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 2019 to 31 October 2019 inclusive = £137.36
(East Midlands Trains £5.36, Greater Anglia £8.90, Southeastern £31.50, Southern £2.00, South Western Railway £19.56, Thameslink £15.90, Virgin £53.63, West Midland Railway £0.51). One claim outstanding.
This month’s delays: total 120 minutes, Southeastern 67, Thameslink 53
Wednesday 2 October – My first journey this month is to Bedford. I departed Bat and Ball at 13.51 heading for Sevenoaks, changing there on to the 13.59 to London Bridge. Both trains were on time. At London Bridge I boarded the 14.35 service to Bedford but detrained at St Pancras International to change on to an East Midlands Railway service which would arrive at my destination eleven minutes before the Thameslink train. This proved to be a mistake! East Midlands Railway was having problems, eventually I walked back to the Thameslink platforms and travelled on the next service to Bedford. My journey was delayed by about forty minutes, a Delay Repay claim has been submitted. When I wanted to return from Bedford there were still problems with the train service. My intended train was not shown on the departures screen and I boarded a late running East Midlands Railway service back to St Pancras. I changed on to a Thameslink service to Rainham and travelled to London Bridge where it arrived two minutes late. I returned to Sevenoaks on the 20.24 departure which arrived two minutes late. The 20.22 Thameslink train to Bat & Ball was cancelled therefore I had to wait for the 20.52 service. Another Delay Repay claim submitted.
Thursday 3 October – I am spending a few days in Worcester. I departed Bat & Ball on the 09.21 to Sevenoaks where it arrived on time. The 09.29 to London Bridge arrived there eleven minutes late. I used the Jubilee and Bakerloo lines to transfer to Marylebone changing at Baker Street. The 11.10 to Warwick Parkway arrived there on time. A coach met the party I was travelling with here and took us to Worcester via Studley, Broom and Offenham, and deposited the party at the Fownes Hotel (formerly Fownes glove factory). The Advance Single ticket fare from Bat & Ball to Warwick Parkway was £7.85.
Friday 4 October – Today’s activities required a short journey by train from Worcester Foregate Street to Hartlebury. The outward journey went well but when I commenced the return journey train services were running late. The train I travelled on was diverted to Worcester Shrub Hill where I had to change on to a service to Worcester Foregate Street. This resulted in a fifteen minutes delay to my journey, a Delay Repay claim gave a refund of £0.51!
Sunday 6 October – A journey from Worcester Foregate Street to Kidderminster today to travel on the Severn Valley Railway. Unfortunately, due to engineering work, a rail replacement bus service was in place for part of the journey between Worcester and Droitwich Spa.
Monday 7 October – After the day’s events I returned home commencing the journey from Gloucester on the 18.50 service to Paddington which arrived in London four minutes early at 20.39. National Rail Enquiries suggested that from Paddington I should travel to Elephant & Castle and board the 21.50 to Bat & Ball arriving at 22.51. I transferred to Charing Cross, boarded the 21.10 to Sevenoaks, and arrived at Bat & Ball at 21.55! The Advance Single ticket fare from Gloucester to Bat & Ball was £11.55.
Wednesday 9 October – My destination is Nottingham today. The 08.51 from Bat & Ball arrived at Sevenoaks one minute late. I changed on to the late running 08.56 which departed at 09.01 and was four minutes late arriving at London Bridge. I used the 09.31 Thameslink service to Peterborough to transfer to St Pancras where it arrived one minute early. The 10.34 from St Pancras was formed of an Intercity 125, which pleased me, and arrived on time at Nottingham. Advance Single tickets between Bat & Ball and Nottingham cost me £14.50 in both directions.
Friday 11 October – I am heading for the Isle of Wight today. I travelled on the 10.30 from Waterloo to Portsmouth and Southsea where it arrived one minute early. I needed to use the connecting bus service to the Hovertravel terminal. However, the signage at Portsmouth and Southsea station to the relevant bus stop is very poor and I needed directions from a local to find it. When the bus arrived the driver informed people that the hovercrafts were not operating due to the weather and that he would take them to the Wightlink ferry service at Portsmouth Harbour instead so that they could use their ships to travel to Ryde. However, what he did not tell people was that they would need to buy another ticket. Accordingly, many people joined the queue to board the next sailing and then discovered that they needed to buy a ticket when they arrived at the ticket checkpoint. Therefore, they could not board this ship and had to wait for the next sailing. I was advised to go to the Hovertravel office in Ryde to obtain a refund of the element of the hovercraft fare that was included in my railway ticket from Bat & Ball to Ryde. However, Hovertravel refused to refund the fare because they had not sold me the ticket and directed me to the South West Railway station at Ryde Esplanade station. The staff at Ryde Esplanade station advised me to claim from the train company that had issued the ticket, which was Southeastern. Accordingly, when I returned home, I contacted Southeastern who replied advising me that they had forwarded the claim to the South West Railway! I have paid £51.75 for a return journey from Sevenoaks to Ryde, using Hovertravel to cross the Solent which failed to provide a service in one direction. I have also paid £11.43 to use Wightlink’s ferry service between Portsmouth and Ryde due to Hovertravel’s failure, and nobody appears to want to refund the outward journey hovercraft fare. My journey was delayed by one hour and forty minutes. Much to my surprise I have now received an e-mail from the South West Railway advising me that they will be sending me a cheque for £12.94 in respect of the disruption to my journey. This is the amount due for a successful one-hour delay repay claim.
