HOGRIDER 95 : DECEMBER 2003
SOUTH HAMPSHIRE RAIL USERS' GROUP NEWSLETTER
STRESS WEST TRAINS: ARE THEY DAMAGING YOUR HEALTH?
SWT SLASHES NUMBER OF NEW COACHES BY OVER 25 PER CENT
HALF TERM HELL: CHILDREN IN SECOND SWT TRAIN FIRE OF THE DAY
A SWT SERVICE WHICH SHOULD MAKE EVERY TAXPAYER SICK
FIVE HOUR HELL JOURNEY FROM WATERLOO TO SOUTHAMPTON
A WHOLE EVENING OF HELL
SRA / SWT RELATIONS DETRIMENTAL TO PASSENGERS'INTERESTS?
NEW CHANDLERS FORD STATION: COUNTY COUNCIL SUCCESS
RAIL PASSENGERS COMMITTEE MEETING AT GILLINGHAM
RAIL USERS' REPORTS
SWT JOBS ADVERT
MODERATING THE LANGUAGE OF FAILURE-2
CAUTIONARY TALES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
HOGRIDER PRESS RESEARCH
STRESS WEST TRAINS: ARE THEY DAMAGING YOUR HEALTH?
The all-party House of Commons Transport Committee - arguably one of the last bastions of objective discussion of rail issues - has produced a damning report on the private rail operators' failure to address overcrowding. They have identified two risks to passengers: first stress, and secondly injury from overcrowding itself, and the potentially increased risk which overcrowding would present in the event of an accident.
Starting with the second risk, it is fortunate that major accidents are rare, but smaller incidents can rapidly escalate. The risk was neatly illustrated by a guard being unable to reach passengers - including many children - in the second train fire of the day on SWT on 28 October 2003. This fire, like the first, happened on the Winchester-Basingstoke section, which has no less than 4 deep tunnels under the South Downs. Luckily, both incidents were confined to the buffet cars filling with choking smoke. But there's no smoke without fire, and the strong wind currents when passing through tunnels at speed could potentially have had a bellows effect.
The ever-present risk is from stress. Commuting can be a stressful lifestyle, even when everything is OK but, on SWT, everything rarely is OK. The Evening Standard of 16 October reported how a commuter's heart rate soared when buying a ticket, jostling for platform space and standing in a packed carriage. It would be interesting to conduct a similar experiment on SWT. A few things which we suspect could increase heart rate or cause injury:
· Long queues at the ticket offices at Waterloo and sometimes at stations like Southampton Central (however much time people allow to get to a station, delays can occur and they may need quick service if they are not to miss their train);
· Boarding a train without a ticket in desperation at the long ticket queue, and then finding that the guard's first announcement starts with the threat of penalty fares;
· Problems with ticket machines - for example because they won't accept particular notes or coins, because the passenger doesn't understand the difference between a rail card and a travel card, or because the machine doesn't provide the flat £1 rate for children which applies with some rail cards;
· Difficulties in getting information. The screens at Waterloo are badly sited, and can be difficult to access when delays cause crush conditions on the concourse. It would be much more comfortable for passengers to spread along individual platforms, but it is often impossible to get information about where trains will arrive and depart;
· Not telling people in advance that a train is going to be half-length when the arrival platform is announced. This causes a panic surge along the platform;
· Difficulty in getting information when waiting to meet people off trains. The indicators at Waterloo often fail to display late arrival times, and sometimes even spread confusion by referring to late arrival times as 'due times';
· Uncertainty. SWT likes to blame Network Rail for its consistently bad performance, but its own website weakens that excuse by listing large numbers of delays and cancellations due to duff rolling stock and driver shortage. Lateness and overcrowding go hand-in-hand, because late trains are boarded by people turning up for later services. Passengers are unlikely to wait for their intended train as that will probably be late too;
· It is very annoying for regular commuters to find near-daily posters at Waterloo listing trains that are shortened in length due to 'unit maintenance' when the problem is shown on the SWT website as defective stock or rolling stock shortage;
· The reduction of services on SWT is having catastrophic effects for passengers. The frequent delays, shortened trains, and cancellations continue, but this is now against a background of fewer services and seats overall. So overcrowding can spread outside the London peaks and passengers can suffer huge delays - very stressful if their travel is urgent. All too often there are problems with successive services, and delays are magnified;
· Suppose you are stressed and want to relax on SWT's long-distance services between Waterloo and Weymouth. You may go to the centre coach of a Wessex Electric unit. This is the quiet area where people are asked not to use mobile phones. You quickly find that it is also the coach with a 1600hp motor beneath the floor, which starts and accelerates with a huge roar and gives what is surely one of the roughest rides on the railway system. Good place to have the quiet area?
· But this is just the start. As GNER - who have probably the best reputation for customer service - noted when they bid for the SWT franchise, under Stagecoach SWT is a bleak, operations-driven railway. So trains are terminated short of destination and stations are omitted to 'recover' services after delays. But do stressed commuters' heart rates increase when they are focused on getting to work or getting home, only to be thrown off their trains for operational convenience?
· Omission of stops is likely to cause the greatest stress for vulnerable people, such as those who are elderly or disabled. (See second item on 'cautionary tales for senior citizens'; a New Malden senior citizen returning from a local journey to Richmond found herself in the middle of the evening peak crush at Waterloo due to stops being omitted without prior warning - she was then sent back in a train which didn't serve her destination);
· Then there is the fact that so many journeys rely on connections. Huge numbers of journeys are involved, and passengers can become very stressed when they are delayed on one train wondering whether their connection will be held. What we see time and time again is that SWT doesn't recognise connections. A good example is that westbound connections from Southampton Central, instead of waiting for passengers off trains from London, will depart on time and wait along the track for the train from London to overtake. This does not reduce delays for the trains, but it can increase them significantly for passengers. SWT will always claim to be customer-focused, but note the following two incidents:
Saturday 8 November A couple had a journey of well over two hours from London to Southampton on the 15.45 Waterloo-Weymouth because of engineering work. The train reached Southampton Central at 17.57 and they were just in time to see the 17.57 to Totton depart, to stand at signals down the line for the 15.45 to overtake. One of the couple then asked to speak to the station supervisor and had the following conversation:
Passenger: "Why wasn't the Totton train held, please?"
Supervisor: "It's not our policy to hold trains."
Passenger: "Yes, but you could have held it."
Supervisor: "It's not our policy to hold trains."
Passenger: "Yes, but you could have held it."
Supervisor: "It's not our policy to hold trains."
Imagine the passenger's heart rate when having that conversation with someone showing all the flexibility and helpfulness of a brick wall.
But for sheer lack of customer focus, the following incident takes a lot of beating:
Wednesday 19 November Passengers are awaiting at Southampton Central for the 13.57 to Totton. The dot matrix screens on platform 4 show it as the first departure from that platform. The summary screens also show it as departing from platform 4. The train runs into platform 3 and passengers disembark. A member of SWT staff on platform 3 glances at the dot matrix screen on that platform, which shows that the first train should be a terminating service. There is no announcement on either platform, and the train leaves empty for Totton. The service then disappears from all the screens where it was shown. There is then no service to Totton until the 14.19. This arrives 15 minutes late and departs 20 minutes late. The further delay is to allow the rear unit (which should presumably have arrived as the cancelled 12.45 from Waterloo) to be uncoupled. Totton passengers are now 40 minutes late after experiencing a sensational lack of customer focus. Rather stressful?
And this interesting incident, being discussed by three women on the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth on 9 October, probably didn't help the heart rate of the woman involved. As overheard: their friend was travelling on the line to a business meeting. Two senior colleagues on the same train were travelling first class. They asked her to join them for a pre-meeting discussion, on the basis that the employer would pay the difference in her fare when the conductor appeared. Revenue protection officers arrived first and she was arrested, marched off the train, and "had the riot act read to her".
It seems unnecessary to speculate on the effects on heart rates of overcrowded carriages filled with choking smoke, and swift evacuations. But smoke or no smoke, the term you hear time and time again, when passengers are talking into their mobile phones on late, overcrowded trains is "nightmare". A nightmare is a rather frightening event, outside life's normal experience, from which you escape with huge relief. So, in many instances, it does seem an entirely appropriate epithet for travel on SWT.
As Private Eye notes, when you see a rail company with a poor performance record and buoyant profits, it is clear where the focus is. Or as Stagecoach Chairman, Brian Souter, once said "Ethics are not irrelevant, but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed"?
SWT SLASHES NUMBER OF NEW COACHES BY OVER 25 PER CENT
About the last surviving commitment of Stagecoach's new SWT franchise was 785 new Desiro coaches to replace ancient Mark I stock. Lots of hype about Britain's biggest-ever train order (which was even referred to as 785 new trains until the Advertising Standards Authority stepped in) despite the fact that Stagecoach is only to hire the coaches.
Now it is reported (Rail News November 2003) that the order will be reduced by 120 coaches (that's exactly equal to the Wessex Electric fleet). It is also reported that Stagecoach will return the 120 new class 458 coaches which have been introduced on the Reading and Alton lines (that's exactly equal to a second Wessex Electric fleet). So a total of 905 new coaches will be reduced to 665, a reduction of over 26%.
Increasing capacity to meet rising demand was a central objective of the new SWT franchise, and the prospect for peak-time travel is now truly horrendous.
SWT appeared to score an own goal on 22 November. Engineering work meant that the journey time for the hourly Waterloo-Southampton trains was extended to 2hr 20min. Nevertheless, the services were formed of 8 coaches of new outer-suburban Desiro stock with no buffet service, leading to a lot of passenger dissatisfaction.
A 12-coach outer-suburban Desiro train - according to Barry Doe's article in 'Rail' No. 475 - will have 100 fewer seats than a corresponding train of the slam-door stock which it replaces, despite retaining narrow 2 and 3 aside seating. It is now reported that SWT will rip seats out of ex-BR suburban stock on the dubious basis that passengers don't like 2 and 3 aside seating.
Hardly appears joined-up and strategic! Time for the SRA to impose a passenger-focused strategy?
HALF TERM HELL: CHILDREN IN SECOND SWT TRAIN FIRE OF THE DAY
The October half term is always a popular time for day trips. Tuesday 28 October was a beautiful Autumn day with blue sky and golden sunshine. In the evening peak large numbers of children were returning from trips to London.
The 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth train was packed, with many passengers standing in the aisles. As the train approached Micheldever, the buffet steward called for the guard to come to the rear buffet. Repeated calls were made but the guard did not appear. He eventually got to within two coaches of the buffet and told a passenger that he couldn't get further because of the overcrowding and passengers pushing through the aisles to escape the choking smoke.
With that, a member of the public called desperately on the tannoy that it was a serious situation and all passengers must evacuate the smoked filled buffet - the train was on fire.
The train continued through the tunnels deep beneath the South Downs and was brought to a stand at Winchester. An announcement on the train was made for all passengers to evacuate immediately. Huge confusion because the station tannoy was still announcing the calling pattern as if nothing had happened. Passengers were evacuated and stood on the platform. SWT employees then ordered them all to leave the station.
This infuriated some passengers. There are no emergency exits at Winchester and there were literally hundreds of people on the platform. The first rule of safety procedures is not to go back into the danger area, but the fire was in the rear buffet car and this was opposite the only exit from the platform. Passengers had to file past the fire and, the exit being narrow, took some time to get out. A passenger with first aid training considered that the responsible decision would have been to ask passengers from the front of the train to wait at the south end of the platform - it was safe there - and let the passengers at the north end off the platform first. It is basic knowledge that you should always take people away from the danger and never towards it.
The fire brigade arrived in six minutes and four tenders were summoned, plus police and fire officer vehicle. The incident was dealt with in about 30 minutes. The train was then sent empty to Eastleigh. Many following trains were badly delayed. Evacuated passengers had to join the delayed 17.45 from Waterloo and got home almost an hour late.
There was more misery on the 18.05 from Waterloo. This was reduced from 10 to 5 coaches because of duff rolling stock. Parents and children moved through the train desperately looking for seats until the aisles were too full for them to move any further. Many stood squashed in vestibules or sat on the filthy carpet. People had huge difficulty in reaching toilets. If there had been a similar fire on this train it is difficult to know how passengers could have moved away from the danger area.
On the same day, passengers on the 08.43 Poole-Waterloo had to be evacuated at Basingstoke, also because the buffet car had filled with smoke. SWT was slated in the Southern Daily Echo of 7 November. Their response was that the morning incident was to do with the electrics and the evening incident with the air-conditioning, and that steps had been taken to help ensure that such incidents do not recur. But regular passengers know that there have been a fair number of previous incidents on SWT, and the overcrowding which the company has failed to address (it has just heavily reduced its promised new train fleet) naturally increases the risks of harm to passengers.
SWT has since announced that the evening incident was due to cigarette ash in the air-conditioning, and that smoking will be banned from the Wessex Electric trains from 1 December. Interestingly, a passenger who travelled in the affected coach is adamant that the smoke came from the guard's compartment and not from the 'snug' smoking area. It is hardly reassuring that fires are arising from different causes.
A SWT SERVICE WHICH SHOULD MAKE EVERY TAXPAYER SICK
Stagecoach's Graham Eccles made clear in Rail Professional magazine that the company wouldn't hesitate to walk away from the SWT franchise if they couldn't keep it on their terms. The Chairman of the SRA increased their subsidy fourfold and told them simply to concentrate on service delivery.
Performance on SWT has since remained around the bottom of the league of London commuter companies. Trains are routinely cancelled because of duff rolling stock or shortage of drivers. Many others run half-length with horrible overcrowding, and delays are compensated by omitting stops and throwing off or leaving stranded the hapless passengers.
Passengers commonly believe that final services of the day are sacrosanct. If a final service is cancelled, the problems for passengers can be horrific. At the very least, alternative buses or taxis should automatically be provided. What can people do otherwise? If they are returning from business travel, they may face hotel costs, assuming there is a hotel in easy reach. People in general may try to ring for a taxi or a lift to get home, but they may not have a mobile phone and there may be no convenient phone box. The weather may be atrocious. Suppose they are vulnerable young, elderly or disabled people - should they be stranded late at night? Perhaps SWT would provide a taxi if contacted, but it may be difficult to make contact late at night, when most SWT stations are unstaffed.
