 15 minutes late. 16.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late DUE TO WRONGLY COUPLED UNITS. 18.05 Romsey-Salisbury 26 minutes late. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton REDUCED TO 9 COACHES. 18.35 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Woking DUE TO NO CREW.
Tuesday 20/05/08 04.58 Guildford-Waterloo ‘delayed’ by overrunning engineering work. 05.00 Portsmouth-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 05.48 Dorking-Waterloo advertised as POSSIBLY AXED between Dorking and Leatherhead or Epsom! 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo AXED. 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Fratton. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 08.50 Waterloo-Salisbury AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Southampton. Passengers on the 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Eastleigh.
Wednesday 21/05/08 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 00.40 Woking-Alton AXED. 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.11 Shepperton-Waterloo DIVERTED to New Malden. 06.20 Waterloo-Guildford 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.42 Waterloo-Shepperton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.41 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 09.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 15 minutes late. 10.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Guildford DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 10.15 Waterloo-Haslemere DIVERTED via Cobham. 11.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth called additionally at Clapham Junction; Farnborough stop AXED to compensate. 11.20 Waterloo-Yeovil AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.09 Waterloo-Guildford 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Effingham Junction and Guildford AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. All intermediate stops of the 18.11 Shepperton-Waterloo, from Kingston to Clapham Junction, AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.23 Guildford-Ascot AXED. 20.53 Ascot-Guildford 23 minutes late. 22.00 Guildford-Ascot AXED. 23.23 Ascot-Farnham AXED.
Thursday 22/05/08 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 06.12 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.12 Reading-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.05 Portsmouth-Basingstoke AXED between Portsmouth and Fareham, and reduced to one coach, DUE TO DUFF STOCK [AS SWT HAS NO SINGLE COACH UNITS THIS WAS PRESUMABLY A LONGER TRAIN WITH ONLY ONE COACH IN SERVICEABLE CONDITION]. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo REDUCED to 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking REDUCED to 4 COACHES. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading REDUCED TO 4 COACHES.
Friday 23/05/08 Passengers on the 00.05 Waterloo-Bournemouth THROWN OFF at Southampton. 21.54 Basingstoke-Eastleigh 6 minutes late.
Saturday 24/05/08 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton 15 minutes late. 12.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED between Basingstoke and Woking DUE TO NO CREW. 14.39 Waterloo-Poole 32 minutes late. 14.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Farnham. 14.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 15.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 15.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Farnham. 15.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED between Waterloo and Woking. 15.52 Bristol-Salisbury 15 minutes late. 16.05 Romsey-Salisbury 15 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo DIVERTED. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED. 18.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED between Portsmouth and Eastleigh. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED. 19.14 Paignton-Basingstoke 18 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 20.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 23.39 Waterloo-Southampton AXED between Waterloo and Basingstoke.
Sunday 25/05/08 Passengers on the 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton THROWN OFF at Winchester. 13.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 13.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.06 Plymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
Monday 26/05/08 FLOODING COINCIDED WITH STAGECOACH’S NOTORIOUS BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND CREW SHORTAGES 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo DIVERTED via Chandlers Ford. 06.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED via Cobham. Passengers on the 06.50 Waterloo-Reading THROWN OFF at Staines DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 07.38 Southampton-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 08.22 Southampton-Poole AXED between Southampton and Redbridge. 08.42 Southampton-Portsmouth AXED between Southampton and St Denys. 08.25 Exeter-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 08.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 09.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 10.35 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED. 11.05 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED. 11.35 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED. 12.05 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED. 12.05 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED. 14.48 Salisbury-Romsey AXED. 15.05 Romsey-Salisbury AXED. 15.48 Salisbury-Romsey AXED. 16.05 Romsey-Salisbury 19 minutes late and AXED between Romsey and Eastleigh. 16.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED. 17.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 16 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.20 Waterloo-Yeovil THROWN OFF at Salisbury DUE TO NO CREW. 17.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Southampton. 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 30 minutes late from Salisbury DUE TO NO CREW. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 24 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Waterloo AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.50 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor 22 mi9nutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth AXED. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late and AXED between Waterloo and Southampton. 20.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 16 minutes late.
Tuesday 27/05/08 06.42 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 13.39 Waterloo-Poole 11 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 14.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 14.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops between Haslemere and Guildford AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.53 Windsor-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 15.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 11 minutes late and REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK; all intermediate stops between Woking and Surbiton AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.25 Waterloo-Alton REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.05 Romsey-Salisbury 12 minutes late. 18.11 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.22 Waterloo-Weybridge REDCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter 11 minutes late. 20.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth delayed by fatality. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 21.20 Waterloo-Yeovil 61 minutes late. Woking stop of the 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth AXED. 22.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo AXED. 22.30 Southampton-Waterloo AXED.
