HOGRIDER 102 : APRIL 2005
SOUTH HAMPSHIRE RAIL USERS' GROUP NEWSLETTER
COULD SWT'S DREADFUL RECORD AFFECT THE GENERAL ELECTION?
SWT TIMETABLE: A DRAIN ON TAXPAYERS BUT SCOPE FOR NIL-COST IMPROVEMENTS
HAMPSHIRE 'DRIVING TRANSPORT SOLUTIONS' CONFERENCE 9/2/2005
NEW FOREST TRANSPORT FORUM 11/3/2005
THREAT TO PARK AND RIDE AT ASHURST
LONG-UNFINISHED WORK AT SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL
TABLES RIPPED OUT OF WESSEX ELECTRIC UNIT WITHOUT CONSULTATION
NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR SWT
OUR LETTERS IN SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO EXPOSE SWT'S ONGOING DECEPTIONS
COMMENTS RECEIVED FROM A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER
OCCASIONAL TRAVELLERS PAY FOR SWT'S AWFUL PERFORMANCE RECORD
SECURITY ON SWT WHEN IT'S CONVENIENT
ANOTHER SWT TRAIN FIRE
PASSENGERS' LIVES PUT AT RISK IN MASSACRE OF COWS
STRESS ON SWT: SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS?
EASTER SUNDAY ADVICE AND HELP ON SWT
BIKES: WESSEX TRAINS BOWS TO PUBLIC WISHES
MORE SWT TIMETABLE CHANGES
RAIL PERFORMANCE REPORTS
MEDIA REPORTS - ENVIRONMENT
MEDIA REPORTS - TRANSPORT
Excellent news for East Coast passengers as GNER keeps the franchise. Meanwhile, on SWT, Managing Director Andrew Haines moves to First Group after slowing services and ripping thousands of seats out of suburban trains. SWT temporarily in the hands of Graham Eccles who memorably stated, during the last franchise round, "If we can't get our terms we won't hesitate to walk away". The SRA gave SWT a fourfold increase in subsidy and reduced the number of new carriages which it was required to hire by over 15%. The railways are now such an expense on passengers and other taxpayers that the future of some services looks to be at risk.
SWT passengers with computers and hot drinks gobsmacked as SWT starts to rip tables out of the Wessex Electric trains. Where was the consultation about the future of the longest-distance third rail electric trains ever purchased by taxpayers?
SWT's new timetable is not only slow, it wastes money. Retention of time-expired coaches for the Lymington branch is not the saving for taxpayers which has been trumpeted. The hourly service from Brockenhurst to Wareham and half-hourly service from Brockenhurst to Lymington used to require three trains in total. Now three trains are required just for the Wareham service. The Portsmouth-Southampton stopping service requires three trains instead of two simply because SWT runs to slower timings than Southern. Are the Desiros really so inferior in performance to the Electrostars?
So SWT thinks that deliberately missing stops is acceptable and in the interests of the majority of passengers? Of 20,310 annual complaints against the drivers of London's 40-odd bus operations, 63% were for deliberately missing stops, and 14% of these were on two operations run by Stagecoach.
More tinkering with SWT's hugely unpopular new timetable.
COULD SWT'S DREADFUL RECORD AFFECT THE GENERAL ELECTION?
The Evening Standard of 7 February reported a YouGov survey of more than 2,000 people which found that 27% of the participants said they could switch their votes at the next election because of rising rail fares and overcrowding. Among daily rail users, the proportion rose to 46%. Almost half of those who said they would change parties were in the 18-29 age group. The Transport Secretary accepted that people were inpatient for change. The danger for the Government is that the swing in the huge concentration of constituencies in the London commuter belt played a major role in their landslide victory in 1997 and could occur again but with an adverse effect.
It would be interesting to know why it is the younger generation of commuters which appears the most disaffected. It may be that older commuters continue to blame the Conservatives for franchising train operations to private sector companies in the first place, particularly companies like Stagecoach. As Steven Norris, the Conservative transport minister who drove privatisation forward, later stated: "Awarding the franchise to Stagecoach was really taking the fight to the enemy… It was the most aggressive decision we could take, and if we had to dress privatisation in its most acceptable form, it would have been better to award it to almost anyone else".
Many will see those words as being as relevant as ever. Stagecoach can hardly claim to be the acceptable face of capitalism when SWT's E'motion magazine has been used to attack MPs who think that passengers' interests should come first. Or it may be that younger commuters are by inclination less tolerant of having to pay for an expensive service to work and too often getting a trash journey in return. Recent research has found that the young people see work as inhibiting their social and family life, whilst older people can find it fulfilling.
It may be that the huge deceleration of SWT services, coupled with significant fare rises, and the removal of thousands of seats so as to cram passengers like sardines and boost Stagecoach's massive profits even further, will indeed affect some people's voting intentions.
SWT TIMETABLE : A DRAIN ON TAXPAYERS BUT SCOPE FOR NIL-COST IMPROVEMENTS
SWT's new timetable has not only slowed journeys and caused huge inconvenience to many commuters, but it is also very uneconomic. The hourly service between Brockenhurst and Wareham and half-hourly service between Brockenhurst and Lymington used to be operated by a total of three trains. Now four are required.
As a result, two 3-coach slam door units (of the '4-CIG' longer-distance type of BR Mark I stock), dubbed "Heritage Trains", are to be retained for the Lymington-Brockenhurst service, purportedly to cut costs on the line and help secure its future. The argument seems to be that the comparative fragility of these old units is acceptable in this use, because only one train works the branch at any time, and speed is restricted to 45mph.
Economies on branch lines are presumably now needed because, as the Secretary of State has recognised, some private operators have bled the industry of huge sums under Richard Bowker's Strategic Railway Authority. However, using 3 new units and two old units (one kept as spare) to operate these two routes - instead of 3 units as previously - is not an economy; it is an additional expense. And old units always have high maintenance costs.
Some are pleased by the retention of the old units for reasons of nostalgia or because they may become a tourist attraction. On the other hand, this thwarts Lymington residents' aspirations for direct services to urban centres like Southampton. Real economies can be achieved by extending mainline services on to branch lines, so that modern trains spend more time serving taxpaying passengers, and less time standing idle between workings. This is exactly what National Express has done in East Anglia, by extending Liverpool St-Ipswich trains over the East Suffolk branch to Lowestoft.
It's not only west of Brockenhurst where the SWT timetable is wasteful. The hourly Portsmouth-Southampton stopping service now requires three units instead of two. And these trains spend their 56 minutes layover time in Portsmouth & Southsea station, instead of continuing to Portsmouth Harbour's major transport interchange.