Clearly, any customer-focused operator will do everything in their power to ensure that final services run as normally as possible. On Mondays to Fridays, the final train from the Wessex area to London is the 21.00 from Weymouth. The stops at Poole, Bournemouth and Southampton alone serve some half a million people. On Monday 24 November this train had to divert between Southampton (St Denys) and Woking because of engineering work. The following advice appeared on SWT's website, showing that SWT had had at least two hours' notice of the problem before the train departed from Weymouth:
"ALTERATION: 21.00 Weymouth to Waterloo. This train will be diverted via Havant. It will additionally call at Havant. It will no longer call at Upwey, Dorchester South, Moreton, Wool, Wareham, Hamworthy, Poole, Parkstone, Branksome, Bournemouth, Pokesdown, Christchurch, Hinton Admiral, New Milton, Sway, Brockenhurst, Ashurst New Forest, Totton, Redbridge, Millbrook, Southampton Central, St Denys, Swaythling, Southampton Airport Parkway, Eastleigh, Shawford, Winchester, Micheldever, Basingstoke, Hook, Winchfield, Fleet, Farnborough, Brookwood, Woking, West Byfleet, Weybridge, Walton-on-Thames, Surbiton, Wimbledon and Clapham Junction.
This is due to earlier engineering work. 1 bus have (sic) been arranged from Eastleigh to Basingstoke and 1 bus from Eastleigh to Woking to connect with train service. Received at 19.09.28 on 24/11/03."
In other words, to get to London as close to normal time as possible, the train was to run non-stop from Weymouth to Waterloo except for a non-scheduled call at Havant (presumably for staff purposes), even though it was diverted only between St Denys and Woking.
FIVE HOUR HELL JOURNEY FROM WATERLOO TO SOUTHAMPTON
The Southern Daily Echo of 1st December reported that, two days earlier, passengers on the diverted 19.10 from Waterloo had a five hour journey due to an electrical problem at Cobham. SWT had known of the problem 5 minutes before the train left Waterloo, and it should never have been routed down the Cobham branch. Having got to Cobham, they were advised to return to London. One woman complained of feeling mentally and physically exhausted. What stress there?
A WHOLE EVENING OF HELL
On 1st December the main Waterloo-Weymouth line was closed between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth because of flooding, and evening peak travel was a slow sardine hell for thousands, because of the impact on SWT's chronic shortage of guards and drivers. All the following trains were shown on SWT's website as cancelled throughout due to no crew: 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, 16.00 Waterloo-Poole, 16.33 Portsmouth-Poole, 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth and 18.50 Waterloo-Poole. The 16.30 to Weymouth left at 17.20; although it was only going to Brockenhurst, and running close to the timings of the 17.15, no arrangements were made for it to cover the latter's stops at Totton and Ashurst. The 17.45 to Weymouth left at about 18.20; furious Totton passengers were thrown off at Southampton and made to continue their journey by bus; not stopping the train at Totton would have saved 2 minutes' running time (they were told this was to allow the return service to run punctually from Brockenhurst, causing politically-incorrect language to be uttered against SWT management) and Totton has 10 times the population of Brockenhurst. The 18.05 to Poole was over 40 minutes late by Southampton. The 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth reached Winchester at 22.00, about 90 minutes late. 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 86 minutes late; 20.50 Waterloo-Poole 60 minutes late. 21.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late from Brockenhurst start. 22.30 Southampton-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 22.55 Waterloo-Poole cancelled.
The 17.00, 17.28 and 17.56 Waterloo-Eastleigh-Portsmouth were all advertised as diverting via Southampton Central. The ancient, overcrowded 17.56 departed a few minutes late. A middle-aged woman who was running to catch it froze when a member of the platform staffed bellowed at her to stand clear (some stress there?), but the train didn't move until nearly two minutes later. At Basingstoke another woman was running to catch the train just as it moved off. The guard stopped the train and a door was opened for her, so there was no need for the awful treatment of the woman who was left behind at Waterloo. Surely customer focus means that train crew and platform staff should be in touch by phone or radio at all times to achieve the best for passengers?
At Winchester, huge numbers of people boarded after having been decanted there from a previous service. The train stood for several minutes while train crew and platform staff held an animated discussion about whether it would be diverted via Southampton as advertised.
On the approach to Eastleigh, the guard confirmed the diversion and told passengers for Hedge End and Botley to alight and join substitute buses. As at Winchester, there were huge numbers on the platform but these people were reluctant to board. One person explained that they had been on the previous train, which had also been advertised as running via Southampton, only to be thrown off because the train was re-scheduled to its normal route. A member of the platform staff then started calling out that the 17.56 would not, after all, be diverted via Southampton. Hundreds of people for Southampton then had to shove aboard the two-coach train from Romsey as best they could. The conditions might, euphemistically, be described as inhuman (what stress there?).
As this train approached Totton, a New Milton passenger enquired how he should continue his journey. The guard made a telephone enquiry and said he was assured the line was now open and the New Milton train would leave at 20.17. Further along the platform the customer information display showed the train as leaving at 20.15, and running only to Brockenhurst because of flooding.
Of course, the evening's misery was not limited to the Southampton line. 18.40 Waterloo-Fratton cancelled due to no crew. 16.03 Waterloo-Salisbury cancelled due to duff stock. 18.10 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 5 coaches. There were evening signalling problems too. 19.30 Alton-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 19.33 Waterloo-Alton 39 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Honiton 38 minutes late. 19.45 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo advertised on SWT's website as running 20 minutes late and terminating at Clapham Junction. 19.51 and 20.33 Weybridge-Waterloo both cancelled due to duff stock. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 35 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 20.33 Waterloo-Shepperton and 21.37 Shepperton-Waterloo cancelled. 21.02 Waterloo-Kingston stopping service advertised to run as a non-stop Clapham Junction-Kingston service 22.18 Waterloo-Alton 50 minutes late. 22. 20 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 22.30 Exeter-Salisbury 40 minutes late. 22.40 Portsmouth-Southampton 40 minutes late. 23.09 Waterloo-Guildford 33 minutes late. 23.11 Winchester-Portsmouth 26 minutes late.
SRA / SWT RELATIONS DETRIMENTAL TO PASSENGERS' INTERESTS?
None of the following might be significant in themselves but, in conjunction, they are difficult to ignore:
The father of the SRA Chairman and Chief Executive, Richard Bowker, is a senior member of SWT (source: Private Eye).
Mr Bowker travelled all the way to Perth to attend the church of Stagecoach co-founder Brian Souter (source: Private Eye).
The Autumn of 2002 saw the collapse of Stagecoach's US bus interests - with Stagecoach shares falling to 10p. Mr Bowker reportedly admitted to the Commons Transport Committee that a generous £106m handout to Virgin Trains, in which Stagecoach has a 49% holding, was to stabilise the two companies.
Despite Stagecoach's overall level of profitability being closely linked with SRA handouts, Head of Stagecoach Rail, Graham Eccles, felt confident to write in 'Rail Professional' magazine that the company wouldn't hesitate to walk away from the SWT franchise if they didn't get a settlement on their terms.
It could be instructive to note the following comments from vintage commentators on rail issues:
"There is a fundamental defensiveness about Stagecoach's attitude to the press, borne of an arrogance and deep conviction that the company is right and everyone else is wrong." (Christian Wolmar in 'Stagecoach')
"The SRA's biggest problem remains arrogance. It welcomes you with open arms provided you agree 100% with what it plans and never ever deviate from that support. If you do, you are treated as an 'enemy of the state'!" (Barry Doe in 'Rail' No 474)
NEW CHANDLERS FORD STATION: COUNTY COUNCIL SUCCESS
The formal opening took place around midday on Sunday 19 October. TV gardening personality Charlie Dimmock cut the tape and planted a commemorative tree. Invited guests arrived on a special steam train from the Mid-Hants Railway via Andover, which then made two return trips between Eastleigh and Salisbury before returning to its base via Havant. There were a number of sideshows.
Hampshire County Council had distributed leaflets to some 5,000 homes in the vicinity of the station, and the scene was more like Waterloo in the rush hour, with literally hundreds of people present and little circulating space.
The event was a great triumph for the County Council, which had striven for over a decade to bring back trains to Chandlers Ford in view of the huge expansion of the local population since the original station closed. The new train services were linked with improvements to Solent Blue Line bus services in the area.
All in all, it was a great day in the area's history. A day that some local people will remember all their lives, including an opportunity to travel behind a steam locomotive at a reasonable price.
The one note of caution for the future is that the new service will thrive, and ultimately survive, only if it is operated properly. Cancellations for pathetic reasons such as no driver available have been commonplace. With a basic hourly service there is no place for such unreliability. Residents interviewed by Radio Solent on 27 October said that they would definitely not use the service because it is too unreliable. Note the serious shortcomings recorded on 8 and 19 November (Stress West Trains article) and 20 November (Rail Users' Reports article).
RAIL PASSENGERS COMMITTEE MEETING AT GILLINGHAM: 11-11-2003
The meeting focused on the transfer of Connex South Eastern to the SRA from 9 November. The aim was to hand the franchise to another private operator broadly within 500 days. In the meantime all aspects of operation would receive attention to create a railway that Kent could be proud of. Current punctuality nowhere near satisfactory [interestingly, BBC TV South recently reported that SWT's performance was the worst in the latest round of statistics; the inference is obvious]. There would be a management training programme and staff should be friendly. By 2005, it was hoped to reduce PIXC (passengers in excess of capacity) to 0.9% on Kent Link services (compared with 1.9% in 2002) and to 0.7% on Kent Coast services (compared with 7.4% in 2002). Much bigger peak capacity when new trains introduced.
Special measures to remove graffiti from trains within 24 hours. Controllers to have "passengers-first" approach to incident control [presumably the opposite to what happens on SWT, where the focus is operational and, if passengers get in the way, their stops are omitted and they are thrown off / left stranded]. Information to be got to passengers more quickly [the opposite to what happens on SWT where, for example, passengers are rarely told until the last minute when trains which should be split at Southampton won't be]. Ticket gates should be staffed after 10pm when security is a real issue [the point Hogrider has been making for a very long time in relation to SWT]. Solution proposed for making first class accommodation compatible with intensive commuter service.
Summer heat had been a real problem; rail designed for maximum of 52%C; temperature had reached 58%C at Tonbridge. Leaf-fall-related delays down this year by 15%. Drier leaves had helped ["right sort of leaf"?].
Higham and Strood tunnels would be closed for a year from 17/1/2004 to sort out their instability problems permanently.
Network Rail taking 18,000 staff in-house from private contractors. Many of them ex-BR, so the exercise is seen as putting the jigsaw back together.
Andrew Haines, Manager of South West Trains, reported that the inner-suburban fleet is to be refurbished; no in-service breakdowns by the new Desiro trains to date; major trackwork in Waterloo-Clapham Junction area from January to Easter 2004. He blamed infrastructure problems in this area for SWT performance problems [presumably he doesn't read his own website which shows many, many trains cancelled week after week due to duff stock and driver shortage]. Reading line and evening peak services improved by service reduction from September. A member of the Committee drew attention to a Virgin service being delayed at Southampton Central while station staff argued over baggage stowage. Mr Haines said station staff are to be made more identifiable by wearing orange whistles round their necks [given how unhelpful some staff are, we hope the whistles are programmed to be passenger-friendly!]
The SRA confirmed that Wales and the Borders' services from Waterloo are to end; they are considering whether SWT services from Waterloo to Salisbury could extend to Bristol. South Central reported that their Electrostar trains are running well. The company is working on integrated tables showing connections between coastal services East and West of Brighton. Committee concerned that the worst-condition Mark I coaches should be withdrawn first. Thameslink is preparing for blockades on cross-London working because of construction work for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.
Secretary of State due to decide in December whether there should be internal services on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. The current proposal is that services should be integrated with existing domestic services, with fast trains running between the Kent Coast and St Pancras. This would leave more capacity on existing lines for inner and outer suburban trains. Higher fares and massive park and ride at Ebbsfleet seem to be ruled out of the scheme. Some concerns about St Pancras as a destination; most people want Charing Cross. A former member of the Committee considered that Eurostars to Waterloo should operate off-peak only to avoid impeding commuter trains.
RAIL USERS’ REPORTS
Note: These details are snapshots. The Group does not have the resources to provide a full picture of the performance shortcomings which passengers suffer. Trains often become increasingly late during the course of their journeys, and the "minutes late" figures may not represent the position at the end of a journey.
So bad has service delivery now become, that SWT has introduced posters at Waterloo giving daily bulletins of half-length trains. This is generally attributed to 'unit maintenance', the SWT euphemism for shortage of rolling stock or defective trains. In addition, trains are frequently cancelled due to driver shortage. SWT has stated publicly that this is due to drivers being taken for training on the new Desiro units. Such excuses are totally unreasonable on massively subsidised SWT where overcrowding has created a stressful environment for commuters even when trains operate normally.
1/10/03 Day of broken down trains in the Wandsworth and Hersham areas, track repairs at Shoreham and two bridges hit by road vehicles. 06.27 Southampton-Yeovil 20 minutes late. 07.37 Portsmouth-Waterloo and 09.53 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 07.32 Basingstoke-Waterloo, 09.10 Waterloo-Basingstoke, 07.57 Waterloo-Woking and 08.53 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.07 Weymouth-Eastleigh 16 minutes late. 08.24 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 12.54 Guildford-Farnham cancelled due to duff stock. 12.25 Basingstoke-Brighton diverted to Fratton. 11.22 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late, 11.52 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late, 12.27 Windsor-Waterloo axed between Windsor and Staines, 11.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo and 11.37 Waterloo-Weybridge 18 minutes late - all due to delays to previous service. 14.00 and 15.00 Brighton-Basingstoke axed between Brighton and Fareham. 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.10 Waterloo-Eastleigh-Portsmouth 34 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, 16.35 Waterloo-Exeter, 17.22 Waterloo-Reading and 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth all 15 minutes late. 16.54 Portsmouth-Eastleigh-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.00 Waterloo-Eastleigh-Portsmouth 19 minutes late due to delay to previous service. 18.15 Woking-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 18.50 and 21.30 Waterloo-Poole cancelled. 19.14 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 18.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late; 19.47 24 minutes late; 20.17 15 minutes late. 18.47 Southampton-Portsmouth 29 minutes late; 20.47 16 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Honiton 15 minutes late. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late; 20.07 32 minutes late. 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton terminated at Eastleigh.