Wednesday 28/05/08 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth ‘delayed’; Earlsfield stop AXED. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 09.44 Alton-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 16.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 39 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Dorchester. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 28 minutes late. 16.39 Waterloo-Guildford REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth 30 minutes late. 16.50 Poole-Waterloo 23 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 32 minutes late. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUETO NO CREW. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke REDUCED TO 4 COACHES REDUCED TO DUFF STOCK. 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late. 19.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 13 minutes late. Passengers on the 19.12 Reading-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Winnersh Triangle DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 19.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester. 19.25 Waterloo-Alton 11 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 19.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 11 minutes late. 19.42 Reading-Waterloo 14 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 21.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo ‘delayed’ at Clapham Junction DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Thursday 29/05/08 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth 26 minutes late; all stops before Southampton Central AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 06.23 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo REDUCED TO 9 COACHES, INCLUDING A 4-COACH SUBURBAN UNIT. 07.12/07.42/08.42/09.12 Reading-Waterloo DIVERTED via Hounslow. 07.32 Woking-Waterloo REDUCED TO 8 COACHES. 07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 07.50/08.07/08.20/08.37/08.50 Waterloo-Reading DIVERTED via Hounslow. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 08.53 Windsor-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES. 15.56 Havant-Waterloo 10 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. Passengers on the 16.05 Waterloo-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Southampton DUE TO DUFF STOCK. SWT’S WEBSITE REFERRED TO FLOODING BETWEEN YEOVIL AND HONITON AS AN OBSTRUCTION ON THE LINE : MADE TO SOUND MORE LIKE VANDALISM THAN POOR DRAINAGE: 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter 81 minutes late; passengers on the 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton and 20.20 Waterloo-Exeter THROWN OFF at Yeovil. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke 20 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 18 minutes late. 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Poole 14 minutes late. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 18.43 Waterloo-Shepperton THROWN OFF at Strawberry Hill. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 27 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Hounslow and Barnes AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. Passengers on the 18.45 Salisbury-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Basingstoke. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading 33 minutes late; passengers THROWN OFF at Ascot. 19.20 Weymouth-Waterloo AXED between Weymouth and Dorchester. 20.50 Waterloo-Reading ‘delayed’ at Ascot. 22.12 Reading-Waterloo AXED between Reading and Ascot.
Friday 30/05/08 05.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth DIVERTED with Earlsfield stop AXED. 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 05.12 Waterloo-Shepperton DIVERTED with Earlsfield stop AXED. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 06.42 Exeter-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 13.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; stops at Hamworthy, Holton Heath, Wool, Moreton and Upwey AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 14.15 Alton-Waterloo 19 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 14.35 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 14.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 14.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 14.53 Waterloo-Alton DIVERTED via Guildford DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 15.15 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Woking DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 15.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 15.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Woking DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 15.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo REDUCED TO 4 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 16.03 Weymouth-Waterloo REDUCED TO 5 COACHES DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 17.44 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Farnham DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading 40 minutes late; stops at Clapham Junction, Richmond, Twickenham, Feltham, Martins Heron, Winnersh, Winnersh Triangle and Earley AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.01 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 24 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW; all intermediate stops between Kingston and Waterloo AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 40 minutes late; Winchester and Woking stops AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 18.05 Waterloo-Aldershot 20 minutes late DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.14 Alton-Waterloo AXED between Alton and Aldershot DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.20 Weymouth-Waterloo 40 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Bournemouth and Brockenhurst AXED DUE TO OPERATIONAL CONVENIENCE. 19.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke 38 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. Passengers on the 18.39 Waterloo-Poole THROWN OFF at Southampton DUE TO NO CREW. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.52 Reading-Ascot AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 18.52 Waterloo-Weybridge AXED DUE TO DUFF TRAIN. 19.03 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Weymouth REDUCED TO A 4-COACH SUBURBAN TRAIN DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 20.39 Waterloo-Southampton 12 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late DUE TO NO CREW. 22.05 Waterloo-Poole 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
Saturday 31/05/08 Passengers on the 06.25 Southampton-Weymouth THROWN OFF at Bournemouth. 07.06 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Brockenhurst. 08.40 Poole-Waterloo AXED between Poole and Bournemouth. 13.10 Bristol-Waterloo AXED between Bristol and Salisbury. 14.20 Waterloo-Penzance 35 minutes late. Passengers on the 14.50 Plymouth-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Honiton. 17.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 12 minutes late DUE TO DUFF STOCK. 17.30 Honiton-Paignton 31 minutes late. 17.40 Exeter-Axminster AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo22 minutes late. 18.23 Axminster-Exeter AXED DUE TO NO CREW. 19.14 Paignton-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. Passengers on the 22.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo THROWN OFF at Clapham Junction (on the outward journey!) DUE TO DUFF STOCK.
