Serious Sevenoaks Station Sofa Shortage

Where have the Sevenoaks Station sofas gone?

Update: we’ve now been told by Southeastern that the sofas have been removed because a group of youths were vandalising them, and on one occasion trying to set fire to them. More seriously, the youths also assaulted a member of Southeastern station staff who challenged them about their actions.

A Buck is Passed

On 20 September 2019, I advised Southeastern that there were two lights on the footbridge at Bat & Ball station that were not working. On Friday 8 November 2019, they were still not working, and I contacted Southeastern again. I received a telephone call from Southeastern Customer Services in which they suggested that I should contact Network Rail and advise them of the problem with the footbridge lights at Bat & Ball station. I thought that Southeastern were responsible for Bat & Ball station.

However, I did contact Network Rail and as I expected they confirmed that it was Southeastern who should deal with this problem. I will monitor for progress; as at 29 November 2019 they were still not working.

NB: Although no Southeastern trains now stop at Bat & Ball, Southeastern are still responsible for the maintenance of the station – and of all the other stations on the Darenth Valley line.

Senior Railcard Moments October 2019

Our Bat & Ball correspondent, Keith Alderman, has now retired. However, when Thameslink allow him, he’s making good use of his Senior Railcard!

Delay Repay Claims: total 1 January 2019 to 31 October 2019 inclusive = £137.36
(East Midlands Trains £5.36, Greater Anglia £8.90, Southeastern £31.50, Southern £2.00, South Western Railway £19.56, Thameslink £15.90, Virgin £53.63, West Midland Railway £0.51). One claim outstanding.

This month’s delays: total 120 minutes, Southeastern 67, Thameslink 53

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Bat & Ball Rounding

Regular readers will recall that I queried with Southeastern why the January fare increase resulted in different season ticket prices to London Terminals for Bat & Ball when compared to Otford and Sevenoaks; historically the fares to London Terminals for all three stations have been identical. The annual fare increase was 3.2%, this was applied to Bat & Ball fares, but Otford and Sevenoaks fares only increased by 3.09%. Southeastern blamed the differences on rounding and advised that the fares were set in stone and will not be corrected/reviewed until the fare revision in January 2020!

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The Blackfriars Dash

If you want to travel from St Pancras International to Bat & Ball, one option that National Rail Enquiries suggests is that you change trains at London Blackfriars. However, the following are typically suggested itineraries: –

St Pancras International dep19352005
Blackfriars arr19432013
Blackfriars dep19462016
Bat & Ball arr20512121

In both examples, only three minutes allowed to change between trains at Blackfriars. To achieve this, you need to exit platform one, walk via a subway to platform three. Based on my experiences, even if you are sitting in the first, or last, coach of the train arriving at Blackfriars, this is not enough time to successfully transfer between trains.