It is likely that this uneconomic use of resources runs right through the new timetable. Except of course, in the case of the 05.45 from Poole, which races to London omitting stops at stations where the former 05.42 did brisk custom, because there is no longer any other train to form the 08.05 Waterloo-Poole (the 05.42 used to return as the 08.30 to Weymouth). Put another way, the interests of commuters paying thousands of pounds a year to get to work are treated as secondary to those of occasional travellers on the return workings.
SWT Commercial Director Rufus Boyd, at a conference in Winchester on 9 February, offered no commitment to long-distance commuters, saying that buying a home remote from a London job is the 'ultimate distress purchase'. It certainly can be with SWT running the trains!
There are things which could be done to improve use of existing resources (in addition to the obvious need to introduce at least Totton and Eastleigh stops in the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo to mop up some of the slack). The Totton-Romsey service could leave 14 minutes later with the layover at Southampton removed. (It's remarkable that Totton-Romsey takes about 12-15 minutes longer than it would have done in the 1960s). This, and withdrawal of the Brockenhurst-Wareham service, would enable the Victoria-Southampton service to run to and from Poole, serving the more significant intermediate stations west of Fareham. The Waterloo-Poole service could then call at Sway and Hinton Admiral and perhaps extend to Dorchester. That would give a massive boost to services along the coastal corridor with no more train units required than under the existing schedules. Re-scheduling of SWT's Southampton-Portsmouth stopping services to Southern's timings could save a unit which might be better deployed elsewhere.
There must be huge opportunities for nil-cost improvements across the SWT area, but they are being squandered.
HAMPSHIRE 'DRIVING TRANSPORT SOLUTIONS' CONFERENCE 9/2/2005
(Based on recently received CD recording of presentations: more about this in Issue No. 103)
A conference of the Transport and Logistics Task Group of the Hampshire Economic Partnership was held in Winchester on 9 February. We are very grateful to Nick Farthing, Chairman of the Partnership, for sending us the presentations on CD, which members are of course welcome to borrow. Feedback is requested by 15 April on a pro-forma to be faxed to 023 8076 9780.
The main presentations were by the Government Office for the South East, South West Trains and Hampshire County Council. Point was made that transport affects everyone everyday, unlike other Government priorities like health, education and crime, but it will always be a means to social and economic development and not an end in itself.
It is considered that congestion is not as bad in Hampshire as portrayed, though there are motoring pinchpoints like Gosport and Lyndhurst. The M27 is congested at peak times by motorists making short journeys, 70% of them with no passengers. However, planned economic growth in the county could lead to some roads saturated to 400% of capacity and eventual gridlock. Public transport fares generally rise in line with earnings, but motoring costs are no greater than in 1985, and are forecast to fall 10% over the next 10 years. Heavy demand on the railways for commuting to London and this is forecast to increase by 10-20%. Inaction is not an option.
Interim local plan to be put forward in July, and final plan in March 2006. Demand management necessarily has a role. For example, home working with broadband, staggered working hours, and congestion charging, though it needs to be borne in mind that the public transport infrastructure in Hampshire does not provide the alternative to motoring which is available in London. Need to consider things like how short motorway journeys could be switched to public transport.
Little recent investment in transport growth across Britain. Railways built over 100 years ago. Motorways built around 40 years ago. Some investment to serve areas where major population growth forecast, for example Channel Tunnel Rail Link corridor, West Coast mainline upgrade through Milton Keynes, and infrastructure upgrade on Stansted line. Spending in recent decades has otherwise been on maintenance. BR used to renew 500 miles of track a year. This fell to 200 miles under privatisation but recently increased to 800 miles to tackle the backlog.
County seen as needing a range of innovative schemes within a strictly limited budget. Portsmouth-Gosport-Fareham tramlink scheme is not dead; cheaper option submitted to Government. A3 bus priority scheme to Waterlooville has been a success. Chandlers Ford station has attracted custom well beyond expectations.
The SWT presentation was true to form, subtly blaming SWT's long-distance commuters for their plight and then attacking other operators. Purchase of a home far from a job in London was 'the ultimate distress purchase'. If people think SWT is bad, they should try other operators in the North.
SWT would like big schemes, but only if they are deliverable - Crossrail has wasted millions in planning costs whilst not coming to fruition. [Remember how SWT trumpeted 15-coach trains from Waterloo, saying they would extend platforms across the concourse? We immediately established that that idea was rubbish, by measuring a concourse tile and counting the number of tiles to the rear of the station. So where was the deliverability there?]
Use of Waterloo International for SWT services would massively increase capacity at the terminal. [Pity SWT have already made clear they weren't really interested - Guardian 9/12/2004].
Billion pounds' worth of new stock should increase custom; if longer suburban trains could be run, Hampshire would get London trains with fewer stops [Hang on. It is precisely because SWT is to hire new trains worth only £545 million, rather than the promised £644 million, that services to Basingstoke and Alton have been slowed with extra stops, whilst longer-distance services have been slowed by compensatory stops for Fleet and Farnborough residents.]
[Clearly, there are people in Hampshire County Council who are passionate about good transport, and we must hope that their enthusiasm will be infectious and result in transport solutions being robustly driven forward. However, to complement their efforts, a customer-focused operator is required for SWT.]
NEW FOREST TRANSPORT FORUM - 11/3/2005
(Report from an Ashurst correspondent)
There were about 50 people present. The talks were mainly dealing with bus and road issues in the New Forest. There were two talks - one on the Transport Plan for the next 10 years and one on Cango Bus Routes. There was no representative from SWT. I was the only person attending as a rail user. Most members of the audience were representing Parish Councils, Hospital and Disability Awareness Groups and Age Concern. I was almost the youngest in the audience (at mid-fifties).
1. New Forest District Council is backing a possible partnership scheme with SWT for the Brockenhurst-Lymington line. Re-opening of the former works halt at Ampress is a real possibility and this will probably be called Lymington North. This will not happen until the new Lymington hospital is finished.
2. Initiatives passed on to the audience on better bus stops at stations and recognition of Gateway Stations to the New Forest, eg. Ashurst is the gateway station for the Eastern end. Someone did suggest a 15-minute bus link from Ashurst to Lyndhurst - but that is unlikely at present.
3. A new Cango Dial-a-Bus is to be introduced for the Fordingbridge area in July 2005. One 21- seater bus providing all with seat belts. It will run Mondays to Saturdays and the plan is to serve Godshill in the east to Cranbourne in the west. The route will connect the villages to Fordingbridge and there will be connections to and from Wilts and Dorset X3 between Salisbury and Ringwood. The speaker stated that focus on Salisbury is being concentrated north of the A31, as that was an obvious gateway route. Someone asked why Fordingbridge cannot be connected with Southampton. Reply was that this is not in the Cango remit.