2/10/03 07.54 and 09.53 Ascot-Guildford, and 08.58 Guildford-Ascot cancelled due to no driver. 07.30 Woking-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 17.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke cancelled due to delay to previous journey. 17.25 Waterloo-Guildford and 18.36 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth/Bournemouth delayed 15 minutes at Southampton by uncoupling problems. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late; 19.30 cancelled; 20.30 15 minutes late. 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton terminated at Eastleigh.
3/10/03 06.19 Poole-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 06.55 Brockenhurst-Southampton 7 minutes late. Stock for the 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton clearly hadn't been serviced overnight. Sewage slopping round the brim of the W.C. in the fourth coach and terrible stench. 21.10 Waterloo-Southampton about 15 minutes late. 01.05 Waterloo-Southampton terminated at Eastleigh.
4/10/03 No Eastbound trains from Southampton and virtually none via the Salisbury line, due to engineering works. 07.10 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 3 carriages. 11.22 Waterloo-Reading delayed at Clapham Junction due to duff stock. 13.15 Waterloo-Eastleigh-Portsmouth terminated at Basingstoke due to no driver. SOME OF THE OTHER CANCELLATIONS DUE TO NO DRIVER: 08.54, 12.24, 12.54 and 15.54 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo; 09.03 and 15.33 Weybridge-Waterloo; 09.09 Waterloo-Guildford; 09.37 Shepperton-Waterloo; 10.17 Guildford-Waterloo; 11.10 and 15.40 Waterloo-Basingstoke; 12.12 Waterloo-Woking; 13.15 Woking-Waterloo; 14.14 Basingstoke-Waterloo; 14.23 Waterloo-Haslemere; 14.37 Waterloo-Weybridge; 14.42 and 18.12 Reading-Waterloo; 15.40 Haslemere-Waterloo; 16.53 and 21.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth; 19.00 Waterloo-Epsom; 19.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo. 19.18 and 19.48 Epsom-Waterloo. 17.00 Waterloo-Southampton Airport cancelled due to no driver; 18.00 15 minutes late and 18.30 21 minutes late. 17.48 Poole-Southampton cancelled due to no driver. 18.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Eastleigh 60 minutes late; ran fast from Basingstoke to Eastleigh, passengers for Micheldever and Winchester thrown off. 18.33 Waterloo-Exeter 18 minutes late. 19.05 Reading-Brighton 18 minutes late. 20.30 Exeter-Basingstoke 21 minutes late. 20.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 21.10 Waterloo-Basingstoke 15 minutes late. 21.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo terminated at Fratton (!!) due to no crew.
5/10/03 Incredibly, no trains at all from Southampton until 15.00, then very limited westbound service, due to engineering works. 11.40 Weymouth-Bournemouth cancelled. 14.30 arrival at Waterloo from Southampton Airport 20 minutes late; 14.58 arrival cancelled. 17.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches.
6/10/03 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. "Severe overcrowding" - to use the guard's euphemistic description - on the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo which was about 15 minutes late; knock-on delays to other trains from the Wessex main line. Second helping of misery for Wessex commuters when they were thrown off the 06.26 Poole-Waterloo at Southampton, due to duff doors. 16.15 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 39 minutes late; all stops between Twickenham and Waterloo omitted and passengers thrown off. The following trains reduced to 8 coaches: 16.27 Alton-Waterloo; 16.58 Alton-Waterloo; 17.48 Waterloo-Alton; 18.21 Waterloo-Basingstoke; 19.05 Alton-Waterloo; 19.44 Basingstoke-Waterloo; 20.33 Waterloo-Alton; 21.52 Alton-Waterloo. The following were reduced to 4 coaches: 15.53 Waterloo-Portsmouth; 16.48 Waterloo-Dorking; 17.00 Waterloo-Epsom; 17.18 Waterloo-Dorking; 17.49 Dorking-Waterloo; 18.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo; 18.19 Dorking-Waterloo; 18.26 Waterloo-Guildford; 18.39 Waterloo-Woking; 19.09 Waterloo-Guildford; 19.45 Woking-Waterloo; 19.47 Guildford-Waterloo; 20.10 Waterloo-Southampton; 20.42 Waterloo-Guildford; 21.03 Waterloo-Alton; 21.09 Waterloo-Guildford; 22.06 Guildford-Waterloo; 22.17 Guildford-Waterloo; 22.24 Alton-Waterloo; 22.30 Southampton-Waterloo; 23.09 Waterloo-Guildford; 23.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth; 00.09 Waterloo-Guildford. 18.42 Poole-Waterloo, 20.07 Alton-Waterloo and 20.39 Hampton-Court-Waterloo all more than 15 minutes late.
7/10/03 16.56 Waterloo-Woking and 17.49 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 18.37 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches.
8/10/03 Train failure at Vauxhall. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late, terminating at around the time it was due to leave as the 18.05 to Poole. Stock for the 17.56 to Portsmouth via Eastleigh arrived at about the same time. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth grossly overcrowded; many passengers stood to Winchester. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 12 minutes late. 18.15 and 18.32 Waterloo-Portsmouth about 15 minutes late. 19.24 Reading-Waterloo over 20 minutes late. Hounslow line trains severely disrupted by evening train failure.
9/10/03 Signalling problems in the Havant area. 07.43 and 08.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth and 08.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo presumably routed via Eastleigh as all stops from Guildford to Havant inclusive omitted. 08.25 Guildford-Portsmouth cancelled. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth/ Bournemouth stood at Southampton Central for 15 minutes - apparently due to a problem with uncoupling the units. No explanation, but apologies were eventually made for the "slight delay". 18.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh and 18.51 Basingstoke-Waterloo more than 15 minutes late.
10/10/03 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth 39 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth several minutes late; passengers who alighted at Southampton Central to catch the 17.47 stopping service to Portsmouth raced across the footbridge but staff made no attempt to help them and some were left behind. At 18.45 most main line arrivals at Waterloo were 5-10 minutes late and similar delays were occurring to departures from Woking.
11/10/03 08.47 Guildford-Waterloo stopping train 23 minutes late due to duff rolling stock; all intermediate stops omitted for operational convenience. Signalling problems in the Guildford area: 10.40 Haslemere-Waterloo 16 minutes late; 10.53 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late; 11.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. Passengers on the 09.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo, including a pregnant woman, thrown off at Guildford without explanation, and their train continued its journey empty; Staff said two more trains were behind, but they couldn't say which platforms they would leave from. First train left platform 1, but was too overcrowded to board. Passengers told the next train would be at 11.19, but unfortunately that train left platform 2 at 11.10, before they could change platform. They eventually got to Waterloo over 45 minutes late. 10.05 Reading-Brighton 20 minutes late. 12.00 Alton-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 19.30 Alton-Waterloo, 19.30 Weybridge-Waterloo and 19.23 Ascot-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver.
13/10/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late and severely overcrowded; 06.19 12 minutes late. 06.10 Portsmouth-Eastleigh-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 17.53 Salisbury-Waterloo terminated at Basingstoke due to duff train. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 28 minutes late; 19.30 22 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Honiton started from Basingstoke due to duff train. 23.25 (last service of day) Totton-Romsey cancelled due to no driver.
14/10/03 17.05 Waterloo-Basingstoke badly delayed due to late incoming train. At 20.30 most mainline arrivals at Waterloo 5-10 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late.
15/10/03 07.44 from Windsor held outside Waterloo for 20 minutes due to electrical fault; general disruption. 16.26 Waterloo-Hampton Court and 17.56 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 18.39 Reading-Brighton 32 minutes late. 20.16 Windsor-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 21.06 Woking-Staines cancelled due to no driver.
16/10/03 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo formed of old Mark I stock and freezing cold. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo nearly 15 minutes late, with no explanation. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 39 minutes late due to no crew; ran non-stop from Bournemouth to Waterloo and passengers for intermediate stations thrown off. 18.39 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke due to no crew. 18.42 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late.
17/10/03 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo formed of old Mark I stock. Early morning delays due to duff train between Ascot and Bagshot. 13.30 Plymouth-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 15.45 Waterloo-Southampton left Woking on time; it stayed on the slow line to Basingstoke because the 16.00 Waterloo-Poole was running about 4 minutes early (presumably having exceeded speed limits) - the 16.00 overtook the 15.45 at Winchfield and the 15.45 overtook the 16.00 at Basingstoke; as a result both trains were about 6 minutes late at Southampton. The 16.00 was terribly overcrowded, with people standing to Winchester and beyond; the overcrowding again became inhuman at Southampton, where many passengers off the 15.45 had to transfer. 16.35 Waterloo-Exeter 18 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late at Southampton. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth called additionally at Basingstoke and ran 8 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 5 coaches on this busy Friday evening due to duff stock; dreadful overcrowding and about 10 minutes late by Bournemouth. 19.10 Waterloo-Southampton 10 minutes late; 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 6 minutes late.
18/10/03 18.48 Waterloo-Alton and 20.30 Alton-Waterloo cancelled due to no guard. 19.00 Waterloo-Poole, 21.09 Hampton-Court-Waterloo, 22.30 Southampton-Waterloo and 22.50 Waterloo-Portsmouth all cancelled due to no driver.
20/10/03 06.52 Reading-Waterloo 27 minutes late due to delay to previous service. 07.10 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.11 Reading-Brighton 15 minutes late. 07.42 Windsor-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Staines omitted and passengers thrown off. 07.54 Woking-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 08.35 Twickenham-Waterloo and 09.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 10.23 Waterloo-Haslemere 18 minutes late and 10.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late, due to points failure. 18.18 Waterloo-Dorking and 18.45 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 19.51 Weybridge-Waterloo nearly 15 minutes late. 16.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo and 16.55 Southampton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 21.49 Dorking-Waterloo cancelled due to no crew.
21/10/03 Widespread delays to morning peak trains into Waterloo. Examples: 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late with no explanation whatever. 07.10 Haslemere-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth departed at 17.35 with many standing passengers, due to signalling problems, and was over 30 minutes late by Southampton. At 17.30 SWT's website showed services as running about as well as they ever do under Stagecoach: the 16.26 Waterloo-Portsmouth was 17 minutes late due to duff rolling stock and omitting all stops to Woking for operational convenience; the 17.15 to the Kingston line, 17.26 to Guildford and 18.43 to Windsor were all reduced to 4 coaches. The 18.40 to Fratton was reduced to 8 coaches. The reality, at 17.55, was total chaos at Waterloo following the signalling problem. Huge crowds on the concourse, and almost impossible to get close to the badly-sited departure screens. Passengers for the Southampton line were told that the stock for the front of the 17.45 to Weymouth/Bournemouth would arrive at 18.04. Inhuman overcrowding with people crushed together throughout the train. No announcements about any alternative service. Once aboard, passengers were effectively trapped. The arrival of the front portion for the 17.45 was immediately followed by the 14.48 from Weymouth - running over 30 minutes late - which forms the 18.05 to Poole. Like the 17.45, this is a ten coach train, and serves virtually the same stations en route. At 18.12 the guard of the 17.45 announced to the miserably compacted passengers that she was sorry for the further delay which was due to awaiting a signal. At that point the 18.05 departed, more than half empty (= several hundred spare seats). It finished its journey only around 15 minutes late. The 17.45 eventually left at 18.20 with its wretched captives, and was a full 45 minutes late by Southampton, with passengers still standing. It was then held for the 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, itself 10 minutes late, to pass. The 17.51 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 18.06. 18.10 Waterloo-Yeovil 17 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter 33 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole over 15 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 19.05 Alton-Waterloo 33 minutes late and terminated at Woking; passengers for London thrown off. 19.32 Alton-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 19.33 Waterloo-Shepperton 22 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.03 and 20.33 Waterloo-Alton started from Woking.
22/10/03 16.48 Waterloo-Twickenham, 16.52 and 18.07 to Reading, 17.00 to Epsom, 18.19 to Shepperton and 18.26 to Guildford all reduced to 4 coaches; 18.42 to Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.48 Poole-Waterloo 28 minutes late due to duff stock; stops at Pokesdown, Christchurch and New Milton omitted for operational convenience and passengers thrown off. 16.00 Brighton-Reading cancelled due to duff stock. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late and 16.17 14 minutes late. 16.39 Waterloo-Woking 23 minutes late and omitted all stops due to crew problems. 16.50 Plymouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 17.42 Exeter-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 17.26 Reading-Waterloo started from Ascot due to no crew. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late at Bournemouth. 18.32 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 18.39 Reading-Brighton started from Basingstoke and 16 minutes late. 17.54 Waterloo-Haslemere and 19.15 Haslemere-Guildford cancelled due to no driver. 19.17 Waterloo-Reading cancelled due to no driver. 19.18 Waterloo-Dorking and 20.49 Dorking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 19.50 Plymouth-Salisbury 35 minutes late. 21.45 Waterloo-Guildford and 23.00 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches.
23/10/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late; 07.04 from Basingstoke delayed behind it. 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth 26 minutes late due to crew problems. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 15.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.29 Waterloo-Hampton Court and 18.09 Hampton Court-Waterloo cancelled due to no crew. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton and 17.58 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 17.28 Waterloo-Portsmouth and 18.52 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late by Eastleigh despite preceding the 17.56 Waterloo-Eastleigh-Portsmouth. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter 23 minutes late and 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 39 minutes late due to delays to previous services. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo started 20 minutes late.
24/10/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to a duff train at Vauxhall. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo arrived at Waterloo at 18.03, 30 minutes late, to form the 18.05 to Poole; the 18.05 didn't leave until 18.20 due to the down fast line to Clapham Junction being out of use, and was 20 minutes late by Totton. 17.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton and 17.58 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter started from Basingstoke on this busy Friday evening, and reduced to 5 coaches. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Salisbury 30 minutes late. 19.10 Waterloo-Southampton 13 minutes late. 19.14 and 22.44 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches.
