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.

Week of 30 January 2017

Total lateness 40 minutes: Southeastern 4, Thameslink 36

 

  • Monday 30 January – The start of another week and nothing has been done about the faulty lights at Bat & Ball Station. Today I set off later than usual and travelled on the 07.40 to Sevenoaks which was thirteen minutes late. This was one train earlier than I needed but the next two services at 08.00 and 08.24 were cancelled. I found out later that my usual train at 06.24 was also cancelled. Thameslink obviously don’t like Mondays!
  • Tuesday 31 January – The 06.24 was one minute late arriving at Sevenoaks this morning. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived two minutes early. There were some seats available for Sevenoaks passengers today.
  • Wednesday 01 February – The 06.24 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks was late again today arriving at Sevenoaks six minutes late. Too late for me to cross the footbridge to platform one for the 06.31 departure to Waterloo East therefore I travelled on the 06.41 service. This arrived one minute late at Waterloo East. However, due to the Thameslink service causing me to miss my connection on to the 06.31 my journey was delayed by fourteen minutes.
  • Thursday 02 February – On the 06.31 to Waterloo East there were some seats available for Sevenoaks passengers today. After departing Sevenoaks the Conductor made an announcement advising standing passengers that there were currently ten vacant seats in the rear coach. After calling at Orpington the Conductor announced that first class had been declassified and invited any standing passenger to occupy any vacant first class seat. In the coach that I was travelling in there were a lot of people standing after Orpington.
  • Friday 03 February – My destination is Dover today. Today was the first time I have travelled over the line in the Dover area that was washed away by storms since it has been rebuilt. Although the railway service has resumed there still appears to be a lot of work being undertaken to finish the job.

Week of 6 February 2017

Total lateness 43 minutes: Southeastern 9, Thameslink 34

  • Monday 06 February – There are still three lights not working at Bat & Ball Station, those that were flickering on and off intermittently are now working but a different light has started flickering. The 06.24 made a very slow approach in to Bat & Ball Station this morning and was one minute late arriving at Sevenoaks. The 06.31 to Waterloo East was two low density seating four coach units today and arrived on time. There were seats available for Sevenoaks passengers today, and a few for those joining at Orpington but on departure many were standing.
  • Tuesday 07 February – The 06.24 from Bat & Ball Station was one minute late arriving at Sevenoaks. The 06.31 to Waterloo East was two low density seating four coach units again today and I needed to walk through two coaches before finding a seat. The only Orpington customers who got a seat were those occupied one vacated by a passenger leaving the train there. Many people were standing when the train departed.
  • Wednesday 08 February – There are now five lights not working on the platforms at Bat & Ball Station; three on platform one and two on platform two. When I arrived at Bat & Ball Station this morning the 06.24 was expected at 06.27, this changed to 06.25 then reverted back to 06.27. It eventually departed at 06.28 and arrived at Sevenoaks at 06.31. Just as the 06.31 to Waterloo East was departing. I travelled to Waterloo East on the 06.41 which arrived there one minute late at 07.16. However, my journey was really delayed by fourteen minutes. The information screen at Sevenoaks was advising that there was reduced first class accommodation on the 06.41 service, shame!
  • Thursday 09 February – I travelled home on the 15.43 from Waterloo East again today which arrived two minutes early at Sevenoaks but on platform four rather than platform three. On platform three the 16.00 Thameslink service was still waiting to depart. This train was running late and when it departed ran fast to Bickley. It was apparent that there were problems this evening, these were caused by a train failing on the up line at Chelsfield. Accordingly, all London bound services were routed via Bat & Ball and it appeared that Thameslink services were being sacrificed to keep the Charing Cross and Cannon Street bound trains that would form the evening peak services out of those stations running. Due to congestion on platforms one and two most services through Sevenoaks were only using platforms three and four. The 16.21 service was delayed, departing Sevenoaks and arriving at Bat & Ball eighteen minutes late. This will be my first test of the new fifteen minute Delay Repay compensation that Thameslink’s Website has been advising is payable since the 11 December 2016.