4. The New Forest open top bus is being re-introduced in May 2005. It will go in reverse direction every 2 hours, ie Lyndhurst - Brockenhurst Station - Lymington - Beaulieu and then to a new destination at Exbury Gardens, before continuing to the Motor Museum, Beaulieu Road station and Lyndhurst. The fare will be dearer, and there will be fare stages also this year for shorter journeys. The speaker said that there will be some introductory vouchers for a £5.00 fare - two adults and 2 children so that people can try it. He didn't say where to get the vouchers.
5. NFDC is backing bus rover tickets and to a lesser extent the Brockenhurst - Bournemouth rail / bus add-ons.
6. Totton - Hythe railway re-opening. No plans until the Waterside Accessibility Strategy Plan has been produced. The speaker said that he couldn't say much but the whole of the road, bus and rail access between Totton and Fawley is being looked at. This includes ideas on how to lower the appalling road traffic accidents on the A326. (A Councillor told me that it would cost millions to upgrade the line and to make it fit today's stringent safety regulations; those who advocate reopening do not realise the implications but minds are in right direction - it will happen, but will be a long time coming).
7. Disability Access - it is hoped that gradually principal bus routes will have wheelchair- accessible buses.
8. Real Time - It is planned to have some dot matrix real time customer information screens at principal bus stops, such as now exist on railway stations.
9. There will be an update on progress in September.
THREAT TO PARK AND RIDE AT ASHURST
Park and ride usage of Ashurst station has been on the increase, following a period when the station's services had been badly neglected by the operator. Kingfisher homes want to use adjacent land for housing development. Their submission for planning permission states that Ashurst Station is a rarely used rural "branch line" station (ie, hourly expresses to London) and there would be no impact on users. The Parish Council have picked up the matter and written about the plans in the parish newsletter.
LONG-UNFINISHED WORK AT SOUTHAMPTON CENTRAL
The sheltered "greenhouse" waiting area at Southampton Central was officially opened on 20 September 2004. One section still awaits completion, but works appear to have been abandoned at an early stage, depriving passengers of circulating space. Gaps between the doors and wall thwart attempts to conceal a horrible mess from keen-eyed commuters.
TABLES RIPPED OUT OF WESSEX ELECTRIC TRAINS WITHOUT CONSULTATION
Passengers boarding the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo (unit 2409) on 22 March with computers and hot drinks were amazed to find that most of the tables had been ripped out and replaced with small window ledges. Passengers in the outside seats therefore have to balance their drinks on the floor, or reach above other passengers' knees to reach the ledges. This is obviously less safe than using tables. It may be a prelude to ripping out the seats and replacing them with mainly airline-style seating, very unpopular with families and commuter groups. The Wessex Electrics will then in effect be outer-suburban trains like the class 444 Desiros, an incredibly low standard for the journey of nearly 3 hours from Waterloo to Weymouth. Once again on SWT, an astounding lack of focus on customers.
NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR FOR SWT
Mr Andrew Haines, General Manager of SWT, is moving to First Group as Head of UK Rail (a somewhat limited role given that First has lost the Liverpool Street franchise, and has failed to take over GNER).
Mr Haines always appeared steeped in the Stagecoach ethos ["Don't misunderstand me, ethics are not irrelevant, but some are incompatible with what we have to do because capitalism is based on greed. We call it a dichotomy, not hypocrisy" - Brian Souter, Stagecoach Chairman].
Under Mr Haines' stewardship, subsidy has increased fourfold. New rolling stock has been reduced by 15% and is still represented as Britain's biggest train order when Southern is delivering scores more coaches than SWT. The timetable has been further slowed. Many commuters must now leave home half an hour earlier. Trains depart or have their doors shut early in front of people running to catch them. MPs have been insulted in E'motion magazine for suggesting that passengers' interests should be put first. Instead of apologising to the Advertising Standards Authority for misrepresentation, Mr Haines personally tried to argue that, although the relevant material was misleading, it should be treated as outside their remit. An appeal tribunal found that a driver had been wrongly demoted and that much of the evidence against him was "implausible", "absurd", "risible", "without regard for the truth" and given with an eye on where the advantage lay.
During all this time, SWT has protested that it is customer-focused. Trouble is, why should we believe anything that such a dichotomous company tells us?
OUR LETTERS IN SOUTHERN DAILY ECHO EXPOSE SWT'S ONGOING DECEPTIONS
On 7 February, the Southern Daily Echo contained an article based on a risibly deceptive SWT press release. Clearly, the company doesn't care about having been censured by the Advertising Standards Authority, as long ago as March 2002, about its new rolling stock order. The Group responded quickly, and the following letter appeared in the Daily Echo just three days later. Rail users and politicians across Hampshire therefore have access to the facts.
"Waterloo trains take longer than 15 years ago
I was surprised to read (Daily Echo, 7 February) that South West Trains' order for new coaches cost more than £1 bn and is the UK's biggest train order.
SWT's original contract was to hire 785 new carriages, worth £644 million. The figure of £1 bn includes maintenance, while the rate at which new trains have come into service has been dictated by the progress of Network Rail's power upgrade.
SWT cut its order by 120 carriages, so longer-distance trains make more stops and suburban trains are having thousands of seats removed to allow more standing passengers. Southern, which operates the Southampton-Victoria service, is introducing dozens more coaches than SWT.
Southampton to Waterloo is probably the most slowed main line service in Britain, with fastest journeys just about 20 per cent longer than 15 years ago. Over the same period, journey times from Brighton to London Bridge have reduced by 23 per cent."
On 12 March, the Southern Daily Echo contained a letter from SWT rejecting the criticisms of County Councillor Mike Roberts that the new timetable was designed for the company's financial benefit and that no thought seemed to have been given to what passengers wanted (his comments broadly reflected the official views of the Rail Passengers Committee for Southern England). We responded as below, to put the record straight.
"Train arrivals are all shown as being early
South West Trains' response (Letters, March 12) to Councillor Mike Roberts is extraordinary. If advertised journey times are not inflated to feign improved punctuality, why does National Rail's website initially show all arrivals at Waterloo as expected several minutes early? Also, why should the new Desiro trains adversely affect timings when they accelerate rapidly and their doors lock - leaving passengers behind - up to a minute early?
In 1990 it took 66 minutes to get from Southampton Central to Waterloo. When Stagecoach was awarded the franchise in 1996, it took 73 minutes, and today it takes 79 minutes.
