Senior Railcard Moments May 2018

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 2018 to 31 May 2018 inclusive = £26.80
(Southeastern £19.80, Thameslink £7.00) One claim outstanding.

This month’s delays, total 72 minutes, Southeastern 37, Thameslink 35. Continue reading

Southeastern Wifi: sometimes it’s “a bit Thameslink”

At the beginning of the month, I read an article in a magazine that advised Wifi installation on Southeastern train services should be complete by June 2018. This was the first time I had seen any information about the date by which Wifi should be available on Southeastern services.

On Wednesday 16 May I successfully accessed the Internet and used my e-mail service between London Bridge and Hither Green on a Class 375 train, so it looks promising. However; my next four journeys on Southeastern trains were not good …

Continue reading

Ghost Trains and Secret Buses with Thameslink

Last week Thameslink gave us Mirage Trains.  Each Mirage Train was shown as ‘On Time’ right up until the moment it was supposed to leave, but then the departure time was put back minute by minute until  Pffttt !!!  it vanished from the schedule without trace.

This week Thameslink have devised a new game for us.  Late on Monday night the new A – Z screen at Sevenoaks just showed “—” for Bat & Ball and Otford, and no Thameslink departures were shown on the chronological displays.  No trains, no replacement buses, Nada, Zilch, Nil, Zero, Nowt, Nothing.  Tough, Shanks’s pony or get a taxi was the gist.

However, there was a 700 train at Platform 4 with a driver in the cab and London Blackfriars on its headboard display.  Continue reading

In Eynsford and Shoreham, even our new & worse Thameslink service isn’t working

The Fat Controller in my son’s Thomas Tank Engine books complains about “confusion and delays” and that’s explains the situation on our Thameslink train services from Eynsford.

Many of us were dreading the new timetable because of its promise of new, slower, services and worse connection times at Swanley onto slower trains to Victoria.

However we have not been able to experience this because Thameslink have been unable to run their trains properly. We have faced daily cancellations, many at last minute, random unannounced rail replacement bus services and a failure of the platform information signs. Nobody can give us a straight answer to the problem and Thameslink seem unable to apologise.

Continue reading

Poor information continues to compound Thameslink problems

We’d hoped that even if Thameslink could not sort out their trains this week at least they could sort out their information. Sadly that hasn’t happened. Today’s online information about the Bat & Ball line has been inadequate to the point of dishonesty.

Some trains such as the 1722 from Sevenoaks were shown well in advance as ‘Cancelled’, but others such as the 1652 were shown as being ‘On time’. However, at the last minute the 1652’s departure time was revised to 1655, 1656 etc, and then became the meaningless ‘Delayed’ right through until when the cancelled 1722 had been supposed to depart, only for it suddenly to disappear without any explanation. The National Rail Journey Planner was even worse, falsely claiming that the 1652 had been ‘On time’ until it finally admitted around 1820 that it had actually been cancelled. Continue reading