25/10/03 Morning Shepperton line trains delayed and cancelled due to signalling failures. 06.40 Waterloo-Weymouth and 11.00 Waterloo-Poole cancelled due to no driver. 06.46 Honiton-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to duff stock. 08.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 43 minutes late due to no crew. 08.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 08.48 Poole-Waterloo 26 minutes late and half length due to duff stock. 10.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth started from Woking due to duff train. 10.52 Waterloo-Reading cancelled due to no driver. A passenger trying to get from Waterloo to Ashurst in the afternoon encountered dreadful problems due to engineering work - the National Rail Enquiry Service had assured him that there would be a normal service. 13.47 and 16.54 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 13.56 Waterloo-Hampton Court and 14.39 Hampton Court-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 14.48 and 19.41 Poole-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 14.56 Exeter-Waterloo terminated at Salisbury due to no driver. 16.28 Waterloo-Windsor 16 minutes late due to no crew; 18.28 cancelled due to no driver. 16.49 Dorking-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 17.03 and 19.03 Waterloo-Salisbury cancelled due to no driver. 19.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 19.27 Windsor-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 21.24 Reading-Waterloo, 22.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth and 23.30 Waterloo-Southampton cancelled due to no driver.
26/10/03 09.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo nearly 40 minutes late; 10.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking; 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth nearly 50 minutes late - all due to delays on previous journey. 15.40 Weymouth-Waterloo, 15.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo, 16.00 Reading-Waterloo, 16.47 Southampton-Portsmouth and 17.30 Waterloo-Weymouth all 10-15 minutes late.
27/10/03 16.22 Waterloo-Chessington, 16.26 Waterloo-Hampton-Court, 17.49 Waterloo-Dorking and 17.56 Waterloo-Guildford all reduced to 4 coaches. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late due to track circuit failures at New Milton and Ashurst. 15.48 Poole-Waterloo and 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.30 and 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10-15 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Poole started from Woking due to delay on previous journey. 19.51 Weybridge-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 20.33 Waterloo-Shepperton 23 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.07 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to delay on previous journey.
28/10/03 15.48 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 16.18 Waterloo-Twickenham and 17.42 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 18.21 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches due to broken window. 16.26 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late and reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo, 17.26 Reading-Waterloo, 19.56 Waterloo-Hampton Court and 20.39 Hampton Court-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. Half term fire horror when passengers, including many children, had difficulty in evacuating the smoked-filled rear buffet car of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth. The human crush meant that the guard was unable to reach the scene. Hundreds evacuated at Winchester where safety rules contravened when they were directed off the station right past the seat of the fire. Following trains severely delayed. Evacuated passengers had to join the crush on the 17.45 from Waterloo and reached their destinations about one hour late. Misery on the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole which was reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock. Many children crushed in aisles and vestibules or sitting on the filthy carpet. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late and 19.10 Waterloo-Southampton 12 minutes late.
29/10/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 06.40 Waterloo-Weymouth, 06.47 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo, 06.56 Waterloo-Reading, 07.18 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo, 07.48 Chessington-Waterloo, 08.25 Reading-Waterloo, 08.33 Waterloo-Shepperton, 08.29 Teddington-Waterloo, 08.43 Waterloo-Windsor, 09.15 Waterloo-Dorking, 09.37 Shepperton-Waterloo, 09.43 Windsor-Waterloo, 10.19 Dorking-Waterloo, 10.22 Waterloo-Reading, 10.48 Weymouth-Waterloo all reduced to 4 coaches. 07.43 Effingham Junction-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. By 11.00, all trains to and from Waterloo subject to delays of up to 25 minutes due to a duff train at Vauxhall. 10.00 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 11.40 Haslemere-Waterloo axed between Haslemere and Guildford. 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth and 13.00 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. The 12.30 was advertised as leaving platform 4 at Southampton Central at 13.58, with the connecting 13.57 to Totton leaving on time from the same platform. Such a rush to get the Totton train away that the doors were closed on alighting passengers, who had to stab at the door buttons. Having broken the connection with the 12.30, the Totton train stood at signals at Millbrook for it to pass. 14.48 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 15.45 Waterloo-Dorking, 16.49 Dorking-Waterloo, 15.52 Waterloo-Reading and 17.26 Reading-Waterloo all axed due to no driver. 16.50 Plymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.55 Southampton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.07 Waterloo-Guildford, 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo and 19.24 Waterloo-Guildford cancelled due to no driver. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches. 17.59 Waterloo-Hampton Court reduced to 4 coaches. 17.58 Waterloo-Basingstoke cancelled due to no driver; 18.05 Waterloo-Poole called additionally at Woking, Farnborough, Fleet and Basingstoke with consequent overcrowding and delay. 20.54 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 18.54 Portsmouth-Winchester 17 minutes late. 19.14 Basingstoke-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late; 21.30 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 20.54 Reading-Waterloo, 21.30 Weybridge-Waterloo, 22.02 Waterloo-Kingston and 22.49 Kingston-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 21.33 Waterloo-Alton axed between Waterloo and Woking and 30 minutes late. 21.24 Reading-Southampton axed between Reading and Basingstoke.
30/10/03 08.05 Waterloo-Alton, 17.52 Waterloo-Reading, 17.54 Waterloo-Haslemere, 20.37 Shepperton-Waterloo, 20.39 Waterloo-Guidford, 20.49 Kingston-Waterloo and 21.47 Guildford-Wimbledon cancelled. 16.52 Waterloo-Alton, 17.42 Waterloo-Guildford and 18.38 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 18.37 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches. 18.42 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 19.00 Brighton-Reading 15 minutes late and 20.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to delays to previous service. 19.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late. 20.33 Portsmouth-Southampton 15 minutes late. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.51 Waterloo-Portsmouth advertised as 5 coaches only but the passenger crush was impossible. Another 5 coaches found (presumably from a half-length 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo which is usually a 10 coach service which returns as the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole). Passengers for the 18.05 to Poole were horrified to see that it had been reduced to an 8-coach train of ancient outer-suburban stock. They settled in as best they could with their bags or children, but at 18.00 the guard announced that this was the Guildford service, not the Poole train. Even more angry, passengers stormed back to the concourse. As they were pouring through the exit gates there was a station announcement that the train was definitely the 18.05 to Poole. The old wreck eventually left at 18.10 whilst the still grossly overcrowded 17.51 to Portsmouth took over its 18.05 departure slot.
31/10/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo and 07.04 Basingstoke-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 06.00 Southampton-Poole 20 minutes late and mysteriously formed of a 10 coach Wessex-Electric train (providing about 100 seats per passenger). 06.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo over 10 minutes late into Eastleigh. Friday peak horror: huge number of passengers for the 16.45 Waterloo-Poole, which was reduced to 4 coaches. Some passengers were impressed when SWT announced a "special" 17.10 to Weymouth, even though it didn't leave until 17.21; they didn't realise that it was actually the 16.30 with duff doors in the fifth coach isolated, and the Winchester stop omitted. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late throughout. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo, 16.47 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo, 16.49 Dorking-Waterloo, 17.54 Waterloo-Haslemere, 18.17 from Waterloo to Shepperton and 19.15 Haslemere-Guildford were all cancelled. 16.32, 17.36 and 19.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke, 17.33 Waterloo-Shepperton, and 17.52 Waterloo-Reading all reduced to 4 coaches. 17.05 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 3 coaches. 17.23 and 17.58 Waterloo-Basingstoke, and 17.39 Waterloo-Farnham reduced to 8 coaches. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo over 15 minutes late. 15.48 Poole-Waterloo nearly 20 minutes late. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late; 16.01 15 minutes late; 16.17 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 8 minutes late at Winchester. 19.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 20.07 Weymouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 21.09 Winchester-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 21.24 Reading-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 21.30 Waterloo-Poole 24 minutes late.
1/11/03 07.10 Waterloo-Exeter 52 minutes late. 09.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late; all stops from Portsmouth & Southsea to Haslemere inclusive omitted for operational convenience. 09.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 30 minutes late due to delay on previous journey. 10.44 Exeter-Axminster and 11.44 Axminster-Exeter cancelled. 11.45 Woking-Waterloo and 13.12 Waterloo-Woking cancelled. 12.44 Basingstoke-Waterloo and 14.40 Waterloo-Basingstoke cancelled. 12.42 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 14.52 Waterloo-Reading 36 minutes late due to no crew. 18.22 Exeter-Waterloo and 18.33 Waterloo-Exeter 20 minutes late. 21.10 Waterloo-Basingstoke cancelled. 21.26 Waterloo-Reading cancelled.
2/11/03 09.28 Weybridge-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 11.00 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late at Southampton. 09.55 Bournemouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late; 13.55 30 minutes late; 14.55 27 minutes late. 13.40 Weymouth-Waterloo 47 minutes late.
3/11/03 05.42 and 06.19 Poole-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 07.04 Basingstoke-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.52 and 17.52 Waterloo-Reading and 18.24 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 17.25 and 19.01 Waterloo-Guildford, and 18.06 Waterloo-Epsom reduced to 4 coaches. 17.25 to Guildford formed of wrong sort of stock with no toilets or first class accommodation. 13.45 Paignton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.48 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.47 Guildford-Waterloo 16 minutes late; 19.57 15 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late by Southampton. 20.12 Waterloo-Woking over 10 minutes late. Evening delays due to duff train in the Christchurch area. 18.42 Poole-Waterloo 50 minutes late. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late.
4/11/03 06.06 Brockenhurst-Winchester 15 minutes late and half length. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 6 minutes late at Southampton - no buffet service provided and guard made various announcements about this being due to the failure of Rail Gourmet. 05.35 Waterloo-Weymouth and 06.10 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh 10 minutes late. 05.39 Yeovil-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.48 Poole-Waterloo and 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 5 coaches and had many standing passengers; it was delayed 25 minutes due to a duff train (believed to be the 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth) blocking the fast down track at Woking.
5/11/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo over 15 minutes late; no buffet service again. 09.25 Basingstoke-Brighton 16 minutes late and 09.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 09.30 Waterloo-Guildford 19 minutes late; all stops before Epsom omitted and passengers thrown off. 08.23 and 10.25 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton. 09.10 Romsey-Totton axed altogether. Lymington-Brockenhurst service suspended between 11.00 and 13.00 due to duff train. 13.47 Southampton-Portsmouth 32 minutes late - no explanation whatever at Southampton station. SWT in performance panic or lack of team working?-- 13.00 Waterloo-Poole 3 minutes late at Southampton Central; didn't wait for a station railman to alight after he had helped severely disabled woman aboard, so he had to travel to Totton and get the next train back to Southampton. 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth 41 minutes late due to no crew. Temporary track problems in the Surbiton area: 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late; 15.33 Waterloo-Yeovil 21 minutes late; 15.48 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late; 16.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth and 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late; 16.15 Salisbury-Waterloo 30 minutes late; 17.13 Basingstoke-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.33 Chessington-Waterloo and 18.15 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 18.00 Waterloo-Guildford 21 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.50 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late. 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late. 16.50 Plymouth-Waterloo and 17.42 Exeter-Waterloo both 21 minutes late. 19.57 Guildford-Waterloo 20 minutes late; 20.17 15 minutes late.
6/11/03 06.15 Salisbury-Southampton via Chandlers Ford cancelled. 07.10 Haslemere-Waterloo and 08.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth cancelled. 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth terminated at Exeter. 16.00 and 19.00 Brighton-Reading both nearly 20 minutes late. 17.19 Dorking-Waterloo cancelled. 19.50 Plymouth-Salisbury started from Exeter. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth, 17.03 Waterloo-Shepperton and 17.54 Waterloo-Haslemere all reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 8 coaches of old Mark I stock; freezing cold because some droplights wouldn't close and the heating had failed by Southampton. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 8 coaches. 19.17 Guildford-Waterloo cancelled.
7/11/03 13.30 Plymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo nearly 15 minutes late. 15.45 Salisbury-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo nearly 20 minutes late. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo started from Ascot; 16.42 started from Bracknell due to duff stock. 16.39 Hampton Court-Waterloo 15 minutes late. Dreadful crush on Waterloo concourse at 18.00 when platforms 13 and 14 were closed and passengers thrown off. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 14 minutes late. 18.10 Waterloo-Yeovil 21 minutes late due to duff stock; 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late; 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter 17 minutes late. 19.00 Brighton-Reading 17 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Guildford 30 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.24 Reading-Waterloo 25 minutes late; 19.54 Reading Waterloo 19 minutes late; 20.16 Windsor-Waterloo 16 minutes late; 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late; 20.54 Reading-Waterloo cancelled. 20.22 Waterloo-Chessington and 21.08 Chessington-Waterloo cancelled.
8/11/03 08.23 Waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late; 09.08 19 minutes late. 09.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 35 minutes late; 09.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 10.40 Haslemere-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 09.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 15.05 Reading-Brighton 22 minutes late; 19.05 15 minutes late. 15.27 Guildford-Ascot 22 minutes late. 15.40 Haslemere-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 15.42 Reading-Waterloo cancelled. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late; 18.38 15 minutes late; 19.08 18 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late; 18.30 and 19.30 15 minutes late.
9/11/03 09.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 09.40 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Wareham due to no guard. 09.30 Waterloo-Weymouth over 10 minutes late at Southampton. 11.03 Waterloo-Plymouth terminated at Salisbury due to no crew. 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 11.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 38 minutes late. 12.34 and 12.47 Woking-Waterloo, 12.17 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo and 10.40 Weymouth-Waterloo all about 12 minutes late. 16.47 Southampton-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 14.40 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 40 minutes late; 16.30 20 minutes late; 18.30 34 minutes late. 17.40 Weymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late.
10/11/03 Passenger taken ill on the 05.57 Weymouth-Waterloo; after some 15 minutes delay the train reversed into Basingstoke but, tragically, the passenger was then confirmed dead. Trainload of other passengers thrown off. 07.04 and 07.17 Basingstoke-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 09.08 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 09.31 and 10.25 Totton-Romsey axed due to duff stock. 16.05 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke. 16.22 Waterloo-Chessington, 16.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke, 17.49 Waterloo-Dorking, 17.56 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Eastleigh and 17.59 Waterloo-Hampton Court all reduced to 4 coaches. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo, 19.10 Waterloo-Southampton and 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth all about 10 minutes late.