Connections from London to Netley line stations and Lymington are much less convenient. The two westbound trains per hour from St Denys run one minute apart.
Services from Brockenhurst to Wareham and Lymington once required three trains. Now four are required, so Lymington keeps aged stock, at additional cost to taxpayers."
COMMENTS RECEIVED FROM A TOTTON-WATERLOO COMMUTER
Wed 09/03/05: 0646 from Totton was already leaving the platform when a passenger (yup, me) arrived at the station before the timetabled departure time. A (polite) comment to the guard as he passed along the lines of "do you really have to leave so early when it's going to wait 8 minutes at Southampton?" received the words "30 seconds before departure" back on the breeze. Noted that platform indicator on the down platform did not clear the "0643 terminates here" from the Romsey shuttle until well after 7am.
Tue 15/03/05: Overheard at Southampton station prior to departure of 1756 stopping service from Platform 2b - "The lift isn't working" reports one station staff member, "Tough" replied another, "That's what I said" responded the first one.
Wed 23/03/05: 0646 from Totton stopped sharpish in the middle of the countryside - guard subsequently reported that the train had hit a pigeon and as a result the parking brake had been activated!
The latest e-Motion magazine is advertising "meet the MD live online" which of course may not now go ahead [subsequently confirmed that it will go ahead but with Graham "we won't hesitate to walk away" Eccles, rather than with Andrew Haines]- anyway it was scheduled for 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Monday 25 April and I had scribbled some questions down (in no particular order)....
- why has the 18:05 service from Waterloo, a major peak-time service, been downgraded to slam-door stock since the fare rise in January - surely an example of worse service for more money!
- is there any truth in the rumour that the new Siemens stock, trumpeted as a £1bn investment, is proving less reliable that the existing stock?
- how can an 'on-time' railway justify leaving stations before timetabled departure times, perhaps it should be called a 'leave-early' railway?
- do you accept that the fastest service from Southampton to Waterloo is almost 20% slower in 2005 than in 1990?
- when evening peak-hour services from London are disrupted, do you understand that it is more important to get the passengers currently on the train to their destinations than to omit stops to try to get the return services to run on time for the benefit of the far fewer passengers travelling in the opposite direction?
- back to the "£1bn investment" - isn't including running costs in the "investment" figure deliberately misleading?
- how many times larger is the current franchise subsidy than the pre-privatisation subsidy level for the same area?
- do you agree that it is a public scandal that the requirement to work with the existing power supplies was not part of the specification for new trains, leading to a vast cost to taxpayers for infrastructure upgrades?
- why can the 06:30 from Southampton not stop at Totton on weekdays, when it runs with exactly the same timings - including a Totton stop - on a Saturday?
- what justification is there for halving the evening service from London to Totton by moving the Romsey-Totton shuttle from connecting with the fast service from London to connecting with the semi-fast service which already stops at Totton?
- do you agree that it is reasonable for a commuter who has travelled for all of the previous year to receive the 5% performance discount on purchasing an annual season ticket, if they can provide proof of ticket purchases covering the year? Ticket offices have been instructed to refuse the discount unless you have travelled for the previous year on a single ticket.
- what are the standards for "secure station" status? It certainly doesn't seem to be secure for the ticket barriers to be left open and unmanned in the late evening at Southampton Central which apparently has this status.
OCCASIONAL TRAVELLERS PAY FOR SWT'S AWFUL PERFORMANCE RECORD
In the run up to privatisation, season ticket costs increased incrementally by about 30% in real terms to make franchises attractive to potential operators in the private sector. Barry Doe, in "Rail" No 506 exposes the subsequent trend. From June 1995 to February 2005, inflation is 27%. Since SWT has consistently been capped for unacceptable performance, their season ticket prices have risen by 18%. The money has been recouped from Saver, Awaybreak and "cheap" day ticket prices, which have soared by 44%. Not all companies have followed this pattern. On C2C, for example, season tickets have risen by 15% and cheap day returns by 30%. The biggest non-season increases are on Virgin Trains (49% owned by Stagecoach): 80% for standard singles, 120% with "complimentary" (consolatory?) meal and drink for first class singles, and 65% for Super Savers; the corresponding increases on GNER are 48%, 60% and 52%, so GNER passengers would have had a lot to lose if Virgin had snatched the franchise. A passenger observed last summer that a first class return fare on GNER from Kings Cross to Edinburgh was almost the same as the corresponding fare from London to Blackpool, using Virgin from Euston to Preston.
SECURITY ON SWT WHEN IT'S CONVENIENT
Passengers joining the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth usually face two ticket inspectors when they pass through the barriers at Waterloo, and are then disturbed for another on-board check. On days like 10 February, when the train is reduced from 10 to 5 coaches due to duff stock, the inspectors are apt to disappear, no doubt to avoid flak from passengers facing another journey from hell. With such inhuman overcrowding, on-board ticket inspection is not practicable either.
Before the train had cleared the platform at Waterloo, a young man - who appeared to be high on drugs and was chanting "Tony Blair" - pushed into the rear end of the second carriage, and found he could move only a yard or two, due to the great number of standing passengers.
He then started leaning across seated passengers, making clucking noises. He apparently thought he was on a bus and appeared quite exhilarated when passengers told him he was on a train that was going outside London. Next he began shouting "f --- paedophiles" and alternately declaring he would shoot any passengers who got up or upset him, and that he didn't actually have a gun.
After nearly 30 minutes of this, the train reached Woking, and a passenger explained to him that the train had stopped and he could get off. He did so, and was last seen wandering along a platform at the other side of the station. Fortunately, SWT commuters have built up enormous reservoirs of stoicism over the years. They acted to form, talking to him in a friendly and reassuring manner. We bet he didn't have a ticket, but why should anyone pay to travel in such conditions?
ANOTHER SWT TRAIN FIRE
[Article forwarded to us from the Internet - it is likely to be from the Portsmouth News]
"A TRAIN fire caused chaos for commuters this morning as part of Hampshire's rail network ground to a halt. Train services between Southampton and Fareham were cancelled after the power had to be switched off after the fire near Fareham station.
About 100 passengers had to be evacuated down a ladder from the Waterloo-bound train soon after it had left Fareham station at about 8.30am after the fire broke out underneath the driver's cab.
Firefighters were called to the scene while passengers were escorted along the railway track back into the station after the electric current had been switched off between Eastleigh and Fareham.
Commuters were left waiting at platforms including Swanwick, Eastleigh, Botley and Hedge End.
Passengers told how they saw sparks and flames coming from the train. Priscilla Thornber, from Whiteley, boarded the 7.45am Portsmouth to Waterloo via Eastleigh service at Fareham. "We saw sparks coming from the train and a lot of smoke," she said. "The driver seemed to be running frantically. It was not good. Then we were told to go to the back of the train."
