Thameslink services are a mystery … to Thameslink

I received the following response to my claim submitted to Thameslink when they cancelled the 18.22 Sevenoaks to Bat & Ball and delayed my journey by thirty minutes:-

Journey Details
25 October 2018
Sevenoaks to Bat & Ball at 18:22

Decision: Declined

We have checked the journey you have claimed for and our records show that this service was operated by another train operator (London South Eastern Railway). In line with our privacy policy and in order to ensure that your query/complaint is dealt with as efficiently as possible we will forward the details of your claim to them.

It seems that Thameslink do not know what train services they operate!

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Tickets not opening barriers?

I am experiencing frequent incidents of railway tickets that I have purchased not opening ticket barriers at Southeastern and Thameslink London stations: London Bridge, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Blackfriars and St Pancras International are the main offenders. Is anybody else having this problem or know the reason for it?

Senior Railcard Moments September 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 30 September 2018 inclusive = £90.69
(Southeastern £33.00, Thameslink £19.60, South West Railway £12.40, Virgin £25.69)

This month’s delays: total 44 minutes, Southeastern 31, Thameslink 13

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Passengers expect honesty about the causes of disruption

In a previous article, I commented on my journey home from Twickenham on Tuesday 19 June after attending a concert by the Rolling Stones. On the day intending passengers were turned away from Twickenham station and advised that the station was closed due to trespass on the line in the station area and was unlikely to reopen that night.

However, I recently read in a magazine that the decision was taken to close the station because due to earlier train failures at Clapham Junction and Vauxhall trains and crews were out of position and very few services were running therefore there was insufficient capacity to handle the crowds expected at Twickenham station after the concert.

These two explanations are not consistent. Passengers expect honesty about the causes of disruption.

Are Advance tickets an advance?

Since I retired and no longer possess an annual season ticket to London, when planning my days out to obtain the cheapest fare I usually need to buy Advance Purchase Single tickets from Bat & Ball to my destination rather than from London, and the same for my return journey. Many of these tickets, where Southeastern services are used, show that they are restricted to specific Southeastern services. On three occasions so far using the specified Southeastern services have resulted in me just making the departure of the train out of London to my ultimate destination and frequently sent me on not the most convenient route to London; via Otford and Victoria rather than Sevenoaks and London Bridge. On the return journey there has been a long wait for a train from London back home due to an excessive period being allowed between arrival in London and the advised departure time for the Southeastern train back towards Sevenoaks. Continue reading