Southeastern have told our colleagues at Dartford that it’s alright because “complaints about train heating are split 50/50 between passengers claiming it’s too cold and those complaining it’s too hot“.
But as children did Southeastern miss the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears? – which shows it is possible to have one bowl of porridge too hot and one bowl of porridge too cold.
Some passengers have been reporting that their different trains have had no heating at all. For instance:
— Legal Sec (@KarenHarding10) January 20, 2016
@Se_Railway Can somebody turn on the heating on the 17:43 train from Cannon St to Barnehurst. We’re freezing here
— Vincent Law (@chiseng16) January 20, 2016
Rubbish service Thursday evening and again today @Se_Railway Even carriage is freezing – no heating.
— Bridget Jones (@bjj1212) January 16, 2016
Yet at the same time others are saying that their trains are boiling:
@Se_Railway the train from Victoria 1709 is boiling, any chance someone can turn it down!!??
— Nicola Lohman (@Nikdubya) January 17, 2016
@Se_Railway any chance you could tell the driver of the 18.01 from chx to new Eltham to turn the heating down? Everyone is boiling!!!
— Jo (@commuterjo) January 14, 2016
@Se_Railway I’m not joking when I say I’ve had to strip down to my vest,it’s like India in the summer !
— Mr Smug barbecue (@smugbbq) January 19, 2016
Indeed the Dartford Rail Travellers Association have been reporting that on some trains the radiators are dangerously hot:
— Peter Mount (@peter_mount) January 19, 2016
— SE Rail Action Group (@SERailAction) January 20, 2016
It seems that Southeastern’s spokesman would like us to believe that these are just different people’s views on the same reasonable temperature.
That does not seem plausible to us. These are reports from different trains. And it is hard to believe that someone would feel frozen in a carriage with a radiator at 89.2°C giving off heat.
What seems more likely is:
- on some carriages the heating has failed completely.
- on other carriages part of the heating control system – perhaps a thermostat – has failed, and so it is overheating.
This would explain why different customers are reporting very different experiences. And it would be down to a common cause of failures in rolling stock maintenance – which we know from the number of short train formations is already a problem at the moment.
Southeastern should stop trying to dismiss this issue, they should investigate what is really happening – and say what they are going to do about it.
After all, Goldilocks herself found that one bowl of porridge was too hot and the next one was too cold.
If you have any experience of trains being too hot or too cold – or “just right” – please do let us know.