Why should customers arrange their holidays to suit Network Rail?

There was a small eruption on 29-30 January when Southeastern announced that on August Bank Holiday and for four working days afterwards there will be no Southeastern trains at Charing Cross, London Bridge and Waterloo East – and said:

“If you’re planning a holiday, please consider these dates”

We’ve been investigating what’s happening, why it is happening in the days after the Bank Holiday rather than earlier in August, and how customers were consulted.

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Beyond 2024, providing additional capacity for Kent services is “far more challenging”

The delayed “Kent Area Route Study” by Network Rail has been published this week. Once again Network Rail have failed to suggest a coherent strategy for the long-term increase in capacity to meet rising passenger demand in Kent.

By 2024 the number of peak hour coaches needs to increase by 15%, which might be possible.  But by 2044 there is a need for 44% more coaches than now. The Study finds that “a strategy for providing additional capacity for Kent services is far more challenging”. Disappointingly there’s no coherent and systematic plan to overcome the multiple constraints and draw up the overall investment and capacity enhancement strategy needed over the next 25 years.

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Keith’s Travel Diary February 2017

A total of 233 minutes delay – Southeastern 99, Thameslink 134. Not a good month, and no Lewisham derailment to blame this time.

Delay Repay Claims: total 1 January 2017 to 28 February 2017 inclusive = £19.80
Southeastern £14.40,Thameslink £5.40

Keith is a SRTA member and a regular commuter from Bat & Ball to London via Sevenoaks. Each month he gives his personal experiences and views. Continue reading

Consultation on new Southeastern franchise launched

The Department for Transport have this morning published their consultation document about the specification for the next Southeastern franchise starting in December 2018.

On a quick read it has some general statements such as

  • “more space for passengers”
  • “reduce delays”
  • “We want the next operator to engage fully with passengers and place them at the heart of their business and operations”

but it’s short of specific proposals on how would this be done. There’s a call for suggestions from customers in a range of specific areas, so this looks an opportunity to make a contribution before decisions are taken. Continue reading

Communications on Southeastern: where Red means stopped for two days, and Green means … stopped for four days

Credit: Southeastern

Over Easter London Bridge work will mean there will be:

  • no services to London Bridge, Waterloo East and Charing Cross on Friday 14 April and Saturday 15 April.
  • no services to Cannon Street on Friday 14 April to Monday 17 April inclusive.

Unfortunately the diagram in Southeastern’s poster is unclear.  Continue reading

Are Southeastern failing to report failing to stop?

We’ve been concerned for some while about Southeastern’s growing use of “Station Skipping” to get trains back on time. Essentially this reduces recorded delays on trains by increasing delays for customers. It’s good for Southeastern because their performance is measured by how much trains are delayed, not by how much passengers are delayed. But is station skipping recorded properly? We’ve been trying to find out. Continue reading