11/11/03 The day that SWT services collapsed, purportedly due to damp rails and leaves but some trains ran much better than others over the same routes. (Note that two journeys undertaken between Victoria and Gillingham on South Eastern Trains were both completed within a few minutes of right time). 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 27 minutes late; arrived at Waterloo at 08.30 to form the 08.30 to Weymouth. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late; 17.15 and 17.45 10 minutes late; 18.30 39 minutes late. 16.42 Poole-Waterloo 28 minutes late; 18.42 16 minutes late. 16.41 Wareham-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late; 18.50 20 minutes late; 19.50 16 minutes late. 16.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 83 minutes late; 17.17 32 minutes late; 17.47 22 minutes late; 17.50 19 minutes late; 19.20 20 minutes late. 16.23 Waterloo-Portsmouth 89 minutes late; 16.50 80 minutes late; 17.20 66 minutes late; 18.15 33 minutes late; 18.32 17 minutes late; 19.00 15 minutes late; 19.20 27 minutes late; 19.40 23 minutes late. 17.51 Weybridge-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 18.08 Alton-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.14 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.37 Waterloo-Reading 17 minutes late. 18.37 Shepperton-Waterloo and 18.47 Waterloo-Staines reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 19.00 Brighton-Reading 15 minutes late. 19.24 Waterloo-Guildford and 19.54 Reading-Waterloo cancelled.
12/11/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 26 minutes late; arrived at Waterloo at 08.29 to form the 08.30 to Weymouth; this was blamed on signalling problems West of Brockenhurst and following a Totton-Romsey train (the latter incorrect because the Totton-Romsey service doesn't start until 08.23). 05.57 Weymouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. Waterloo-Reading line services thrown into chaos in morning peak due to duff train at Twickenham. With many services severely delayed, screens at Waterloo not bothering to show expected arrival times. 15.52 Waterloo-Reading, 16.47 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo, 16.49 Dorking-Waterloo, 17.26 and 17.42 Waterloo-Guildford, 18.17 Waterloo-Shepperton and 18.47 Guildford-Waterloo all reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 17.13 and 17.38 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches, likewise the 18.42 and 19.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke. 16.09 Waterloo-Guildford and 16.12 Waterloo-Woking 15 minutes late. 15.00 Brighton-Basingstoke 18 minutes late. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 15.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo, 15.54 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo and 16.12 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 16.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke cancelled. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 15 minutes late; left 20 minutes late due to nobody waiting to uncouple the units. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minutes late.
13/11/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 20 minutes late - front unit running in reverse formation so people holding first class tickets waiting in wrong place on platforms; guard announced that stations had been informed but had not acted on the advice. 06.19 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth, 15.23 Waterloo-Portsmouth and 15.33 Waterloo-Yeovil 15 minutes late. 16.22 Waterloo-Reading and 17.54 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to no crew. 16.00 Brighton-Reading 34 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo, 17.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo, 17.52 Waterloo-Reading, 17.54 Waterloo-Haslemere, 17.54 Waterloo-Weybridge, 18.25 Waterloo-Guildford, 18.51 Waterloo-Guildford and 19.21 Weybridge-Waterloo all reduced to 4 coaches. 16.30 and 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth about 10 minutes late. 17.28 Waterloo-Portsmouth cancelled due to duff stock. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 5 coaches with dreadful overcrowding; one passenger telling someone over her mobile phone that the journey was a nightmare. 19.40 Waterloo-Portsmouth severely delayed. 19.17 Waterloo-Woking 21 minutes late. 20.07 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham because previous train cancelled. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Honiton reduced to 3 coaches; 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches. 19.21 Weybridge-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches.
14/11/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 25 minutes late due to wet rails and signalling irregularity at Eastleigh. 13.30 Plymouth-Waterloo and 15.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.53 Waterloo-Portsmouth terminated at Woking. 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late; 17.08 cancelled. 16.12 and 16.42 Reading-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.17 Guildford-Waterloo 15 minutes late; 20.17 34 minutes late. 16.39 Hampton Court-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 17.23 and 17.58 Waterloo-Basingstoke, and 19.14 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 17.56 Waterloo-Eastleigh-Portsmouth and 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 19 minutes late. 18.33 Waterloo-Shepperton; 19.37 Shepperton-Waterloo; 17.04 Guildford-Waterloo; 17.17 Waterloo-Shepperton; 17.22 Waterloo-Chessington; 17.26 Reading-Waterloo; 18.03 Chessington-Waterloo; 18.48 Waterloo-Dorking and 19.49 Dorking-Waterloo all reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 38 minutes late; 20.00 15 minutes late; 20.20 20 minutes late due to no crew. 19.10 Waterloo-Southampton and 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late. 19.17 Waterloo-Woking 26 minutes late. 19.32 Alton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 27 minutes late; 19.45 cancelled. 19.45 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late; 20.15 12 minutes late. 19.47 Waterloo-Weybridge severely delayed. 20.17 Guildford-Waterloo stopping train severely delayed; all intermediate stations omitted. 20.42 Waterloo-Windsor and 21.43 Windsor-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver.
15/11/03 The day that passengers suffered signalling problems in the Vauxhall area on top of major engineering works - the following failures are all in addition to the scheduled changes. Half-hourly Woking-Waterloo stopping trains cancelled through much of the day. 07.07 Exeter-Waterloo 35 minutes late due to duff stock. 09.48 Poole-Waterloo 29 minutes late due to duff stock. 10.03 Waterloo-Shepperton 18 minutes late. 10.18 Waterloo-Alton and 12.00 Alton-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 10.18 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo cancelled. 10.33 Waterloo-Paignton 16 minutes late and terminated at Exeter due to duff stock. 10.37 and 11.07 Waterloo-Weybridge, and 12.03 and 12.33 Weybridge-Waterloo cancelled. 11.03 Waterloo-Exeter 31 minutes late. 11.23 Ascot-Guildford started from Aldershot due to duff train blocking line; likewise 11.27 Guildford-Ascot terminated at Aldershot; 14.23 Ascot-Guildford cancelled. 13.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late; 13.53 25 minutes late. 13.23 Waterloo-Haslemere 24 minutes late due to duff stock. 13.48 Waterloo-Alton 23 minutes late and terminated at Farnham. 14.56 Exeter-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late at Southampton. 16.17 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo cancelled due to no stock. 16.53 Ascot-Guildford started from Aldershot. 19.48 Waterloo-Farnham 22 minutes late. 18.58 Alton-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 21.55 Waterloo-Poole and 22.30 Southampton-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver.
16/11/03 08.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 55 minutes late; 09.30 46 minutes late; 10.30 15 minutes late; 12.30 cancelled; 15.30 15 minutes late; 20.30 18 minutes late. 08.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 34 minutes late; 16.15 25 minutes late; 16.45 15 minutes late; 18.45 10 minutes late; 20.45 16 minutes late; 22.15 35 minutes late. 09.00 Reading-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 09.34 Woking-Waterloo nearly 15 minutes late. 13.40, 14.20 and 14.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo all about 20 minutes late; 15.40 36 minutes late; 16.40 20 minutes late; 17.40 15 minutes late; 20.20 45 minutes late; 20.40 37 minutes late. 13.55 Totton-Romsey 10 minutes late. 14.40 Weymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late; 15.40 38 minutes late; 18.40 31 minutes late. 14.47 and 18.47 Southampton-Portsmouth 15 minutes late; 21.47 10 minutes late. 16.15 Plymouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.47 Portsmouth-Southampton 10 minutes late; 21.47 17 minutes late. 22.08 Paignton-Salisbury axed between Paignton and Newton Abbot due to points failure.
17/11/03 06.23 Reading-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.11 Reading-Brighton terminated at Winchester due to duff stock. 07.28 Havant-Waterloo 11 minutes late; all stations between Haslemere and Guildford omitted. 07.47 Waterloo-Weybridge delayed and omitted about 15 stops for operational convenience. 07.52 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 08.05 Waterloo-Alton cancelled due to signalling problems. 08.46 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late by Southampton; 09.48 18 minutes late; 11.48 axed between Weymouth and Bournemouth due to a "bridge bash" at Moreton. 09.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo ran fast to Twickenham. 09.03 Haslemere-Waterloo ran fast from Woking. 09.17 and 15.47 Guildford-Waterloo about 10 minutes late; omitted stops at Wimbledon, Clapham Junction and Vauxhall. 12.00 Waterloo-Poole 35 minutes late; 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 28 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Poole and 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 14.48 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late; stops at Pokesdown, Christchurch and New Milton omitted for operational convenience. 15.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 15.22 Waterloo-Reading cancelled due to no driver. 15.42 Reading-Waterloo cancelled; 17.12 cancelled due to no driver. 15.33 Portsmouth-Southampton 20 minutes late. 16.05 Reading-Brighton 24 minutes late. 17.13 Basingstoke-Waterloo 25 minutes late; Surbiton stop omitted. 17.15 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 17.18 Epsom-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 17.18 Waterloo-Dorking 15 minutes late. 17.38 Basingstoke-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 17.49 Waterloo-Dorking and 18.03 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 18.00 Waterloo-Guildford and 18.37 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches. 19.00 Brighton-Reading 16 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late; 20.30 13 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Honiton 20 minutes late. 19.54 Reading-Waterloo 15 minutes late - trains between Reading and Ascot had been delayed by a failed train. 20.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 20.42 Waterloo-Guildford 20 minutes late; all stops to Woking, except Surbiton, omitted. 20.39 Waterloo-Guildford and 21.47 Guildford-Wimbledon cancelled. 20.49 Kingston-Waterloo cancelled.
18/11/03 06.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 06.47 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 23 minutes late; stops after Richmond omitted. 06.56 Guildford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 07.11 Reading-Brighton 16 minutes late. 07.12 Waterloo-Guildford 10 minutes late; stops at Horsley, Clandon, London Road omitted. 07.28 Eastleigh-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 07.30 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.53 Farnham-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 08.06 Shepperton-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late; 15.30 10 minutes late. 14.44 Basingstoke-Waterloo 10 minutes late; 17.13 18 minutes late. 15.48 Poole-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 16.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late; 17.25 10 minutes late. 17.24 Waterloo-Weybridge 16 minutes late; stops at Vauxhall, Queenstown Road, Wandsworth Town and Putney omitted. 17.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.54 Waterloo-Haslemere and 19.15 Haslemere-Guildford cancelled due to duff stock. 18.01 Portsmouth-Eastleigh-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.24 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock; 19.54 21 minutes late; 19.57 Guildford-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 19.33 Waterloo-Alton, 19.35 Waterloo-Honiton and 19.40 Waterloo-Portsmouth all over 15 minutes late due to train failure. 21.15 Southampton-Waterloo cancelled.
19/11/03 Morning signalling problems in the Wimbledon area. 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton 28 minutes late. 07.30 Waterloo-Wareham, 07.47 Waterloo-Weybridge and 08.23 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late. 08.48 Waterloo-Alton 24 minutes late. Delayed 09.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo missed all stops to Twickenham for operational convenience. 09.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late. 09.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late; 12.30 14 minutes late; 14.30 15 minutes late. 10.44 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 10.54 Portsmouth-Eastleigh-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea. 12.45 Waterloo-Southampton cancelled due to no driver. 10.00 Waterloo-Poole 11 minutes late; 13.00 arrived at Southampton 15 minutes late and departed 20 minutes late due to uncoupling the unit which should presumably have formed the cancelled 12.45. 12.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late; 14.48 14 minutes late. 13.30 Plymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 16.22 Waterloo-Reading and 17.54 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 16.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 14.33 Waterloo-Plymouth 15 minutes late. 14.48 Poole-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late; 15.48 21minutes late. 14.53 Waterloo-Portsmouth 26 minutes late. 15.44 Exeter-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.41 Wareham-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 16.42 Poole-Waterloo 32 minutes late. 16.52 Waterloo-Reading 37 minutes late and terminated at Ascot; 18.24 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot. 16.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 16.58 Alton-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.13 Basingstoke-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 17.34 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.52 Waterloo-Chessington and 18.33 Chessington-Waterloo both cancelled due to cancellation of previous service. 17.54 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole and 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter 15 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 34 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth and 19.05 Waterloo-Salisbury 16 minutes late. 19.17 Waterloo-Woking 21 minutes late. 19.20 Portsmouth-Waterloo and 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 22 minutes late; 20.30 19 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Poole 26 minutes late. 20.00 and 20.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late.
20/11/03 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo only 3 coaches after Salisbury. 06.42 Exeter-Waterloo 38 minutes late and only 2 coaches after Salisbury. 09.17 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 09.33 Waterloo-Gillingham reduced to 3 carriages. 10.10 Waterloo-Basingstoke 18 minutes late. 10.25 Windsor-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of ancient Mark I stock; 12.30 22 minutes late. BRAND NEW EXCUSE! Passengers thrown off the 12.27 Totton-Romsey even before it started its journey, "due to a piece coming off in the driver's hand"; 13.14 Romsey-Totton and 14.25 Totton-Romsey cancelled in succession. 12.45 Waterloo-Southampton 12 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Poole 13 minutes late. 13.30 Plymouth-Waterloo failed at Whimple and reached London 54 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth and 15.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 15.33 Weybridge-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock. 15.44 Exeter-Waterloo and 17.53 Salisbury- Waterloo both 25 minutes late. 15.54 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.20 Exeter-Waterloo 25 minutes late due to failed train. 16.52 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 8 coaches of old Mark I stock. 18.10 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 5 coaches. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 6 coaches. 18.44 Brockenhurst-Southampton 10 minutes late. 18.51 Waterloo-Guildford cancelled due to no driver.