MEDIA NEWS AND COMMENT
Saturday 22/03/08 – BUS DISCONTENT A focus group has been set up to represent Marchwood residents after vital services through the village were cut by Solent Blue Line without consultation. Many residents now have no Sunday service, and no service on other days after 6pm. Hampshire County Council stepped in with temporary funding and is about to send out invitations for re-tendering.(Lymington Times)
[The case for restoration of train services to Marchwood and Hythe must be greater than the case at Chandler’s Ford, where a station has actually opened. Marchwood is a military port and Hythe is the largest centre in Hampshire that is remote from passenger train services (Gosport is linked by ferry with Portsmouth Harbour station), a position not helped by Stagecoach’s huge downgrade of services from the Hythe area’s natural railhead at Totton.
Monday 14/04/08 – RENTING IS NOW CHEAPER THAN COMMUTING Anyone can now afford a pied-a-terre in London. A studio flat in zone 2 can be had for as little as £40 a week, whilst commuting from towns such as Brighton and Reading can cost twice that amount. A studio flat in Paddington (zone 1) was recently advertised for £80 a week including bills. (Metro)
Tuesday 15/04/08 – BIDDING FOR NEW HIGH-SPEED TRAINS HITS BUFFERS The bidding process for £4 billion fleet of new high-speed trains on the East Coast, Midland and Great Western lines has had to be extended. One of the three bidders has pulled out and bids are now expected by 30 June rather than 7 May. The problem is that DfT has specified a design which will be lighter and greener than the existing fleet but which can run on electricity and diesel. This means the trains will always bear the weight of two traction engines while one will always be out of use. (Guardian)
[Significantly, by the beginning of June Transport Secretary Ruth Kelly had steered DfT thinking towards all-electric public transport.]
Thursday 17/04/08 – SWT TRAIN KILLS DOG WALKER A 66-year-old dog walker was killed by a train on SWT’s Windsor branch when she slipped on a road crossing, trapping her ankle. (Guardian)
Thursday 17/04/08 – SNP UNDER FIRE OVER EXTENSION OF SCOTRAIL FRANCHISE Labour MSPs are unhappy that Scottish ministers have extended First Group’s Scotrail franchise from 2011 to 2014, saying there is no need or advantage in doing so and proper consultation procedures have not been followed. (Glasgow Evening Times)
[Private Eye of 02/05/08 notes that, when the SNP was in opposition, shadow transport minister Kenny MacAskill said, “It’s time to take our train network back into public hands. This will remove the profit element …. and allow all our money to be used to maintain and enhance the network instead of disappearing into the pockets of shareholders. The Tories’ privatisation has been an unmitigated disaster, both in terms of service to the customer and cost to the taxpayer”. Private Eye argues that the ‘spineless’ SNP has ducked the opportunity to lead the way to renationalizing Britain’s railways. In April, First Group was fined £132,000 for poor performance on its First Scotland East buses; its rail fares in the Strathclyde area rose by 4.9% and the fares cap imposed as a condition of its takeover of Strathclyde buses was removed.]
Thursday 17/04/08 – HOPES TO MOVE LYMINGTON FERRY TERMINAL Plans have been unveiled to create a new ferry terminal at Pennington Marshes. This would accommodate the larger ferries which Wightlink has procured but which are being been opposed by other users of the Lymington river. A bus link would be provided to Lymington station. (Southern Daily Echo)
[This would clearly lead to closure of the rail line from Lymington Town to Lymington Pier. And it is difficult to see the sense of buses taking ferry passengers to Lymington Town station to transfer into ancient carriages for the short run to Brockenhurst on the main line. The Lymington branch would probably be doomed unless direct train services beyond Brockenhurst were introduced.]
