Senior Railcard Moments – December 2017

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

This month’s delays: a total 53 minutes for four days travelling, Southeastern 22, Thameslink 31. Delay Repay Claims; total 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2017 inclusive = £140.30 (Greater Anglia £10.80, Southeastern £28.80, Thameslink £80.30, Virgin £20.40)

Wednesday 6 December 2017 – A trip to north Hackney today. I started my journey on the 10.40 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks which was on time. At Sevenoaks the 10.49 to London Bridge was running four minutes late, one minute was recovered and at London Bridge arrival there was three minutes late. Continue reading

Solar Powered Trains?

Imperial College have apparently released a report detailing how British railways could be powered by solar panels.

The Renewable Traction Power project will plug track-side solar panels into trackside substations, where trains can directly use the generated electricity. The saving is estimated at £4.5 million annually.

The proposal is apparently that the solar panels are alongside the tracks, rather than on the roofs of the trains. At least this should mean that the trains don’t grind to a halt when they enter Polhill tunnel!

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More fare misery for Sevenoaks

The 2018 fares have just been announced. An annual Standard Class season ticket from Sevenoaks to Charing Cross or Cannon Street, currently £3,380, will increase to an eye-watering £3,500.

As usual, Sevenoaks commuters are being gouged. Similar length commuter journeys on other operators are significantly cheaper – Watford Junction to London is 11% cheaper and Redhill to London is 18% cheaper.

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Senior Railcard Moments – November 2017

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

This month’s railway experiences:

  • Monday 6 November – Chris Tarrant’s Extreme Railway Journeys programme on Channel 5 was in Morocco and a new excuse for late running was heard, “snails on the line”. Apparently, this causes problems like leaves on the line in the UK whereby the trains suffer poor adhesion problems. Perhaps Network Rail and the train operating companies should add this to their official late running excuse book.

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It wouldn’t happen here ….

The Guardian reports that a Japanese train operator has apologised to customers for a train that departed 20 seconds early.

Commuters usually complain about delays and cancelled trains, but a Japanese railway company apologised on Tuesday 14 November 2017 for departing early — 20 seconds to be exact.

The Tsukuba Express line between Tokyo and the city of Tsukuba in Japan was scheduled to leave 9:44:40 local time, but instead left at 9:44:20, robbing riders the 20 seconds to sprint to the train before the doors close. The train was departing from the Minami Nagareyama Station, located north of Tokyo.

In England it’s a bit different. SRTA often sees complaints that Southeastern staff have closed the doors way too early – but that seems to be so that customers can pointlessly stab the open doors button for 30 seconds or more before the train actually departs.

Here’s a first-class tip for Thameslink services

As most readers will know very few Thameslink service on the Sevenoaks route are due to have first accommodation. So standard class ticket holders may occupy the first-class areas on the class 700 trains.

I have discovered that it would appears that the first-class accommodation on other Thameslink routes using the new class 700 trains has been provided in excess of requirements. Only the first-class area at the front of the trains is being used for first class ticket holders. When the first-class area at the rear of the trains can be used by standard class ticket holders this can be identified by the platform information screens showing “first class is available at the front of this train”.

Occupying the first-class areas is the only way to have a comfortable journey on a class 700 train!