Dave Parker, who was on his way to Winchester when he was evacuated, said: "They got a ladder, which we had to go down on to the bank. Then we had to walk back to the station. I was scared."
Ian Edwards, who boarded the train at Portchester, said the guard had apologised for the slow progress of the train. "From time to time the lights went out," said Mr Edwards. "When we left Fareham, we got as far as the signal by the first tunnel and there was lots of sparking coming from both ends of the train. Then we stopped and we could see flames coming from the front of the train." Mr Edwards praised the staff for the way they handled the situation.
Following the incident, some services from Waterloo to Brighton and Portsmouth were able to run, while trains to Waterloo were heavily delayed. Buses were put on to replace some services and customers waiting at Fareham station were offered free hot drinks.
A South West Trains spokesman said: "There was a small fire under the driver's cab. The train came to a stop just outside Fareham station and we managed to get approximately 100 passengers off the train and walked them to Fareham." "
[Another correspondent has confirmed that the fire was caused by friction relating to ice on the rails.]
PASSENGERS' LIVES PUT AT RISK IN MASSACRE OF COWS
BBC news on 4 February contained a substantial report of the horrific incident at Burton Farm, near Christchurch, on the previous evening. A Virgin train, believed to be travelling at 60-80mph, ploughed into a herd of cows. Five animals were killed at the scene and a further two were slaughtered the following day. It was obviously stressful for the farmer, who stated that he had repeatedly complained to Network Rail that the fencing (for which the company is responsible) was in a state of disrepair and needed urgent attention. During an interview shown in a lunchtime news bulletin, it was admitted that the whole fence had needed replacing.
Collisions between farm animals and trains have in the past been fatal to passengers, for example one cow was enough on the Edinburgh-Glasgow main line. As it was, a passenger reported the stressful experience of a thud and the train lights going out. It's not good for drivers either. The February edition of Rail News, which was published in the same week, reported that SWT and Network Rail had just paid £35,000 in compensation to a driver who was traumatised after killing a goat between Dorchester and Moreton in 2000. Finally, there was considerable stress for commuters trying to get home from London, when services between Southampton and Weymouth collapsed, with huge delays (see our Rail Performance Reports for 3 February).
STRESS ON SWT: SERIOUS HEALTH RISKS?
"Our people know that third rate service is totally unacceptable, second best won't do, and first class service is the minimum that customers expect." - SWT job advertisement.
It's the weary old story of "WORDS, NOT DEEDS" on SWT. Busy passengers now suffer the slowest services on SWT's main lines of any time since electrification to Bournemouth in 1967. Cancellations due to crew shortages and duff stock are endemic. Termination of services short of destination is endemic. Omission of stops for operational convenience is endemic. Shortened trains are endemic. Letting down passengers, like disabled people, for whom these shortcomings are particularly problematic, is endemic. SWT's E-motion magazine was used to attack MPs as dishonest for demanding that passengers' interests be put first.
It is by no means exceptional to see a train advertised as delayed due to a passenger being taken ill. But how many other passengers are suffering serious levels of stress? A recent report of the Commons Transport Select Committee drew attention to the health dangers of overcrowding. SWT's response is to strip thousands of seats out of suburban trains and introduce more stops into longer-distance services, so that passengers can be packed more tightly into a severely reduced fleet of new trains which are used unproductively on decelerated schedules.
Just 12 days before SWT's downgraded timetable was introduced in December 2004, the Evening Standard reported research showing that the stress suffered by London commuters was already greater than that of a pilot flying a jet into combat. The Director General of the CBI considered that urgent action was needed. Perhaps the research should be repeated - it might show whether the stress suffered by SWT commuters under the new timetable has increased - perhaps to the level experienced by someone expecting an urgent encounter with a firing squad?
In reality, commuter stress is likely to be charged by a combination of circumstances at particular points in time, and the uncertainty engendered by a service which cannot be used with confidence. For example, why on earth do SWT train doors slam shut in passengers' faces 30 seconds before departure time? This is scarcely necessary when (1) Stagecoach is operating the slowest timetable for decades (2) performance targets remain lax and compensation triggers allow the company even more leeway, and (3) timings in the public domain often include many minutes of leeway compared with the timetables which are issued to drivers - the National Rail live running information gives the game away; train after train appears as running early against its public schedule.
It seems to be a case of "LOOK AFTER THE POUNDS AND THE PASSENGERS CAN LOOK AFTER THEMSELVES". Stops are frequently omitted for operational convenience, ensuring that the worst delays which some passengers suffer are greater than they need be. SWT always tries to portray the omission of stops as in the interests of the majority of passengers, even though some trains miss all their intermediate stops, and become little more than a rolling stock re-positioning exercise. So do passengers mind about deliberately missed stops? That's something which any customer-focused operator should know. Transport for London's figures for the year to September 2004 record 20,310 complaints against bus drivers. Of these, 12,787 (almost 63%) were for deliberately missing stops. Of some 40 operators, Stagecoach East London and Stagecoach Selkent were responsible for 1,733 such complaints - almost 14% of the total.
Then there are all the little things which can make a journey on SWT stressful:
Wednesday 2/2/05 10.05 Waterloo-Poole wrongly advertised on the Customer Information System at Southampton as a terminating service. Very confusing, and likely to cause anxiety to passengers who arrived just prior to its departure.
Thursday 3/2/05 With only the 17.56 to Bournemouth standing at Southampton's platform 3, the Customer Information System showed the first train as the terminating 17.52, and the second as the 17.56 to Bournemouth. As always, uncertain passengers hovering and looking anxious. What the display meant was that the 15.19 from Victoria was due to terminate at the same platform at 17.52, before the 17.56 to Bournemouth departed. Almost as clear as mud to non-regular passengers!
Friday 4/2/05 The dreadful conditions on 5-coach long-distance Friday afternoon trains from Waterloo are legendary; a passenger who travelled on the 15.05 Waterloo-Poole vowed never to do it again. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth didn't reach Southampton until 17.54, due to duff stock. Passengers had to rush across the footbridge to catch the 17.56 stopping service to Bournemouth. This train was sent off dead on time. It then ambled along to Millbrook where it eventually had a signal check, awaiting for the 16.35 to overtake. Passengers could have been given 2-3 minutes longer to catch their 'connection', without the slightest effect on performance.
Monday 7/2/05 With overcrowding endemic on SWT, short train formations are one of a commuter's worst nightmares. Our records for this date show 12 trains leaving Waterloo between 16.00 and 19.00 with short formations, most with only 4 coaches.