Friday 18/04/08 – CROYDON TRAMLINK / RAIL VERSUS AIR Nine months after the collapse of most of the Government’s public-private partnership on London Underground, Croydon’s tram network is being bought out by Transport for London for £98 million. Such concessions normally last 30 years, but Tramtrack Croydon’s was for a ludicrous 99 years. Within ten years it was obvious the network would need expansion, but Tramtrack Croydon refused to do anything to meet increasing demand. So the system could have stayed in a 1996 time capsule until 2095. // More than 3 years after Alistair Darling acknowledged the need to “consider” a new high speed line for Britain, Ruth Kelly has announced that detailed work on options will start next year. These could include electrification or a new high-speed line. Such projects would strengthen rail’s competitive and environmental advantages over short-haul air routes, but Mrs Kelly said such rail projects would be taken forward only if they compare well with other transport options. Last November, a consultation exercise made clear the government’s desire for a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow. No cross-modal comparisons there! (Private Eye)
Thursday 24/04/08 and Monday 28/04/08 – FARES SHAKE-UP Rail fares will in future all be known as ‘Advance’, ‘Off-peak’ or ‘Anytime’. This is being marketed as a simplification, but it’s far from clear whether fares will change much in practice. Passenger Focus, the Government’s passenger watchdog has criticised the hefty £10 administration charge passengers face if they need to change their travel arrangements after booking an Advance ticket. And a passenger comments, “From [SWT’s] website, I gather we will still have peak fares until 9.30 am, then slightly reduced fares from 9.30 to 11.30, and then actual off-peak fares from 11.30 onwards”. Season tickets and Oyster cards are not affected. (Evening Standard and National Rail leaflet)
Friday 25/04/08 – MIXED MESSAGES FROM SIEMENS Siemens [noted for Stagecoach’s spartan Desiro trains, Portsmouth re-signalling delays, problematic Combino trams, and malfunctioning Vancouver bus departure screens] seem to be canny folk. A high profile advertising scheme to seduce the chattering classes includes double-page adverts on the front of the right-wing Spectator and left-wing New Statesman. The Spectator adverts features a huge array of cars on a factory forecourt with the message, ‘How can you manufacture customized products at affordable prices? The Siemens answer: The digital factory… Answers for industry’. A similar advert in the New Statesman features a rich blue sea, with wind-powered turbines and the message, ‘How can you power a planet hungry for electricity without damaging it? The Siemens Answer: Efficient energy supply…Answers for the environment’. (Evening Standard)
Saturday 26/04/08 - NO ANNIVERSARY STEAM TRAIN FOR LYMINGTON Stagecoach has dampened hopes that the Brockenhurst-Lymington branch will see a steam train to mark its 150th anniversary. (Lymington Times)
[Presumably clapped-out slam-door electrics are considered heritage enough.]
Tuesday 29/04/08 – NEW STATION FOR CHELSEA Funding for Imperial Wharf station on the Clapham Junction-Willesden Junction line has been approved and the station should open in 2010. (The London Paper)
[Opening of Shepherds Bush station on the same line has been delayed until mid-October, due to having been initially constructed with an excessively narrow platform.]
Monday 12/05/08 – ANGER OVER ‘PHANTOM’ CUT PRICE TICKETS The Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association (TSSA) says that rail companies are deliberately misleading passengers about cheap fares. It claims that National Express East Coast advertised low-price advance tickets for July 17, 18 and 21 for £15.70, but none was available when they went on sale a fortnight ago. These so-called deals were a mirage aimed at luring in customers and then forcing them to pay higher fares. National Express denied the claims. The General Secretary of TSSA called on Ruth Kelly to force rail companies to publish the exact percentage of low-price seats on offer to customers. (Guardian)
Friday 16/05/08 – LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND RAILWAYS Labour’s defeats in the local government elections will make no difference on the railways, where central government has unprecedented control. In mainland Europe, influence over local trains has been devolved and many French cities have built tram systems. When the Times pointed out that the road system was growing 15 times faster than rail, a DfT spokesman said that local authorities can fund line re-openings if they believe this is the best way of addressing local transport issues. Yet a local authority scheme to reopen the Oxford-Cambridge line hit a government brick wall despite the fact that the route had the potential to relieve congestion in Greater London. Local government took tram schemes for Leeds, Liverpool and Portsmouth through drawing board planning stages before central government blocked them because of rising costs, while road schemes proceeded despite rocketing costs. In France, Lyon’s tram system was planned and built in 4 years. Six years ago extensions to Nottingham’s tram system were approved by councillors only to be mired in government assessment procedures. In 2005, central government legislated to stop transport authorities in the main cities of the Midlands and North from