21/11/03 07.53 Epsom-Waterloo, 08.38 Waterloo-Guildford and 09.42 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.12 Waterloo-Brighton cancelled due to duff stock. 06.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late; 05.57 Weymouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Signalling problems at Cosham; services collapsed - for example 08.17 Brighton-Basingstoke about one hour late, 08.54 Portsmouth-Eastleigh-Waterloo 2 hours late, and 09.33 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 21.09 Hampton-Court-Waterloo 13 minutes late; 20.47 Guildford-Waterloo 12 minutes late; 21.15 Woking-Waterloo 10 minutes late; 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 23 minutes late.
22/11/03 Broken down train at Staines caused early delays. 07.17 Waterloo-Staines 25 minutes late. 07.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 19.24 and 21.54 Reading-Waterloo, 20.26 Waterloo-Reading, 19.15 Waterloo-Dorking and 20.49 Dorking-Waterloo all cancelled due to no driver.
23/11/03 08.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late and 09.48 Waterloo-Shepperton 27 minutes late due to no crew. 09.55 Bournemouth-Winchester 12 minutes late. 10.07 Shepperton-Waterloo, 10.28 Weybridge-Waterloo, 10.58 Waterloo-Hampton Court and 11.39 Hampton Court-Waterloo cancelled due to no guard. 10.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 12 minutes late. Gas leak reported in the Battersea area around 11.00, but was false alarm; line closed for a while between Clapham Junction and Waterloo; trains like the 07.35 from Weymouth delayed for an hour or longer. 11.40 Weymouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 12.37 Havant-Waterloo 32 minutes late. 13.32 Waterloo-Reading cancelled due to no crew. 14.06 Waterloo-Epsom 18 minutes late and 14.09 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late due to no crew. 14.00 Reading-Waterloo 21 minutes late; 15.00 cancelled due to no crew. 15.40 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late; 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 14 minutes late. 17.37 Havant-Waterloo 18 minutes late; 17.53 Havant-Southampton 25 minutes late. 17.48 Basingstoke-Bournemouth 19 minutes late. 18.00 Reading-Waterloo 20 minutes late; 20.00 cancelled due to no driver. 18.07 Shepperton-Waterloo and 18.17 Woking-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.32 Waterloo-Reading and 19.00 Romsey-Totton cancelled due to no driver. 19.18 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver.
24/11/03 Overrun of engineering works. Morning peak trains from the Southampton line generally around 20 minutes late at Waterloo; 05.57 from Weymouth 30 minutes late. 16.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke, 17.39 Waterloo-Farnham, 18.07, 18.22 and 18.52 Waterloo-Reading and 18.24 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 18.21 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 14.48 Poole-Waterloo over 20 minutes late. 15.54 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 16.00 Alton-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 16.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 20.17 Guildford-Waterloo 15 minutes late. Last train from the Wessex main line (21.00 from Weymouth) had to be diverted via Havant, so all booked intermediate stops, including wayside halts like Poole, Bournemouth and Southampton Central, omitted for operational convenience.
25/11/03 04.58 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late, just like the previous day. Around 08.00 most mainline trains into Waterloo were about 10 minutes late; 05.42 from Poole 15 minutes late. 15.54 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo and 16.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.22 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 16.37 Shepperton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.54 Salisbury-Waterloo 28 minutes late. Points failure at Redbridge. 14.48 Poole-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 14.48 from Weymouth 41 minutes late into Waterloo; train was reduced to 5 coaches but nobody at Waterloo bothered to tell passengers who were awaiting along the platform for its return service as the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole, which was horrifically overcrowded and 20 minutes late by Totton. 15.00 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 15.48 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 55 minutes late; all stations between Bournemouth and Waterloo - including Southampton Central - omitted for operational convenience. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 40 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth started at 19.00 and was 40 minutes late by Southampton; passengers waiting at Waterloo given the estimated arrival times of the two halves, but only one 5 coach unit arrived; horrific overcrowding. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 57 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late.
26/11/03 Points failure at Redbridge continued from previous day, with big disruption to morning peak services; for example, the 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo stood at Totton station for 30 minutes and reached Waterloo 37 minutes late. Waterloo-Exeter line services collapsed due to a land slip at Salisbury; for example - 11.30 Exeter-Waterloo 45 minutes late; 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter 53 minutes late; 21.35 Waterloo-Gillingham cancelled. 13.44 Basingstoke-Waterloo 22 minutes late. Points problem on the Alton route - 19.32 Alton-Waterloo 60 minutes late and passengers thrown off at Woking; 20.31 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late; 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 26 minutes late; 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late ("due to cancellation of previous service" ! ?); 19.50 Waterloo-Poole 25 minutes late. 21.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed between Waterloo and Woking.
27/11/03 Emergency skeleton service on Waterloo-Exeter route, with cancellation of most short workings, including those between Waterloo and Salisbury, and many trains which did survive the axe running very late: hell for Salisbury line commuters. Passengers on the 05.42 from Poole suffering a signal check outside Waterloo were horrified when an empty stock train passed with a door wide open. 16.22 Waterloo-Reading, 17.18 Waterloo-Shepperton and 17.24 Waterloo-Weybridge reduced to 4 coaches because of duff stock. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton, 18.00 Waterloo Guildford, 18.37 Waterloo-Alton and 18.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches because of duff stock. 15.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late and 16.01 10 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late by Totton. 20.57 Guildford-Waterloo 10 minutes late.
28/11/03 Emergency skeleton service on Waterloo-Exeter route, with cancellation of most short workings, including those between Waterloo and Salisbury, and many trains which did survive the axe running very late: hell for Salisbury line commuters. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late; this was blamed on the level crossing gates at Totton but the delays actually occurred after Southampton. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late; 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo over 25 minutes late; 16.27 Alton-Waterloo over 20 minutes late; 16.40 and 17.13 Basingstoke-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late at Southampton; 16.42 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.41 Wareham-Waterloo arrived at Southampton 14 minutes late. 15.53 and 16.23 Waterloo-Portsmouth over 10 minutes late. 16.52 Waterloo-Alton and 18.08 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 18.04 Woking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.09 Waterloo-Guildford and 21.17 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 19.26 Waterloo-Reading, 20.12 Waterloo-Windsor and 21.11 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Delayed 19.17 from Portsmouth Harbour ran non-stop to Guildford for operational convenience. 20.22 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late and reduced to 5 coaches with horrific overcrowding. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole departed at 18.57 and was 11 minutes late by Ashurst. 19.10 Waterloo-Southampton 13 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 21 minutes late. 18.42 Poole-Waterloo and 19.24 Reading-Waterloo 12 minutes late.
29/11/03 General delays of around 20 minutes on Waterloo-Exeter line services as trains shunted around the land slip damage. 07.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 44 minutes late; 08.17 18 minutes late; 08.47 42 minutes late; 09.17 17 minutes late; 10.47 30 minutes late; 15.47 52 minutes late; 15.54 10 minutes late; 16.17 18 minutes late. 06.41 Weymouth-Waterloo 32 minutes late; 09.48 20 minutes late; 17.48 13 minutes late. 07.48 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late; 08.48 21 minutes late; 09.48 28 minutes late; 15.48 21 minutes late. 09.55 Southampton-Waterloo 10 minutes late; 10.55 20 minutes late; 16.55 10 minutes late; 18.55 12 minutes late. 15.22 Waterloo-Chessington, 16.03 Chessington-Waterloo, 14.54 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo, and 17.32 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. Evening trains between Surbiton and Effingham Junction diverted due to track repairs. 22.33 Waterloo-Shepperton and 22.45 Windsor-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 19.50 Waterloo-Pole expected 113 minutes late at Southampton. 20.47 Portsmouth-Waterloo 39 minutes late.
30/11/03 07.50 Waterloo-Bournemouth 50 minutes late at Southampton; 09.30 to Weymouth 43 minutes late; 08.50 to Bournemouth 25 minutes late. 08.39 Hampton Court-Waterloo 54 minutes late; 09.09 47 minutes late; 10.09 cancelled; 11.09 cancelled due to no guard. 08.32 Waterloo-Reading 28 minutes late and omitted all stops between Waterloo and Staines. 13.57 Waterloo-Weybridge cancelled due to no driver. 09.03 Chessington-Waterloo 26 minutes late; 10.03 cancelled. 11.25 Epsom-Waterloo cancelled due to no guard. 16.48 Waterloo-Shepperton, and 16.07 / 18.07 Shepperton-Waterloo cancelled due to no guard. 13.55 Bournemouth-Waterloo 50 minutes late; 16.55 and 18.55 18 minutes late. 15.47 Guildford-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.57 Waterloo-Weybridge and 20.28 Weybridge-Waterloo cancelled due to no guard. 20.47 Waterloo-Windsor and 22.00 Windsor-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 19.50 Waterloo-Bournemouth 15 minutes late at Southampton. 20.47 Southampton-Portsmouth 10 minutes late.
2/12/03 08.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 14.48 Poole-Waterloo over 20 minutes late. 16.32 and 16.37 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 16.52 Waterloo-Alton cancelled. 16.55 Southampton-Waterloo delayed due to no crew. 17.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole nearly 10 minutes late; 18.50 14 minutes late; 19.50 12 minutes late. 18.54 Salisbury-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 21 minutes late. 19.05 Alton-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 19.14 Basingstoke-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 19.10 Waterloo-Southampton 30 minutes late; 20.10 12 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 19.30 Reading-Waterloo and 19.33 Portsmouth-Southampton 10 minutes late. 19.45 Woking-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.07 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 20.33 Waterloo-Shepperton and 21.37 Shepperton-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 21.35 Southampton-Waterloo 12 minutes late.
3/12/03 06.32 Weymouth-Waterloo, 06.40 Waterloo-Weymouth, 16.00 and 16.45 Waterloo-Poole, and 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth all about 10 minutes late. 16.50 Plymouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 16.57 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late; 17.17 10 minutes late; 17.50 38 minutes late; 18.17 19 minutes late; 18.20 over 30 minutes late; 19.17 49 minutes late; 19.20 41 minutes late; 19.47 25 minutes late. 17.08 Waterloo-Portsmouth 10 minutes late; 17.20 23 minutes late. 17.28 Portsmouth-Poole 13 minutes late. 18.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Basingstoke. 18.02 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo and 18.12 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 18.24 Waterloo-Weybridge axed between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late and Totton connection from Southampton not held. 18.39 Hampton Court-Waterloo and 18.48 Epsom-Waterloo cancelled due to no driver. 19.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.47 Southampton-Portsmouth 33 minutes late. 20.17 Guildford-Waterloo 11 minutes late; 20.47 10 minutes late. 8 coach train waiting to form the 22.30 Waterloo-Bournemouth, with a 4 coach train in front; due to no driver to take the 4 coach train to Clapham yard, this was attached to the Bournemouth train and the rear 4 coaches of the Bournemouth train were detached and left at the platform; delay of 12 minutes.
4/12/03 06.19 Poole-Waterloo failed at Southampton Airport; commuters delayed up to 90 minutes. 15.45 Waterloo-Southampton and 15.55 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.17 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo and 17.47 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth held up services with a 10 minute stop at Clapham Junction; no explanation whatever. 18.05 reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock; remaining half of train departed 13 minutes late due to duff doors. 19.45 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 20.10 Waterloo-Southampton 13 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late; 20.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Exeter (final service of day) cancelled due to duff stock. 20.40 Waterloo-Portsmouth 30 minutes late due to duff preceding train. 20.45 Woking-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 20.50 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late. 21.08 Chessington-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 21.09 Hampton Court-Waterloo 16 minutes late.
5/12/03 (interim report only) 15.44 Exeter-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 16.22 Waterloo-Reading and 17.05 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 16.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo and 17.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 11 minutes late. 17.39 Waterloo-Farnham and 18.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 18.07 Shepperton-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 18.36 and 18.47 Guildford-Waterloo cancelled. 18.43 Waterloo-Windsor and 19.46 Windsor-Waterloo cancelled. 18.47 Waterloo-Staines 13 minutes late. 19.16 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo and 20.17 Waterloo-Staines cancelled due to no driver. 19.56 Waterloo-Reading 25 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.33 Waterloo-Shepperton 27 minutes late. 20.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke cancelled due to no driver. 21.24 Reading-Waterloo cancelled due to duff stock.
SWT'S "VISION" FROM THEIR LEAFLET "YOUR VOICE" (ISSUED AUGUST 2002)
"The vision that we are all working towards at South West Trains is that we will give our customers the best service they've ever had, and it can be approached through several stages. We can start today by working to make sure tomorrow's journey is better than yesterday's. We can work towards continually improving service delivery as well as service levels, and ensuring we achieve them consistently. "
Current Interpretation? : We've now got a fourfold increase in subsidy and we are required to improve our performance, which is still the worst in the South East. If you, the passenger, are a barrier to getting delayed trains to their destination on schedule, we won't hesitate to omit stops and throw you off or leave you standing on the platform.
Time for rival franchise bidder GNER to provide training on customer service or, better still, take over?
SWT JOBS ADVERT (METRO 4.12.03)
"Getting it right can't be left to chance --- It takes real commitment to get things right. Especially first time, every time. At South West Trains we're working hard to deliver the right customer service ethos --- Our product is unique ---". Who could disagree with the last bit?
MODERATING THE LANGUAGE OF FAILURE - 2
We noted in the last edition that SWT appears to be stretching the English language to soften references to the poor service which its passengers so often receive. There was an interesting example on the SWT website on 19 October, involving the 19.03 Waterloo-Exeter and use of the word "now". This was noted against the 10.03 Waterloo-Salisbury the following day, so can be assumed to be standard:
"Catering facilities are now unavailable between Waterloo and Salisbury". Presumably catering facilities never were available! Or did someone wheel the buffet trolley on to the train at Waterloo as a token gesture and then wheel it off again? And would this in any way have mitigated the failure to provide the advertised service?
On 12 November, SWT thoughtfully confirmed what had been obvious to commuters for a long time when the 17.26 and 17.42 Waterloo-Guildford were shown on posters at Waterloo as reduced to 4 coaches due to "unit maintenance" whilst the SWT website showed them as reduced to 4 coaches due to defective stock.
CAUTIONARY TALES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
(1) A couple lost their Senior Citizen's Railcards. SWT at Southampton Central said they could be replaced for a £5 fee if proof of purchase were provided. The couple provided an Access invoice showing a £36 payment to SWT. SWT refused point blank to accept this and charged them another £36.