Tuesday 8/2/05 The finger traps (permanently marked by hazard warning tape) between the coaches of Wessex Electric trains had in one case widened to an arm trap on the 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth due to a whole section of rubber seal hanging loose. The guard said "they always do that", but he would report it. Gentleman in wheelchair travelling to Basingstoke on the 20.05 Waterloo-Poole complained bitterly to the senior conductress that several times he had had to manage the escalator at Waterloo as the lift was out of action; several times the disabled toilet on his train had been out of use; there could be difficulties getting through broken internal sliding doors on the trains; and advance arrangements at Basingstoke were not always put in hand. When the train got to Basingstoke, there was a substantial delay before a ramp arrived, and the member of station staff who brought it asked where the passenger had come from. Just to add to the gentleman's woes, the advertised buffet service on the 20.05 had been unavailable.
Wednesday 9/2/05 About a dozen passengers were waiting on platform 4 at Southampton Central for the 15.35 to Totton. As the train ran into the station from the tunnel, the customer information system and tannoy suddenly advised that it would now leave from platform 3. Passengers raced over the footbridge with their bags. Two boarded as a railman waved the train away. A third passenger jumped aboard between the closing doors, yelling at the railman that the platforms had been switched only 30 seconds earlier. The doors then reopened for the other passengers. The railman didn't have the common decency to apologise. Passenger on the 23.05 Waterloo-Poole didn't appreciate the long station stops due to the decelerated timetable; on arrival at Southampton Central it was 00.35 (after a slower journey than on some steam-age trains) and the customer information screen stated "First 00.14 Terminates here; Second: 00.37 Poole"; very helpful to late night passengers.
Thursday 10/2/05 Dreadful conditions on the half-length 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth. Not surprising that a survey has found that overcrowding could affect commuters' voting intentions. 17.35 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late due to duff stock, so train did not split at Southampton; passengers for intermediate stations to Bournemouth thrown off and delayed 20 minutes.
Friday 11/2/05 If there's a greater hell than a half-length 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth on a Thursday, it's a half-length 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth on a Friday. And so it was. Passengers for intermediate stations to Bournemouth thrown off at Southampton, just as they had been the previous evening.
Monday 14/2/05 - Tuesday 15/2/05 -Tuesday 22/2/05 Extraordinarily difficult for non-regular passengers to find the right train from platforms 2 / 3 at Southampton Central. With only the 17.56 to Bournemouth standing at platform 3, the Customer Information System showed the first train as the terminating 17.52, and the second as the 17.56 to Bournemouth. At platform 2, the 17.55 to Waterloo occupied the whole of 2A and half of 2B, whilst the 17.58 to Westbury occupied the other half of 2B.
Monday and Friday 14/2/05 and 18/2/05 Non-regular passengers generally confused and anxious when they find they are in the wrong carriage of a train and will have to move to complete their journeys. On these two days of the half-term week, passengers on the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth told on departure from Waterloo that the rear, rather than the front, five coaches would continue beyond Weymouth. This is usually an indication that the front unit is duff and unable to operate independently.
Tuesday 22/2/05 What a way to start the day: furious exchange at Southampton Central between two men trying to get to work and finding the 06.26 to Weymouth cancelled, and member of staff resisting provision of alternative arrangements. And what could spread stress more widely than the closure of Britain's busiest railway station from 16.00 to 18.00 on a freezing cold winter's evening due to no lighting? Yet this happened at Clapham Junction. Why was there no emergency generator? What risk assessment had SWT and other station operators made? Would this situation be tolerated at Heathrow Airport?
Thursday 24/2/05 Between 16.09 and 18.30, at least 3 departures from Waterloo axed, and 7 running with short formations.
Tuesday 1/3/05 Passengers off the 18.05 from Waterloo were not happy at having to transfer to taxis when the 19.42 Southampton-Portsmouth was axed due to the guard not having been trained to operate old slam-door trains.
Wednesday 2/3/05 Afternoon of hell on the Waterloo-Reading line due to duff trains and crew shortages. The 14.20 from Waterloo got to Reading at 17.43, taking rather longer than the 14.15 from Paddington, which gets there at 14.40.
Friday 4/3/05 Huge scare for passengers when their train caught fire and they had to move to the rear carriage and then evacuate on to the track just outside a tunnel. SWT reportedly dismissed the incident as very minor.
Sunday 6/3/05 Information breakdown at Southampton Central. The 15.55 Wessex Trains' service to Cardiff was advertised as a Bristol train. The tannoy announcement simply said, "Please note that this train will not call at Severn Tunnel Junction, Newport and Cardiff", without any indication of what passengers for those stations should do. This train was followed by SWT's own 16.07 to Poole, announced as a 5-coach train. As the 10 coaches swept into the station, many passengers gathered up their belongings and children, and raced forward along the platform. Some asked others whether it was really the Poole train. This service was in turn followed by SWT's 16.15 departure, advertised repeatedly on the tannoy, and on the customer information system, as going to Romsey and Salisbury. Only the train's destination display gave away the closely guarded secret that it was actually the through service to Exeter St David's.
Tuesday 8/3/05 Any passengers who had had train doors slammed shut in their faces 30 seconds before departure time were likely to be somewhat miffed that the 19.00 Weymouth -Waterloo was delayed at Bournemouth for 36 minutes due to no driver. Stops at Southampton Airport, Winchester and Waterloo then axed for operational convenience. Heads SWT win, and tails passengers lose.
Friday 11/3/05 Which is worse on a busy Friday evening, the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth and 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth both being reduced to 5 coaches, or a 90 minute gap in the Reading-Waterloo service, with the 21.12 axed due to no driver and 21.42 axed due to no guard?
Monday 14/3/05 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 16.39, arriving at Southampton Central about 9 minutes late at 17.58 - 17.56 connecting service for intermediate stations to Bournemouth was still at the next platform, so staff sent it off as passengers raced over the footbridge.
Tuesday 15/3/05 The old slam-door train forming the 17.56 to Bournemouth was inconveniently parked at the far end of Southampton's platform 3. Its positioning varies almost daily. Two passengers on board were angrily discussing what had happened the previous evening. About 30 seconds before departure, the railman waiting to send off the train yelled to the guard, "There's another one (a human being perhaps?) running down the platform! Shall I let him on?" Perhaps this uncharacteristically generous spirit was not unconnected with the fact that there were actually two people running for the train, one of them an attractive young woman.