Week of 13 February 2017

Total lateness 11 minutes: Southeastern 4, Thameslink 7

 

  • Monday 13 February – There were five platform lights not working when I arrived at Bat & Ball Station this morning. Train wise a good start to the week. The 06.24 to Sevenoaks was on time. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived there three minutes late but did have some seats available for Sevenoaks customers. At Orpington there were only one or two empty seats available for passengers boarding the train. Whilst waiting at Bat & Ball Station this morning for my train I noticed some graffiti on the side of the 06.16 service to Blackfriars; along about half the length of one coach from floor level to just below the windows “The Fare Evader” had been painted on it!
  • Tuesday 14 February – I travelled home on the 16.12 from Waterloo East which was one minute early at Sevenoaks. The 17.00 to Bat & Ball was on time. This is a Thameslink service and it seemed odd to me that tonight Southeastern staff were undertaking a ticket inspection on the train.
  • Wednesday 15 February – The 06.24 was shown as on time at Bat & Ball but actually arrived five minutes late at Sevenoaks. I just managed to cross the footbridge in time to catch the 06.31 to Waterloo East.
  • Thursday 16 February – My destination was Derby today. I departed Bat & Ball on the 06.48 service to St Pancras which arrived there one minute early. Midland Mainline delivered me in to Derby five minutes late. Arrival back at St Pancras was on time. Here I travelled on the 16.00 Thameslink services direct to Bat & Ball which was three minutes late arriving there.
  • Friday 17 February – The 06.24 was on time at Bat & Ball but one minute late arriving at Sevenoaks. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived on time in London. There were seats available at Sevenoaks but and a few for those joining at Orpington. There appeared to be more free seats than usual on this train this morning; possibly due to it being a Friday in a school’s half-term week.

Week of 20 February 2017

Total lateness 76 minutes: Southeastern 28, Thameslink 48

  • Monday 20 February – – There were five platform lights not working when I arrived at Bat & Ball Station this morning and one light flickering intermittently. Train wise a good start to the week. The 06.24 to Sevenoaks was only one minute late today. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived there on time and did have a few seats available for Sevenoaks customers. At Orpington there were no empty seats available for passengers boarding the train where I was sitting and about fifteen were standing at the end of the coach on departure.
  • Tuesday 21 February – The 06.24 to Sevenoaks was only one minute late again today. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived there one minute early and did have a few seats available for Sevenoaks customers but at Orpington there were no empty seats available for passengers boarding the train there.
  • Wednesday 22 February – My destination is Norwich today. I left Bat & Ball on the 06.42 which arrived at Sevenoaks one minute late. I then travelled to Cannon Street on the 06.54 which arrived in London two minutes early. My journey between Liverpool Street and Norwich by Greater Anglia was on time in both directions.
  • Thursday 23 February – Storm Doris was causing problems this evening, Thameslink services from Blackfriars station to Sevenoaks delayed, cancelled and running late. At Cannon Street there were crowds of people, who I imagine had left work early due to anticipated travel problems, on the station concourse and a member of staff who passed me could be heard talking on a radio or mobile telephone saying that the concourse was full to capacity and was asking if they should consider closing the station. Trains appeared to be departing from Cannon Street station albeit slightly delayed. I continued to a pub where I was due to meet with some people who I worked with in the past. After a meal and a few pints I made my way to London Bridge station hoping to travel home on the 20.19 or 20.23 services. I actually travelled on the delayed 19.53 arriving at Sevenoaks at 20.33. At Sevenoaks, the next service to Bat & Ball was the delayed 20.30 which was expected to depart at 21.03. This train departed Sevenoaks at 21.05.
  • Friday 24 February – The 06.24 from Bat & Ball arrived three minutes late at Sevenoaks again today at 06.30. The 06.31 was on time and I just crossed the footbridge in time to board this service. Arrival at Waterloo East was on time.