having a formal say in new rail franchises. They became so frustrated by rail industry bureaucracy and government apathy that they abandoned their programmes for building new stations. Despite big increases in rail passengers around Leeds and other cities, DfT threw out proposals for the Northern rail franchise to introduce new commuter trains. Franchise specifications are drawn up in Whitehall by people who don’t understand or don’t care about local travel patterns. There were more than 9,000 responses (mostly protests) to the ‘greater western’ specification, which ran roughshod over the work of south-west councils to increase rail travel. Some branch lines lost their entire train service as the new franchise floundered. Ivybridge station was built by local councils in 1994. DfT civil servants slashed its services after custom rose 105% in 4 years. In BR days, local authorities had constructive relationships with local rail managers. Although the Labour government abhors new railways outside London, Scotland and Wales, some local authorities want to safeguard disused routes. The Peak District national park authority wanted to preserve Woodhead tunnel, one of the few in Britain big enough to accommodate lorries on rail wagons. National Grid plans include putting power cables through the tunnel, but the government refuses to intervene because reopening the former Sheffield-Manchester electrified route does not feature in its 20-year regional plan. Of course it doesn’t when (i) government transport planning is based on the prediction that oil will cost $20-$50 a barrel from 2010 to 2020 (it hit $122 last week and could climb to $200) and (ii) reopening would undermine the government’s bungled attempts at a public inquiry to justify a proposed 3-mile bypass road near the Woodhead tunnel, estimated in 2007 to cost £184m, more than double its £90m price tag in 2004. (Private Eye)
Monday 19/05/08 – TRAVEL TO WORK TAKES 5 YEARS The average London commuter spends more than 5 years of life travelling to and from work. This is based on an average commute of 54 minutes a day. The 10% who spend 2 hours a day travelling will use up 12 years of their life, equivalent to all their childhood. This is based on a 7.5 hour working day and 240-day working year. (Metro)
Monday 19/05/08 – TRAIN TICKETS SIMPLIFIED The biggest shake-up of ticketing in years began on Britain’s railways yesterday, with the scrapping of a legion of differently named fares. Despite the change, SWT was still advertising a raft of options on its website. An Advance ticket can be bought up to the day before travel but will change price depending on how early it is booked. From September, tickets bought on the day of travel will be of two types, Offpeak and Anytime. Cat Hobbs of the Campaign for Better Travel argued that fares should be made cheaper: Rail produces four times less carbon than cars and seven times less than trains. If the Government wants to reduce carbon emissions from transport, it needs to encourage people to use trains. (Metro)
[BBC TV reported that SWT had raised some long-distance fares by 7%. Capitalism based on greed indeed. The Evening Standard of 20/05/08 reported that there were also some massive increases – up to 135% - on London Overground services, though these could be avoided by using Oyster cards.]
Saturday 24/05/08 – BUS FIRMS FACE HUGE FINES Solent Blue Line and First buses can expect to be fined £90,000 and £229,000 respectively for early, late or cancelled buses in Hampshire. Bosses blamed traffic congestion, road works, illegally parked cars, and even slow passengers as reasonable excuses for delays.
Friday 30/05/08 – DIRECTOR OF RAIL SAFETY AT THE OFFICE OF RAIL REGULATION Ian Prosser has been appointed Director of Rail Safety at the ORR, which stated that he had spent 26 years in “safety critical industries” and entered the rail industry 8 years ago when he joined Amey Rail. The ORR is familiar with Amey Rail, one of Network Rail’s engineering contractors. In September 2006, the ORR announced Amey had been fined £300,000 for the derailment of a train travelling through Southall at 120mph. The train continued for 2 miles, over a viaduct and past an oncoming train. That was in 2002, when Mr Prosser was Amey’s Technical Director. (Private Eye)
STOP PRESS – STAGECOACH PLANNING HUGE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND SECURITY CUTS ON SWT
* During the first week of June, BBC local TV exposed an internal document confirming that SWT was planning huge cuts in booking office opening hours, with many more stations staffed for only short periods on weekdays and unstaffed at weekends. Obviously this will mean a huge downgrade of customer service and security.
* SWT may argue that this will simply formalize what they do most of the time anyway. For example, the booking office at Totton station, which serves the fourth largest town between Southampton and Weymouth, was open only on Monday and Tuesday during the week the cuts were leaked. Our Totton commuter’s diary shows that this is nothing unusual.
* Oddly, the specifications for the next Southern franchise require many stations to be staffed for longer hours. It will be interesting to see whether DfT will allow SWT passengers to suffer further downgrades on SWT to boost the Stagecoach founders’ vast wealth.
As always, thanks to everyone who has been kind enough to contact us. Without your support and input, this newsletter would not be possible.