(2) Certain of the more frequent South London suburban train services are being promoted as the "Overground Network" (ON) to create the illusion that they are comparable with Underground services in North London.
There is one vital difference on the ON as run by Stagecoach. London Underground never omits stops and throws passengers off for operational convenience when delays occur. Note this Stagecoach SWT horror story from the magazine of the Kingston Area Travellers' Association:
"In late September Transport for London's London Rail and the Strategic Rail Authority launched the ON Overground Network promotion of suburban lines as Metro style services, but just a fortnight earlier a SWT service ran amuck.
One of the three pilot lines is the Kingston loop (except Strawberry Hill) and one of the ON tenets specifies a 'consistent standard of service frequency' but a SWT train my mother was on from Richmond (17.10) to New Malden did not bother stopping after Kingston. As the ON publicity confirms, there are no fast trains on the Kingston loop, but without any announcement the crew decided to make up lost time by running non-stop between Kingston and Waterloo. To add insult to injury, at Waterloo the despairing and bewildered passengers enquired if this same train was returning to New Malden and were told "YES". But lo and behold, at Raynes Park it diverted to Chessington! A letter to SWT's MD Andrew Haines asked what had happened to improved 'customer care' as promised at our AGM last year. He fudged this, and the issue of no announcement but says the guard claims he did.
We learn to our great surprise however that it is common practice to make up time by running non-stop. The delay had been caused by an electrical fault with the doors, so maybe this faulty train also had the tannoy out of action? There was an apology together with a miserly £5 travel voucher, that was supposed to cover the fare. To this unsatisfactory response a second letter to him emphasised that this would not cover a One Day Travel Card, but we pointed out that my mother is 73 and has a Freedom Pass so the reimbursement for fares was not the object. The request for suitable compensation was for my mother arriving home 90 minutes later than expected by my ailing father. For all the passengers knew the train was being hijacked, which was somewhat near the truth. Instead of getting in at 17.30 it was 19.00 which also entailed fighting her way through the London rush hour. We added that if customer care is no longer the prime concern of SWT then surely adequate recompense is needed to avoid adding insult to injury, but a request to reconsider the amount of compensation commensurate with events was refused.
Neither of Mr Haines' replies indicated that any treatment in the future would be any better and my mother has said that she will never travel alone again on SWT."
Should you discover something wrong with the railway infrastructure, or if you think your train may be damaging the track because of rough riding which appears to be due to poor suspension or a flat (= wheel which needs re-profiling), you can report the matter to Network Rail on 08457 711 4141.
The Rail Passengers Committee for Southern England's public meetings in 2004 are scheduled for 30 March (SWT area), 20 July (South Central area) and 26 October (South Eastern area). The Committee can be contacted at Centric House, 390/391 Strand, London, WC2R 0LT. Tel 020 7240 5308. Fax 020 7240 8923. They now have an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org, and website: www.railpassengers.org.uk/Southern.
Railfuture, the former Railway Development Society, campaigns for better rail services throughout Great Britain, and has 17 local groups affiliated to thousands of people in rail user groups. Produces a quarterly magazine 'Railwatch'.
The organisation's philosophy is that there are many positive economic, social and environmental reasons to travel by rail: roads cause 134 times more pollution than rail, travel by rail is at least 18 times safer than by car, and one train can replace more than 100 lorries.
The latest information they have given us is that membership is £17.50 for one year for an individual; £17.50 for a family (+ £2 per extra person); £8.50 for an OAP/student/unwaged person; and £35 for a local authority or company (information correct at April 2003).
Address is 207 Colourworks, 2 Abbot Street, London E8 3DP. Website: www.railfuture.org.uk Tel: 020 7249 5533. Fax: 020 7254 6777. E'mail (To Marketing Director Kate Tudor-Pole) email@example.com
The opening hours at Romsey station, managed by Wessex Trains, have been extended until much later in the day on Mondays to Fridays. Why doesn't South West Trains do likewise at nearby Totton station, which has a larger population?
HOGRIDER PRESS RESEARCH
(Cuttings archived by SHRUG)
Fare's unfair (Hampshire Chronicle 30/6/03)
Correspondent condemns SWT for setting Southampton fares from the new station at Chandlers Ford at twice the rate of those from Winchester. The standard fares are horrific, equating to 35p a mile.
Railways not in crisis says industry head (Evening Standard 8/7/03)
SRA head Richard Bowker told the Commons transport select committee that the railways were not in crisis and had been transformed since privatisation. Measures like cutting the number of trains to improve punctuality on London commuter routes had not been popular but were necessary. Committee Chairman, Gwyneth Dunwoody, said "That is an astonishing, upbeat statement". Passengers thought the railways were in need of change. Mr Bowker said "there is a difference between the reality and the perception" of passengers.
Defiance of death charge rail boss (Metro 10/7/03)
Victims of the Hatfield disaster hope that the attempts to prosecute 12 men for corporate manslaughter will be successful. Former Railtrack boss Gerald Corbett, who resigned with a £1.3m pay-off in the wake of the tragedy, intends to mount a vigorous defence.
Listen to commuters (Metro 10/7/03)
Correspondents' anger at SRA Chief Richard Bowker's remarks that delays are perception rather than reality. Lamentable that someone in his position can appear to have so little understanding of service delivery and customer satisfaction.
Stagecoach keeps SWT franchise - at a price (Evening Standard 11/7/03)
SWT handed new 3-year franchise on SWT from February 2007, with option for a further 5 years. Near five-fold increase in taxpayers' subsidies. Annual subsidy of £170m. 50% of annual profits over £27m to be returned to the SRA. Plans for big improvements to the track in the London area and for 10-coach suburban trains dropped.
Health warning as air pollution hits highest level for seven years (Evening Standard 11/7/03)
Since January, the safe level of particulates in the air has been exceeded in London on 90 days. Pollution responsible for 1,600 premature deaths a year, and a further 1,500 people admitted to hospital because their symptoms are made worse. Marylebone Road is outstandingly bad, with the safe level exceeded on 111 days in 2002.
More lanes, more cars, more asthma (Metro 11/7/03)
Correspondents express despair at the Government's £7bn road spending programme which will encourage greater use of cars and see asthma cases rocket.
Now it's the wrong kind of summer for commuter trains (Evening Standard 11/7/03)
Huge evening delays across the South East on 10 July because 60mph limit introduced due to the hot weather. A Guildford commuter said "It was horrendous. Everything was late and conditions were awful."
SRA boss gets free rail travel (Metro 14/7/03)
Richard Bowker who earns £250,000 a year, and is responsible for increasing fares, gets free first class rail travel.
GB's takeover puts train operator's bosses on line to £11m (Evening Standard 16/7/03)
Four directors at GB Railways, which runs the Anglia franchise, stand to share up to £11m after the company is taken over by First Group.
Hot rails put trains on go-slow (Southern Daily Echo 16/7/03)
Fear of buckling track led to 60mph speed restriction the previous day from 16.30 to 19.00. Commuters at Winchester greeted the announcements with groans.
We'll escape trial over rail tragedy (Metro 17/7/03)
Noel Broadbent, Jarvis' director of compliance and standards, slated for 'shocking arrogance' after saying that prosecutions over the Potters Bar Rail crash would never go ahead and that the police would give up at some time. He thought an HSE investigation might lead to prosecution, but accused the HSE of being politically motivated.
You cannot con us Mr Darling (Evening Standard 17/7/03)
Days after the press had been led to believe London's Crossrail project would go ahead, it now emerged that there would only be consultations on funding. £300m already spent on studies.
Connex and SWT hit by big increase in passenger complaints (Evening Standard 17/7/03)
The Rail Passengers Council has published figures showing that complaints against Connex increased by 14% in the year ending March 2003, compared with the previous 12 months. Complaints against SWT shot up by 20%.
SWT subsidy under attack (Hampshire Chronicle 18/7/03)
Hampshire MEP, Chris Huhne, considers that the 250% increase in Government subsidy to SWT is extraordinary. "This looks like a sweetheart deal where the taxpayer funds the risk and the shareholders of Stagecoach get the reward."
Stagecoach chief's role swap earns huge bonus (Evening Standard 18/7/03)
Brian Souter got a 72% pay package for swapping his title from executive chairman of Stagecoach to chief executive. His £460,000 salary was boosted by a £322,000 performance bonus, £18,000 in perks and a £60,000 payment into his pension pot. Ousted director Keith Cochrane got a £740,000 pay-off.
SWT backs school's bid for special status (Hampshire Chronicle 18/7/03)
SWT [which currently receives around £50m a year from taxpayers, and makes profits of a similar scale] is supporting a bid by Eastleigh's Alderman Quilley School to become a centre for engineering excellence, with a sponsorship cheque for ….. £500.
We will all watch rail firm closely (Southern Daily Echo 21/7/03)
Mike Roberts, environment spokesman of Hampshire County Labour Group, writes of people's concerns at the extension of Stagecoach's SWT franchise. Part of the deal is that SWT will perform better - it has a long way to go to win back confidence.
Train users want action not words (Southern Daily Echo 21/7/03)
South Coast commuters have regularly complained about late, dirty, unreliable and overcrowded trains. Stagecoach chairman Brian Souter has promised improvements for seven years and never delivered. It is time he delivered. Mr Souter's salary has swollen to more than £800,000.
Rail firms told to cut costs by 20% (Metro 21/7/03)
The SRA has told rail franchise bidders to cut costs by up to one fifth, but still wants routine issues like punctuality and cleanliness addressed. Transport 2000 considers that this will not be achieved without further service cuts. Only 81.7% of trains expected to run on time in the next year. Connex lost its franchise after failing to run services on time. [Why didn't Stagecoach lose theirs?]
Rail bosses face fat cat bonus fight (Metro 24/7/03)
Members of Network Rail attacked bosses for receiving 60% of their pay in bonuses. One member saw this as a public relations disaster. Performance levels which applied before the Hatfield disaster unlikely to be seen again before 2008.
Off the rails (Evening Standard 24/7/03)
Rail industry has reached another point of crisis. Network Rail admitted one in five trains running late. The company is demanding over £10bn to fund repairs and upgrades. Since rail privatisation 7 years ago, the Government has spent billions subsidising rail companies that simply fail to deliver. SRA chief Richard Bowker told MPs recently that the railways were not in crisis and had been transformed. This is not the kind of performance or attitude that the Government would accept in any other public service.
Stagecoach sheds US slice (Evening Standard 24/7/03)
The struggling bus and rail company has agreed to sell the South East operations of its Coach USA business for £30m gross.
This mess is your fault Mr Darling (Evening Standard 25/7/03)
Christian Wolmar writes that the cash crisis on the railways has further exposed the industry's disjointed structure. The Regulator, Tom Winsor, wants Network Rail's expenditure reined in, to the fury of the Chairman of the Strategic Rail Authority. The Secretary of State should simplify the structure of the industry, the present structure being responsible for much of the current waste of resources.
The real villains of our rail chaos (Evening Standard 25/7/03)
John MacGregor, the Tory transport minister who privatised the railways, worked for merchant bankers Hill Samuel before the 1979 election. They contributed to his pension for the 11 years he was a minister. One of the banks handling privatisation contracts was Hill Samuel. Two months after leaving office, Mr MacGregor returned to them.
Lost property still a lost cause (Which? August 2003)
Coats each containing £20 and the owner's contact details handed in at 16 rail stations across the UK. Only 5 stations bothered to call the owner. £60 of the £320 retrieved, and that was before administration charges.
Rail advice on the web (Which? August 2003)
Last year only 3 out of 20 test questions put to the National Rail Enquiry Service were answered correctly. This year the number rose to 8. The new website (www.nationalrail.co.uk) could handle 13 of these questions (the others were too complicated) and got 10 of the answers right.
Wrong kind of sunshine cuts services and slows trains (Guardian 5/8/03)
Britain's railways paralysed by speed restrictions introduced because of the high temperatures. Network Rail said they had no record of what happened during the last similarly high temperatures in 1990.
Rail travellers hot and bothered over delays (Southern Daily Echo 5/8/03)
Speed restrictions mean that commuters in Hampshire are facing misery. The Rail Passengers Council urged Network Rail to keep passengers informed about delays.
Rising temperatures bring smog warnings (Metro 5/8/03)
Many people could face breathing problems as ozone levels rise during the heatwave. Temperatures set to break all previous records.
Rail workers to get police powers (Metro 5/8/03)
Rail staff could be given powers to hand out on-the-spot fines to deal with vandalism and anti-social behaviour.
Turning up the heat (Guardian 6/8/03)
Correspondents consider high temperatures symptomatic of global warming. How can Spain manage to run high speed trains in an air temperature of 44%C? Is 60mph really safer than 100 mph if the rails buckle? Perhaps rail chiefs should try moving passengers by hot air balloon?
Extreme humidity increases the risk to commuters (Evening Standard 6/8/03)
Tube passengers being exposed to dangerous levels of heat and humidity. Underground trains and stations were suffering inhuman conditions. Meanwhile, it is the third successive day of delays caused by hot weather on Connex, South Central, and South West Trains. Network Rail said at least two rails had buckled, but Virgin Trains' chief executive Chris Green said rail managers over-reacted following previous month's decision to charge six managers with manslaughter for the Hatfield crash.
We're way off track (Evening Standard 6/8/03)
Winchester resident wonders why some Continental railways can manage high speeds in much higher temperatures. He will be taking his car while the hot weather lasts.
Why British Rails buckle in heat (Guardian 6/8/03)
Rail temperatures may be 20%C higher than air temperatures. If rails pre-stressed further than they are, they could crack in winter. There are some problems in other countries.
Vital rail safety lessons are not getting through (Metro 6/8/03)
68 of the 295 safety recommendations made after the Ladbroke Grove and Southall rail crashes have still not been acted on.
Now heat brings danger from rising smog (Evening Standard 7/8/03)
Air pollution in London is rising to dangerous levels. Many Londoners are reporting breathing problems and doctors have warned asthma sufferers not to exercise outside, especially in the afternoon. Risks of asthma, lung cancer, bronchitis, heart disease and fibrosis. Scientists predict that smog will choke the northern hemisphere by 2100.