Tuesday 22/3/05 Passengers boarding the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo with computers and hot drinks gobsmacked to find most of the tables had been permanently removed. Passengers on the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth were ardently hoping the connection for intermediate stations from Southampton to Bournemouth would be held, unlike the previous evening: the train left Waterloo 7 minutes late due to duff connecting doors between the two units and lost 3 minutes at Southampton Airport as the duff external doors would not open; arrival at Southampton Central was at 18.00, the 17.56 'connection' having departed, despite the fiasco being entirely the responsibility of Stagecoach. One can only guess the conditions on the peak 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter, which was reduced to 3 coaches.
Thursday 24/3/05 Even when the 17.56 stopping train to Bournemouth departed from platform 3 at Southampton Central, the customer information system indicated that the first train at the platform terminated at 17.52 and the 17.56 would be the second train. This is always a good way of causing passengers to lose their trains.
EASTER SUNDAY ADVICE AND HELP ON SWT
Although Totton station is unstaffed at weekends, SWT failed to provide posters about the greatly reduced timetable which applied during the Easter weekend engineering works. Two gentlemen arrived at the station for the 15.48 to London on Easter Sunday, and found it advertised as going only to Winchester. So they used SWT's Help Point at 15.42. The response was extraordinary: they could get the 15.39 if it hadn't departed (it had) and change at Brockenhurst (wrong direction of travel). The correct answer was that they should catch the 15.48 and change at Southampton Central. Realising the advice was rubbish, they got the 15.48 anyway and obtained correct information from the helpful guard.
At Southampton Central, the information office on platform 4 was shut, as seems to be the norm on Sundays, and passengers were being sent to platform 1 for advice (not very good for those with heavy luggage). The 16.03 to Weymouth was advertised as front five carriages only for stations beyond Bournemouth, but no mention that this applied also to New Milton, which has a short platform. The train had such a slack schedule that it arrived some 6 minutes early. Just before departure time, heavy footsteps of passengers racing across the footbridge from another train could be clearly heard. The train controller, who was standing close to the bottom of the footbridge, ignored this and waved the train away. Unfortunately, the guard was slightly slow in closing the doors, and the passengers just avoided an hour's delay.
Few things could be more sad than the notices on stations in the South East about abuse of staff by members of the public. Like teachers, rail employees often appear to be suffering from a change of public attitudes and concomitant lack of respect.
We may speculate as to the reasons. One, surely, is that passengers themselves feel abused on systems like SWT where, as our reports consistently show, there is a remarkable deficit of focus on passengers, except when it comes to misleading them (eg the 'billion pounds' worth of new trains) and attacking MPs who think that passengers' interests should be paramount (eg 'Counting the spoons' article in E'motion magazine). SWT is indisputably, as Christopher Garnett of GNER observed when bidding for the franchise, operations-driven.
Just one more example on 29 March: 14.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late at Southampton. Just before its arrival, stops at Totton, Ashurst, New Milton, Christchurch and Pokesdown axed for operational convenience, with several dozen passengers finding their delay increased to 40 minutes.
The need for this ruthlessness is not obvious, since the train has a 42-minute turnround at Poole. It may be that it was to provide a statutory minimum break for the crew. This would be consistent with the shortage of crews which has bedevilled SWT since Stagecoach disposed of too many drivers after taking over the franchise. And the severe criticisms of SWT by the Appeal Tribunal which heard the case of demoted driver Greg Tucker would hardly help recruitment. Our reports show services affected by lack of train crews day after day, despite SWT's massive fourfold increase in subsidy. So are the inflated turnround times under SWT's new timetable a mechanism for coping with inadequate staffing levels, rather than for providing a more reliable service for passengers? Something which the Department for Transport or Commons Select Committee might like to consider?
Time to stop abusing staff, but time to stop abusing passengers and other taxpayers also.
BIKES: WESSEX TRAINS BOWS TO PUBLIC WISHES
Wessex Trains has listened to its passengers and abandoned its unpopular ban on bikes (Hogrider No. 100). Perhaps South West Trains will now abandon its new timetable which has seen journey times soar, travel for many commuters become hugely less convenient, and modern rolling stock deployed very unproductively.
MORE SWT TIMETABLE CHANGES
(Mondays-Fridays from 4/4/2005)
More tinkering with SWT's downgraded timetable, but not the most needed changes:
04.30 Eastleigh-Southampton runs 10 minutes earlier.
04.55 Southampton-Waterloo runs 10 minutes earlier.
06.42 Southampton-Winchester starts at 06.45, extends to Basingstoke and continues as the 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo stopping train.
07.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke extends to Brighton.
07.27 Winchester-Southampton starts from Basingstoke at 06.55, and runs 15 minutes earlier from Winchester.
07.39 Waterloo-Southampton departs one minute earlier and stops additionally at Shawford.
07.44 Southampton-Winchester starts at 07.36, extends to Basingstoke and continues as the 08.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo stopping train.
08.05 Waterloo-Poole stops additionally at Sway and Hinton Admiral.
08.41 Winchester-Brighton axed.
09.01 Brockenhurst-Poole: additional service calling New Milton, Christchurch, Pokesdown, Bournemouth, Poole.
09.22 Brockenhurst-Wareham axed between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth, departing from the latter at 10.00.
07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo starts at 17.49 and resumes existing times from Fareham.
08.02 Southampton-Portsmouth starts at 07.51, runs earlier, and extends to Portsmouth Harbour.
08.22 Fareham-Portsmouth axed.
09.36 Portsmouth-Southampton starts from Portsmouth Harbour at 09.32.
07.07 Basingstoke-Yeovil starts at 07.14 and terminates at Salisbury. From Salisbury, a separate train departs for Yeovil at 08.05.
17.23 additional train from Salisbury to Tisbury and Gillingham.
20.20 Waterloo-Exeter leaves Salisbury 6 minutes later, at 22.06, and resumes advertised times from Crewkerne.
04.39 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo runs 9 minutes earlier.
05.19 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo ceases to call at Godalming, Farncombe and Worplesdon.
06.00 Haslemere-Waterloo: additional service calling at all stations to Woking, then Clapham Junction and Waterloo.
07.11 Haslemere-Waterloo departs 2 minutes earlier.
07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth Harbour terminates at Portsmouth and Southsea.
07.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth and Southsea extends to Portsmouth Harbour.
08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth Harbour uses up some of its slack by standing at Guildford for 7 minutes.
10.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo starts from Portsmouth Harbour at 10.18.
16.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth Harbour terminates at Portsmouth and Southsea.
17.45 Waterloo-Haslemere extends to Havant, calling at all stations.
19.18 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo starts from Portsmouth and Southsea at 19.24.
(There are also several very minor changes on the suburban lines).