Sunday 13 October – I travelled on Island Line services today from Ryde Esplanade to Sandown, returning later in the day from Shanklin to Ryde St John’s Road. Due to the aging former London Underground trains used by Island Line there is currently only one operational train, therefore only an hourly service can be operated. However, the station information screens were showing a two-train service in operation! I pointed this out to a member of station staff, and they had not noticed! They tried to find out why the information screens were showing incorrect data but were unsuccessful.
Monday 14 October – I returned home from the Isle of Wight today, fortunately the weather permitted the hovercraft service to operate. I was surprised that the transfer bus between the hoverport and railway station in Portsmouth took passengers to Portsmouth Harbour station, I was expecting to be taken to Portsmouth & Southsea station. Once I established that the bus driver was not taking passengers to Portsmouth & Southsea station a quick dash was necessary to board the 10.45 departure from Portsmouth Harbour station. An elderly lady with a suitcase did not know the way into the station so she followed me, fortunately she was able to move quite quickly and we both made the train with a couple of minutes to spare.
Thursday 17 October – My destination is Sheffield today. The 07.23 from Bat & Ball arrived at Sevenoaks one minute early. Similarly, the 07.43 from Sevenoaks to London Bridge also arrived one minute early. I transferred to St Pancras on the 08.21 Thameslink train to Bedford which was on time. The 09.02 from St Pancras to Sheffield arrived two minutes early. Whilst on Sheffield station I noticed that an information screen was displaying a message that advised that a service to Nottingham was cancelled due to forecast slippery rail conditions! It occurred to me, were trains being cancelled before slippery rail conditions existed! Advance Single tickets between Bat & Ball and Sheffield cost me £17.80 in both directions.
Friday 18 October – A short journey to Tunbridge Wells today. I commenced my travels on the 09.21 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks where it arrived one minute early. The connecting train to Tunbridge Wells was shown as being cancelled. However, it ran fast from London Bridge to Tonbridge, not stopping at Orpington, Sevenoaks or Hildenborough attempting to make up time following a late arrival in London earlier that morning. The next service at 09.50 ran late arriving in Tunbridge Wells six minutes after its due time. However, my journey was delayed by sixteen minutes, another Delay Repay claim submitted.
Wednesday 23 October – I am heading for Norwich today. I commenced my journey on the 07.23 to Bat & Ball at 07.24, arrival at Sevenoaks was one minute early! I boarded the 07.51 to London Bridge which arrived two minutes late. The Northern and Central Underground lines were used to transfer to Liverpool Street. Unfortunately, the 09.00 service to Norwich was cancelled therefore I had to travel on the 09.30 departure. Another Delay Repay claim submitted. The 09.30 arrived in Norwich on time, but my journey was delayed by thirty-six minutes. I returned from Norwich at 15.00 detraining at Stratford on time at 16.45. I transferred to London Bridge using the Jubilee line. First class Advance Single tickets cost me £17.80 in both directions.
Thursday 24 October – My destination is Twickenham today, leaving Bat & Ball on the 09.52 to Sevenoaks where it arrived one minute early. The 09.59 to Waterloo East was two minutes late arriving in London. The 10.50 from Waterloo to Reading departed on time and arrived at Twickenham one minute early. Surprisingly, South West Trains were using trains with no toilets on the one hour and twenty minutes, forty-three and a half miles, journey between Waterloo and Reading.
Friday 25 October – I am heading to Oxford today, the 09.21 from Bat & Ball arrived at Sevenoaks one minute early. Southeastern were running late, the 09.29 to London Bridge departed four minutes late and arrived in London seven minutes late. I transferred to Paddington using the Jubilee and Bakerloo lines, changing at Baker Street. I used Advance Single tickets between Paddington and Oxford in both directions costing £3.55 for each journey, (127 miles return journey). An Off-Peak One Day Travelcard costing £11.20 was required from Bat & Ball to Paddington and return.
Monday 28 October – I am meeting with my former colleagues in the Crosse Keys today but before that I needed go to New Barnet. I departed Bat & Ball at 12.51 but this train was delayed arriving at Sevenoaks nine minutes late. Accordingly, I missed the 12.59 to London Bridge and travelled on the 13.13 departure which arrived two minutes late, delaying my journey by fifteen minutes. Another delay Repay claim submitted. I transferred to Moorgate using the Northern Line to board a train for New Barnet.
Wednesday 30 October – My destination today is Kidderminster for the Severn Valley Railway. I commenced my journey on the 06.51 from Bat & Ball to Sevenoaks where it arrived on time. The 07.12 to London Bridge departed on time but arrived two minutes late. After transferring to Euston on the Northern line I boarded the 08.23 service to Birmingham New Street where it arrived six minutes late. After walking across central Birmingham I travelled on the 10.13 from Birmingham Snow Hill to Kidderminster where it arrived on time. The steam hauled train to Bridgnorth was busy, probably due to it being half-term. The fares for this journey were Bat & Ball to Kidderminster, an Advance Single £31.65 and the return journey another Advance Single £16.85.
Thursday 31 October – I am travelling to Egham today, because I wanted to depart Bat & Ball at 09.21, I bought the following tickets, an Off-Peak One Day Travelcard (£11.20), plus an Off-Peak Day Return from Feltham to Egham (£3.95). This saves £25.25 compared to buying an Anytime Day Return