Hundreds of thousands hit in transport 'meltdown' (Evening Standard 7/8/03)
For hundreds of thousands of rail and tube commuters it was their worst journey ever. A combination of speed limits, buckled rails and signal failures caused by the heat led to massive delays, exhausted passengers taken to hospital and horrific travel conditions. A woman collapsed at Waterloo and was taken to hospital by ambulance. Passengers expressed their disgust at the pathetic situation and cattle truck conditions.
Trains: the final insult (Evening Standard 8/8/03)
Story of the dreadful nine hour journey from Southampton to Waterloo in terrible heat, on the day Richard Bowker said passengers were starting to see real benefits as the railways improved. Commuters tell how they smashed windows to avoid fainting on train ride from hell. [Full story in Hogrider No 94]
7- mile train journey took 9 hours! (Southern Daily Echo 8/8/03)
More details of SWT's service from hell. Pregnant woman and 82-year old Swiss woman were among the victims.
Use rail cash better - chief (Metro 11/8/03)
First Group Chief Executive considers that more effective use of resources should avoid throwing more cash at Britain's rail network
Merely coincidence? (Southern Daily Echo 12/8/03)
Network Rail wants to remove the footbridge adjacent to Totton's level crossing. It restricts the size of railborne container traffic. ABP recently referred to plans for massive numbers of container movements via Totton if the Dibden Bay proposal goes ahead.
Fare dodge letter on wrong track (Southern Daily Echo 15/8/03)
Southampton woman received letter from SWT threatening £1,000 fine or imprisonment for not paying £10 penalty fare. Despite repeated protests that she had never been on a SWT train, SWT maintained its demands that she submit a statement to that effect.
It's their line to South West Trains (Hampshire Chronicle 15/8/03)
SWT held a rail surgery in Winchester. One major issue was the future of the bus link between Winchester and Romsey. Micheldever passengers wanted an additional northbound service to plug the gap from 06.29 to 07.37.
Rail maintenance cuts (Southern Daily Echo 16/8/03)
Mike Roberts, environment spokesman of Hampshire County Labour Group, expresses concerns about the SRA's proposals to reduce maintenance on rural and secondary lines. Could have implications for Lymington, Farnborough North, Alton and Hedge End line services.
New owners for Wilts and Dorset (Lymington Times 16/8/03)
Wilts and Dorset, the largest bus operator in the New Forest and Christchurch, taken over by Go-Ahead PLC. There were plans to extend urban services, but no immediate plans for rural routes.
Romsey rail link (Hampshire Chronicle 22/8/03)
SWT displayed a poster saying the car park at Winchester station unable to accommodate all rail users. Proposed withdrawal of the Romsey-Winchester bus link could lead to 200 extra passengers seeking to park at Winchester station. Stagecoach share prices have risen by over 600% in recent months, from 10p to 72p, but motorists are having to pay.
Oil on the road (Hampshire Chronicle 22/8/03)
Letter from Upham resident suggesting that oil from the Matterley Farm site could be taken by pipeline to a railhead and transported to Fawley refinery by train, if the Alresford-Winchester line were reinstated. This would avoid major traffic problems on the A31 road.
Retired bus company directors collect £7m (Lymington Times 23/8/03)
When Wilts and Dorset, the longest surviving independent bus company in Britain following privatisation in 1987, was taken over by Newcastle-based Go-Ahead PLC, the three retired directors made about £7m each.
Offence against the railways (Southern Daily Echo 25/8/03)
Correspondent would like to know why members of the previous government are not made to stand trial for the railway debacle.
Commuters get compensation (Southern Daily Echo 27/8/03)
Passengers on the nine hour journey from hell to get token compensation of £100 plus hampers of wine.
Stagecoach signs new rail franchise deal (Alton Herald 29/8/03)
Alton Line Rail Users' Association wants to hold Stagecoach to its promised improvements for SWT passengers. [Some hope; the order for new trains mentioned in the article has reportedly been slashed already]
On the wrong track (Which? September 2003)
Survey by the Consumers Association confirms huge dissatisfaction among London Rail commuters and finds that the SRA is not doing its job. Amazingly, a train is now only treated as cancelled if it fails to complete at least half its scheduled journey. In the real world, a fifth of people had had their train cancelled in the previous five days. Greater percentage of people unable to find a seat or dissatisfied with overcrowding than in 1998. 13% of passengers unable to board a train at least once a week because of overcrowding. As one passenger said: "It's desperately disappointing. If commuters had a realistic choice, they wouldn't choose trains."
How to get trains on track (Southern Daily Echo 1/9/03)
Member of New Forest East Conservatives resents implication in letter of 25/8/03, reported above, that responsibility for the railways' shortcomings fall on his party.
Expert warns of more blackouts (Southern Daily Echo 30/8/03)
Government Energy Adviser Professor Ian Fells said Britain could face a winter of power blackouts like the one which had London's rush hour rail services the previous day. More than 500,000 believed to have been caught in the chaos. Trains due to arrive in Southampton by 21.30 had not even left London. Staff at Winchester station said they had no idea what was happening in London.
If Crossrail fails to make it, new City Tram might (Evening Standard 1/9/03)
Corporation of London is backing a proposal for a tram line from Hackney to Battersea amid fears that the new Crossrail line will never be built. Trams would call at Shoreditch, Bishopsgate, Borough, Elephant and Castle and Vauxhall, crossing the Thames on London Bridge.
Stagecoach founder's bonus will stand (Southern Daily Echo 1/9/03)
Stagecoach survived a vote over its award of a £322,000 bonus to co-founder and chief executive, Brian Souter. Pensions Investment Research Consultants claimed the group's performance targets were insufficiently challenging to justify the levels of award available. SWT blamed Network Rail for the poor performance of SWT.
Newcomers project 'stop at nothing' image but old guard still lend a hand (Guardian 2/9/03)
The 06.57 train from Portsmouth delayed over an hour and football fans unlikely to get to Wolverhampton in time for match. This meant no battle with rival fans.
New rail bosses have made trains even worse say commuters (Evening Standard 4/9/03)
Commuters fed up with big cuts announced on Connex and South West Trains blame the SRA. Only 17% of commuters thought the rail industry had improved in the past two years. 10% said they were forced to stand every day, and 46% are without a seat once a week. Only 44% were satisfied with punctuality, fewer than in 1998.
Historic city choking in sea of fumes (Hampshire Chronicle 5/9/03)
Emissions are causing such bad pollution in Winchester that council chiefs have been forced to consider special measures. Roadside emission testing, with fixed penalty tickets, is a possibility.
One in five trains are delayed (Evening Standard 8/9/03)
Rail performance still patchy. Survey by the Liberal Democrats found that no operators reached the standards they managed in 1997 [the year that SWT services fell apart because Stagecoach disposed of too many drivers].
Wrong kind of track record (Evening Standard 10/9/03)
The SRA's brilliant new policy of blaming the industry's woeful performance on the press is the latest bid to prop up the waning reputation of its Chairman Richard Bowker. Bowker's communications chief, Ceri Evans, used to be William Hague's director of presentation. He masterminded Steve Norris' failed attempt to become London mayor. He then joined Labour, citing admiration for Tony Blair, just as the PM's popularity was waning. His latest campaign suggests his luck isn't changing.
Most crowded (Evening Standard 12/9/03)
Evening Standard published articles from readers whose tales of inefficiency, incompetence and neglect sum up the commuter's plight. SWT won the prize for the most crowded train with the 17.58 from Waterloo to Guildford which regularly leaves some 100 passengers unable to board because of the dreadful crush.
It's all change at Shawford (Hampshire Chronicle 19/9/03)
After intervention of Winchester MP, Mark Oaten, about huge service cuts, SWT restored one evening train in each direction at Shawford. SWT's plan had been that commuters arriving at Winchester after 19.28 should wait until 22.01 for a train.
Frustrating case of the train that simply couldn't take the strain (Hampshire Chronicle 19/9/03)
Huge delays on 17 September when the 07.40 Southampton-Waterloo train failed before reaching Winchester. Hampshire County Council employee 66 minutes late. Another angry passenger complained of the usual lack of information.
Rail delays spark more complaints by public (Daily Telegraph 23/9/03)
Rail Passengers Council reported a rise in complaints. Shadow transport spokesman, Tim Collins, said figures showed rail performance remained worse than when Labour came into office.
Trainspotters attacked (The Times 24/9/03)
Kim Howells, the Transport Minister, said there are at least 200,000 registered trainspotters [???]. Rail use accounts for 7% of transport but 95% of transport politics. We put huge amounts of money into railways but the tax is taken from people who mostly never travel on railways. He also said that cars were greener than trains. [Comments completely out of step with party policy, and good to know it is electric trains rather than motor vehicles that are causing serious health risks to Londoners through airborne pollution]
Rail chiefs must do better says Darling (Evening Standard 25/9/03)
Secretary of State warned that, while some operators are good and getting better, others are not. Passengers need to be given accurate information about delays, and to be told what's being done when things go wrong. The industry had a long way to go.
SRA in retreat over sacking (Guardian 2/10/03)
The Strategic Rail Authority is believed to have paid a six-figure sum [presumably from public funds, ie our money?] to avoid an embarrassing showdown with its former head of freight, Julia Clarke. Ms Clarke was sacked in January after an inquiry into allegations that she had disclosed sensitive information to her husband, the leading rail freight lobbyist Lord Berkeley. The SRA admitted that Ms Clarke had been unfairly dismissed. Critics suggested that Richard Bowker, the SRA Chairman had been irritated by criticisms by Lord Berkeley. [Shades of the wrongful dismissal/demotion of Sarah Friday and Greg Tucker by SWT, except that their compensation was peanuts by comparison?]
£250m tycoon in turf war over 20yd garden (Metro 14/10/03)
Stagecoach tycoon, Ann Gloag, Scotland's richest woman, wants to stop one of her tenants from cutting 120 square yards of grass, which she says is not part of the property the tenant leases. Civil action in progress. Her 100-room Beaufort Castle Estate is set in 19,000 acres of lush countryside.
MPs blast tube and rail bosses on overcrowding (Evening Standard 15/10/03)
The House of Commons Transport Select Committee found that overcrowding can affect the health and safety of passengers in two ways: through stress and injury from overcrowding itself and from the possibility of increased risks in the event of an accident. More than 3 million passengers use the tube everyday, while 500,000 travel by mainline rail into the capital during the morning peak time. Lateness at work, loss of productivity, sickness absence, missed and rescheduled meetings and lost business due to public transport overcrowding and delays all impose real and significant costs. Liberal Democrat member, Tom Brake, said that if the rail operators failed to deal with the problem they should have to pay substantial fines and should not expect the taxpayer to pick up the tabs. Passengers complained of the disgusting state of trains, standing for long distances, and increasing fares. [It all smacks of Stagecoach Chairman Brian Souter's "capitalism based on greed"]
Cattle train trauma (Evening Standard 15/10/03)
The conclusions of the Transport Select Committee on overcrowding are damning, but will come as no surprise to London commuters. South West Trains and Connex have cut services, making matters worse. London's tube and commuter trains have long been a disgrace. The Government needs to say how it will put right this disgraceful situation.
Virgin train advert banned for misleading passengers (Evening Standard 15/10/03)
Advertising Standards Authority condemned Virgin for using the slogan "Catch the next train out" in advertising tickets that had to be booked in advance.
Overcrowding makes commuting a trauma (Metro 16/10/03)
Transport Select Committee calls for immediate and urgent plans to improve the intolerable conditions and overcrowding on public transport which are tantamount to waiting for a tragedy to occur. MPs had listened to evidence from travellers who often found themselves in conditions which were not simply uncomfortable but positively frightening. Managers who accepted overcrowding as inevitable were failing to run the system properly. Research shows that overcrowding and delays cost the City of London £230m a year in lost productivity.
Stress levels soar on simple trip (Evening Standard 16/10/03)
Commuters' heartbeats race due to trauma of overcrowding. Monitoring revealed that normal heartbeat of 60 beats per minute increased to 127 when buying a ticket, 135 when jostling for platform space, and 98 when standing in packed carriage.
Rail firms disguised levels of crowding (Metro 17/10/03)
Transport Select Committee found that First Great Eastern, Silverlink, Thameslink and Connex South Eastern were hiding overcrowding through submitting average figures for their whole networks.
Charges cheer for train companies (Evening Standard 17/10/03)
Train operators such as Stagecoach face a far lower increase in rail access charges than they feared. City analysts says this makes little difference because higher access charges are covered by the subsidies the companies receive.
Readers recall the heyday of Chandlers Ford station (Hampshire Chronicle 17/10/03)
The original station and area was a very different place 40 years ago, with a somewhat primitive station house and adders in the garden.
Passengers face five more years of misery warns rail regulator (Evening Standard 17/10/03)
It will take five years to get train performance back to the levels of before the Hatfield disaster, because of the legacy of Railtrack's years of waste and neglect. Under Network Rail's original plan there was a considerable amount of waste, unnecessary work and inefficiency. The Regulator has managed to pare down spending from £36bn to £24.5bn. [Note that while the Regulator is cutting out waste on infrastructure work, the SRA is throwing away ever greater sums to prop up failed rail operators].
Letters (Evening Standard 20/10/03)
Letter from a Surbiton resident who had had a traumatic journey courtesy of SWT. 08.02 Surbiton-Waterloo cancelled, due to duff stock. 08.06 was 6 minutes late, reduced to 8 coaches and had no room to board. Hundreds left on the platform. 08.11 was 5 minutes late and reduced to 8 coaches. Still unable to board. Passenger eventually got the 08.19 and reached Waterloo 26 minutes later than he had expected. Considers the service "appalling".
All change? Unlikely (Metro 23/10/03)
A London commuter predicts that however great the failure and misery of the railways in 2004, fares will still rise.
Letters (Evening Standard 23/10/03)
Correspondent notes that, although Wimbledon station is run by SWT, they take no responsibility for initiating action on broken information screens on platforms used by Underground trains.
Ground Force Charlie digs her heel in at new station (Hampshire Chronicle 24/10/03)
Report of the formal opening of Chandlers Ford station with Charlie Dimmock