Week of 27 February 2017

Total lateness 63 minutes: Southeastern 54, Thameslink 9

  • Monday 27 February – There were five platform lights not working when I arrived at Bat & Ball Station this morning and one light flickering intermittently. No change since last week however some of these faulty lights were first reported to Southeastern at the end of December. The 06.24 to Sevenoaks was only one minute late today. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived there eight minutes late today this was blamed on congestion in the London Bridge area.
  • Tuesday 28 February – Very surprisingly the 06.24 departed Bat & Ball fifty seconds early this morning and was almost a minute early arriving at Sevenoaks! The 06.31 to Waterloo East was very busy today, the leading unit was a high density one and there were a few seats available. The rear four coaches were low density stock and there was only one seat free in the coach that I boarded. I walked through the train in search of a seat but was unsuccessful; I should have waited for the 06.41 departure.
  • Wednesday 01 March – The 06.24 from Bat & Ball was one minute late arriving at Sevenoaks this morning. The 06.31 from Sevenoaks to Waterloo East was also one minute late arriving at its destination. This train was very full this morning, I did get a seat but walked through three carriages to find an empty one. Very few, if any, people boarding Orpington would have found a seat today.
  • Thursday 02 March – The 06.24 from Bat & Ball was shown as expected at 06.28 when I arrived at the station, this improved to 06.27 but the train did not arrive until about 06.29. Sevenoaks was reached at 06.33 and the 06.31 to Waterloo East could be seen disappearing towards London. At Sevenoaks there were problems releasing the doors and a further two minutes delay occurred. I travelled to Waterloo East on the 06.41 which arrived in London two minutes late. Probably due to stopping additionally at Dunton Green and Knockholt to cover for the cancelled 06.34 slow service to Cannon Street.
  • Friday 03 March – My destination was Chappel and Wakes Colne today. I started my journey on the 08.00 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks which was on time. The 08.08 from Sevenoaks to Cannon Street arrived in London fifteen minutes late. I walked to Liverpool Street Station and joined the 10.02 departure. My journey to and from Chappel and Wakes Colne was more or less to time, a one minute delay arriving at Mark’s Tey on the outward where I needed to change trains.
    Saturday 04 March – My destination was Petersfield today, I departed Bat & Ball on the 07.10 to Sevenoaks which arrived three minutes late. I continued my journey to Waterloo East on the 07.19 departure which arrived one minute late in London. Southwest trains were badly disrupted by engineering works and my journey to Petersfield was about fifty percent longer than usual. I started my return journey from Portsmouth rather than Petersfield and managed to get back to Waterloo about an hour and a half earlier than I would have done if I had commenced my journey at Petersfield.

Incidents and this month’s issues: –

Anorak Update: –

Class 700 trains are currently due to operate the following services to/from Sevenoaks: –

• Bedford to Sevenoaks – 07.16
• Luton to Sevenoaks – 07.46
• West Hampstead to Sevenoaks – 11.50 & 15.20
• Sevenoaks to Kentish Town – 09.42
• Sevenoaks to West Hampstead – 13.30
• Sevenoaks to Bedford – 16.30 & 17.00

Delay Repay Claim Requirements: –

Interestingly, Thameslink and Southeastern online Delay Repay claims have slightly different requirements in respect of claims by season ticket holders. Southeastern require customers to scan and upload a copy of their season ticket. However, Thameslink require their customers to scan and upload a copy of both their photo card and season ticket. The same office appears to deal with claims for both train operating companies!

Since the 1 January 2017 I have started to make my Delay Repay claims online rather than by post. Payments are received much quicker when this method is used. However, some claims do not fit the online claim process therefore I have had to make one or two by filling in a claim form and submitting it by post.


Comments

Keith’s Travel Diary February 2017 — 2 Comments

  1. Hi Keith, thanks for the interesting read, wondering what your thoughts are on the continuous and unrelenting vandalism to the Bat & Ball ticket machine in the previous months, as well as to the information board outside the station?

  2. After quite a long period where vandalism at Bat & Ball station was rare and usually just graffiti it is disappointing that over the last three months the problem has returned and become more destructive. Recently; windows on platform one in the shelter have been broken, florescent lighting tubes and the fittings pulled away from the platform shelter roof and thrown on to the track bed. On platform two information boards have been destroyed and on three or four occasions the screen on the ticket machine has been damaged so as you cannot see the screen and therefore buying tickets is impossible. I suspect that the majority of the destruction is caused by teenagers hanging around the station smoking weed. The ticket machine is possibly being broken by those who do not want to buy a ticket but still travel. It was common in the past for people to buy a 5p permit to travel ticket and get off the train at Elephant and Castle where there are no ticket barriers and ticket checks are extremely unlikely.

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