Senior Railcard Moments December 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 December 2018 inclusive = £113.09
(Southeastern £45.40, Thameslink £28.50, South West Railway £12.40, Southern £1.10, Virgin £25.69)

This month’s delays: total 112 minutes, Southeastern 109, Thameslink 3

Sunday 2 December – I collected some Advance Purchase tickets from Sevenoaks station today and took the opportunity to ask for copies of the new timetables effective from 9 December. I was told that they had not received them yet. I would have thought that one week before the new timetable commences paper copies should be available at stations. Later in the week I noticed that they were available at London Bridge and Charing Cross.

Wednesday 5 December – My first rail journey of the month, my destination being the Round Chapel in Hackney. I departed Bat & Ball at 12.51 and arrived one minute late at Sevenoaks. The 12.59 to Charing Cross was running late and departed at 13.11, arriving fourteen minutes late at London Bridge where the service was terminated. At London Bridge I saw another Sevenoaks Rail Travellers Association member who was heading for the same destination as me. However, he chose to travel on the number 48 bus whereas my preferred route is on the Northern line to Bank, then Central line to Liverpool Street, and finally to Hackney Downs by train followed by a short walk. It is usually about half an hour quicker than by bus. I returned from London Bridge on the 18.28 service which was twenty minutes late arriving at Sevenoaks.

Thursday 6 December – I went to a pre-Christmas reunion with former colleagues that I worked with in HMRC, this was also at the Crosse Keys where I regularly meet up with my old Barclays colleagues. I travelled on the 14.51 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks where it arrived one minute late. The 14.59 to London Bridge departed at 15.02 and was seven minutes late arriving in London. I returned on the 20.09 from London Bridge which arrived nine minutes late at Sevenoaks.

Wednesday 12 December – The South West Railway had a Black Friday ticket sale recently and I took advantage of this and bought tickets for a day trip from Waterloo to Southampton, £8.00 to Southampton and £5.70 for the journey back to London. One hundred and fifty-eight and a half miles round trip for £13.70, good value for money! I commenced my journey on the 09.21 to Sevenoaks where it arrived one minute late. The 09.29 to Waterloo East arrived there three minutes late. The 10.35 from Waterloo to Southampton departed one minute early and arrived one late. At Southampton I bought a Plusbus ticket, at £1.60 with railcard discount, it was a good buy. I used it to make six different bus journeys whilst undertaking some consumer research around the city. I returned from Southampton on the 15.30 service which arrived three minutes late at Waterloo.

Thursday 13 December – Today was my monthly catch up with my former Barclays colleagues, but I needed to go to Surrey Quays beforehand. I commenced my journey on the 13.51 from Bat & Ball which arrived one minute early at Sevenoaks. The 13.59 to London Bridge departed one minute late and arrived six minutes late in London. I used the Jubilee Line to Canada Water then London Overground to Surrey Quays. When I was ready to continue my journey back in to central London there were problems with services on the Jubilee Line, therefore I used a number 47 bus. However, this was not a good move, traffic was very heavy and slow progress was made. The bus driver needed to throw a school boy off the bus which delayed the journey further. Then the bus was terminated short of its destination at London Bridge. I completed my journey to the Crosse Keys on foot. I intended to return to Sevenoaks on the 19.19 from London Bridge. However, Southeastern were having problems and I boarded the late running 18.50 at 19.07. This train arrived thirty-one minutes late at Sevenoaks.

Sunday 16 December – One week after the new timetable commenced, Sevenoaks station has copies of some timetables, but not the most useful one for Sevenoaks passengers; number six, London to Bromley North, Orpington and Sevenoaks via Grove Park. Why is it beyond Southeastern to deliver copies of this timetable to Sevenoaks station? I have asked this question to Southeastern Customer Services. The reply I received was as follows: –

“Thank you for your webform dated XXXX.

I understand you’d like details of the timetable at Sevenoaks Station .You can get this information by contacting National Rail Enquiries via the below contact details

Telephone: 0345 322 7021

I will also contact the Station Manager at Sevenoaks to request a timetable to be displayed.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.”

Obviously, this response did not answer my question, and yes, it did show “XXXX” as the date of my webform!

Thursday 20 December – This morning two lights on the platform 1 side of the footbridge at Bat & Ball station were not working. When I returned in the evening only one of the lights was not working. My destination was Sherborne today, I commenced my journey on the 06.55 to Otford which was on time. I intended travelling to Victoria on the 07.16 but I boarded the late running 06.56 at 07.02. Arrival in Victoria was ten minutes late. At Victoria I waited for the 08.46 steam hauled train to Sherborne. This train departed on time hauled by Merchant Navy Class locomotive, number 35028, Clan Line. Unfortunately, the train was delayed in the London suburbs due to animals on the line, some passengers suggested that they were reindeers! Accordingly, the train ran about half an hour late to Salisbury where the tender was topped up with water. It departed on time and continued to Sherborne. After some real ale therapy in the Digby Arms I commenced my return journey. The steam hauled train was not due back in to Victoria until 21.13 and I needed to be home earlier than that would have permitted. Accordingly, I boarded the 15.59 South West Railway service to Waterloo which arrived on time at 18.21. This was a one hundred and eighteen and a quarter miles journey, the fare paid was £16.90. I boarded the 18.34 departure from Waterloo East to Sevenoaks which arrived four minutes late. The 19.22 service to Bat & Ball departed early and arrived on time.

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