A total of 99 minutes lateness – Southeastern 52, Thameslink 47 – the improvement of the past few months may be slipping.
Delay Repay Claims: total 1 January to 31 May inclusive = £58.70
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 01 May 2017
Total lateness 20 minutes: Southeastern 8, Thameslink 12
- Wednesday 03 May – Back to work today but a later start than normal I travelled on the later running 08.58 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks which arrived 10 minutes behind time.
- Thursday 04 May – The 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there one minute late today. The 06.31 to Waterloo East also arrived one minute late. There were not many seats available this morning at Sevenoaks, none at Orpington.
- Friday 05 May – The 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there one minute late again today. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived four minutes late. There are signs displayed on stations advising passengers that the timetable changes on the 21 May ; these can be viewed on line but I have not seen any hard copies yet.
Week of 08 May 2017
Total lateness 21 minutes: Southeastern 20, Thameslink 1
- Monday 08 May – Thameslink impressed this morning; the 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived on time. Unfortunately, Southeastern let the side down and cancelled the 06.31 to Waterloo East. Accordingly, I travelled to London on the 06.41 which arrived at Waterloo East on time.
- Tuesday 09 May – The 06.24 departed Bat & Ball about ten seconds early this morning and was on time at Sevenoaks. I travelled to London on the 06.31 service to Charing Cross today where it arrived four minutes late although it was one minute early at Waterloo East. For some unknown reason the train was held at Waterloo East on a red signal. I had to walk through the train to the last carriage to get a seat this morning; this service was very busy, I doubt if any Orpington passengers got a seat today.
- Wednesday 10 May – The 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there on time today. The 06.31 to Waterloo East was three minutes late, time was lost by which seemed to be an extended station stop at London Bridge.
- Thursday 11 May – The 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there one minute late today. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived there two minutes early. A couple of Orpington passengers resorted to sitting on the floor this morning due to there being no seats available. I noticed that the lift on platform three and four at Sevenoaks station is currently out of action.
- Friday 12 May – My destination was Kingston today. I travelled on the 08.58 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks which arrived one minute late. The 09.13 to Waterloo East was three minutes early arriving there. With just over a week to the start of the new timetable and Southeastern have yet again not managed to deliver copies of timetable number six, “London to Bromley North, Orpington and Sevenoaks via Grove Park” to Sevenoaks station. This is the timetable that most Sevenoaks passengers require.
Week of 15 May 2017
Total lateness 23 minutes: Southeastern 5, Thameslink 18
- Monday 15 May – Thameslink started the week well; the 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived on time. The 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived there two minutes late.
- Wednesday 17 May – A repeat of yesterday morning, the 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there one minute late and the 06.31 to Waterloo East was also one minute late. I travelled home on the 15.43 service from Waterloo East which arrived on time at Sevenoaks. The 16.21 to Bat & Ball was nowhere to be seen and was predicted as departing after the 16.30 service. Effectively the 16.21 was cancelled today as far as passengers requiring Bat & Ball to Bickley stations were concerned because due to running later it departed Sevenoaks after the 16.30 service had and ran fast to Bromley South in an attempt to recover time. My journey to Bat & Ball was delayed by nine minutes.
- Thursday 18 May – My destination was Barrow Hill Roundhouse today. I travelled on the 07.39 service from Bat & Ball to St Pancras International which arrived two minutes late. Here I boarded a privately chartered East Midlands Intercity 125 train which ran to Barrow Hill. After the return journey from Barrow Hill to St Pancras International I continued to Bat & Ball on the 19.10 departure which arrived three minutes late at Bat & Ball.
Week of 22 May 2017
Total lateness 35 minutes: Southeastern 19, Thameslink 16
- Monday 22 May – The first day of the new timetable. The 06.24 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks arrived there one minute late today. The 06.31 departure from Sevenoaks to Waterloo East arrived in London two minutes early. The only change to this morning’s journey which might be due to the new timetable was that the 06.31 to Waterloo East arrived there on platform D rather than platform B. I travelled home on the 15.43 service from Waterloo East which arrived two minutes early at Sevenoaks. At Sevenoaks it was obvious that Thameslink were having problems. The 16.00 departure to Bat & Ball was expected at 16.31, the 16.21 was “delayed. Eventually the 16.30 was also “delayed” and the 16.21 was cancelled. The 16.00 seemed to disappear therefore I assume it was cancelled. The 17.00 departure was expected to run; it did but twenty-two minutes late. A sixty-one minutes delay to my journey. My first delay repay claim of the new timetable. If the information given out at Sevenoaks station had been more precise as to what was actually happening I would have abandoned my journey and walked home. “Delayed” does not communicate an accurate indication of the implications of the problems to your journey. A train had failed in the tunnels between Blackfriars and St Pancras International and there was also a points and/or signal failure at Petts Wood junction.
- Tuesday 23 May – The 06.24 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks arrived there on time today. The 06.31 departure from Sevenoaks to Waterloo East arrived in London two minutes late. I returned home on the 15.43 service from Waterloo East which arrived two minutes early at Sevenoaks. At Sevenoaks it was obvious that Thameslink were having problems again. The 16.21 departure to Bat & Ball was late on its inward journey, and departed late. It was nine minutes late arriving at Bat & Ball.
- Wednesday 24 May – More Thameslink problems, the 06.24 to Sevenoaks was cancelled, the 06.42 arrived at Sevenoaks three minutes late. The first train to Waterloo East that I could travel on was the 07.03. This arrived in London one minute early. Overall Thameslink delayed my journey by thirty-four minutes.
- Thursday 25 May – Thameslink were running late this morning, the 06.24 to Sevenoaks arrived there three minutes late at 06.30. The 06.31 to Waterloo East was just coming to a stand in platform one. I crossed the footbridge and just managed to board the train as the doors started to close. Arrival in London was one minute early.
- Friday 26 May – Not working today but I travelled to Victoria from Otford in the evening bound for the Roundhouse at Chalk Farm to see attend a Hawkwind gig. No delays in either direction.
- Saturday 27 May – I travelled from Bat & Ball to Salisbury today. There were no trains from Sevenoaks to London Bridge, Waterloo East or Charing Cross today. Accordingly, I travelled to Cannon Street. Here I continued my journey to Waterloo on the District line to Embankment and then the Northern Line to Waterloo. No delays experienced today. It occurred to me today that there might have been a missed opportunity when the alternative routes were announced for people to use with their railway only tickets whilst the London Bridge rebuilding work is undertaken. Why was the Bakerloo Line from Elephant and Castle to Waterloo East, Embankment and Charing Cross not included? The train from Waterloo to Salisbury was ridiculously overcrowded. On departure from Waterloo there were only one or two vacant seats in the coach I was travelling in. After Clapham Junction, the six coach train was very full with many people standing. At Woking not all the people that intended travelling on this service could board the train, many were left on the platform on departure. This train divided at Salisbury with one three coach unit continuing to Exeter and the other to Bristol Temple Meads. Both were full on departure with people standing. Obviously, three coach diesel multiple units do not offer sufficient capacity on Bank Holiday Saturdays on this route.