RAIL PERFORMANCE REPORTS
Note: These details are snapshots, based on passengers' own experiences and website information. The Group does not have the resources to provide a full picture of the performance shortcomings which passengers suffer. We are able to provide fuller coverage on some days than on others. Please note that trains can become increasingly late during the course of their journeys, or make up time where stops are omitted and passengers thrown off, so the "minutes late" figures may not represent the position at the end of a journey.
Tuesday 1/2/05 05.54 Weymouth-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo reduced to 10 coaches. 06.55 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Havant due to duff stock. 07.14 and 07.44 Alton-Waterloo both reduced to 8 coaches. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. Despite deceleration of services, a number of mainline arrivals at Waterloo around 08.00 were about 5 minutes late. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading 14 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to duff stock. No heating on the 17.56 Southampton-Bournemouth. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole still old slam door coaches, and 6 minutes late by Totton; further delay as one passenger had to pull the communication cord as the train left, as she had been in the wrong coach for the short platform. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed due to duff stock; advertised on SWT's website as being replaced by a non-stop Woking-Weymouth service, obviously for operational convenience, and 23 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 19.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late.
Wednesday 2/2/05 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 24 minutes late due to no crew; intermediate stops between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth axed for operational convenience. 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 07.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 08.02 Woking-Waterloo axed between Woking and Surbiton. 08.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 15.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed between Waterloo and Staines. Brockenhurst-Lymington services suspended during the afternoon due to a road vehicle hitting a bridge. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 17.56 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. Duff stock on the 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter; passengers thrown off at Clapham Junction. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 12 minutes late. 18.35 Southampton-Portsmouth 29 minutes late due to no stock. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late due to duff preceding train; painfully loud announcement by the guard on the approach to Southampton, and painfully abusive language by a young woman swearing into her mobile phone. 18.36 Shepperton-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.38 Guildford-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 22 minutes late due to duff train. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke 22 minutes late due to duff train. 18.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 27 minutes late; 19.12 26 minutes late; 19.27 18 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 19 minutes late. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 23 minutes late at New Milton. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton 26 minutes late. 19.24 Waterloo-Dorking 18 minutes late. 19.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 12 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Surbiton and Waterloo axed for operational convenience. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 19 minutes late; omitted all intermediate stops after Kingston for operational convenience. 19.42 Waterloo-Shepperton axed. 19.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo omitted all stations between Basingstoke and Woking for operational convenience. 19.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 20.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 20.33 Woking-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops before Surbiton for operational convenience. 20.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed. 21.00 Romsey-Totton axed due to duff stock.
Thursday 3/2/05 Despite the new slack schedules, the 05.16 Portsmouth-Southampton, 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo and 06.11 Poole-Waterloo were all around 5 minutes late. Passengers on the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo complained to the guard about the absence of heat; he simply said he would report it. 06.24 Weymouth-Waterloo 4 minutes late at Winchester and 10 minutes late at Waterloo. 06.44 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 06.55 Reading-Brighton axed between Reading and Basingstoke due to duff stock. 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 13.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 15.16 Brockenhurst-Wareham axed between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth due to no guard. 15.28 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.56 Southampton-Bournemouth unheated. 18.32 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. Animals on the line between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth. Passengers on the 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth were 8 minutes late at Southampton, where they were thrown off due to Brockenhurst station being full of waiting trains; passengers were promised a replacement bus, but 20 minutes later they were still stranded and some started to drift away to make their own onward travel arrangements, the Southampton station staff having no information as to when a bus could be expected. 18.56 Poole-Waterloo axed between Poole and Southampton. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late; passengers to be thrown off at Brockenhurst. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches; passengers thrown off at Brockenhurst. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 57 minutes late. 20.06 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Brockenhurst. 20.20 Waterloo-Reading failed at Richmond. 20.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 27 minutes late due to duff train. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed. 22.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.
Friday 4/2/05 05.45 Poole-Waterloo's slack schedule allowed it to leave Southampton 5 minutes late and get to London 4 minutes early (so much waste time which used to be used for picking up passengers at additional stations!). 07.37 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.02 Southampton-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 08.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 12.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 25 minutes late due to duff stock. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 15.30 and 16.40 Exeter-Honiton axed due to no guard. 16.01 and 17.30 Honiton-Exeter axed due to no guard. 16.09 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.20 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late due to failed train. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole still old slam door stock, and reduced to 8 coaches. 18.15 Waterloo-Barnes-Waterloo 11 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops before Barnes axed for operational convenience. 18.46 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches, 15 minutes late, and omitted all intermediate stops before Raynes Park, due to duff train. Passengers on the 19.15 Waterloo-Haslemere thrown off at Guildford. 19.33 Dorking-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 21.00 Romsey-Totton axed due to duff stock. 21.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 22.01 Totton-Romsey axed due to duff stock. 23.00 Romsey-Southampton axed due to duff stock.
Saturday 5/2/05 06.08 Waterloo-Weymouth 13 minutes late. 06.25 Southampton-Wareham 20 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff train. 07.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 07.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 08.05 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late. 08.20 Waterloo-Plymouth 20 minutes late due to no crew. 08.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 09.39 Waterloo-Guildford axed between Waterloo and Wimbledon due to duff train. 11.20 Waterloo-Salisbury 23 minutes late due to duff stock. 12.16 Waterloo-Chessington axed due to no driver. 12.20 Waterloo-Exeter 24 minutes late and axed between Waterloo and Woking, due to duff stock. Passengers on the 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo thrown off at Basingstoke due to no guard. 13.10 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Passengers on the 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo thrown off at Basingstoke due to no guard. 16.26 Waterloo-Poole 13 minutes late. 17.05 Portsmouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 18.20 Waterloo-Exeter axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke due to no guard. 18.23 Woking-Alton axed due to no guard. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late due to duff train. 19.18 Alton-Woking axed due to no guard. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke due to no guard. 19.26 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 19.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 20.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 14 minutes late.
Sunday 6/2/05 07.46 Woking-Basingstoke 19 minutes late. 19.12 Chessington-Waterloo axed. 19.13 Ascot-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 22.24 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.
Monday 7/2/05 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 3 minutes late despite slack schedule. 06.07 Totton-Yeovil axed between Totton and Southampton. The 05.45 Poole-Waterloo therefore called at Totton; although it was 4 minutes late at both Totton and Southampton, and was further delayed in the Farnborough area, its huge reserve of slack time allowed it to get to Waterloo punctually. 07.07 Basingstoke-Yeovil axed between Basingstoke and Salisbury. 07.20 Yeovil-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.20 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late. 15.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff stock. 16.01 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 16.12 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 16.33 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 16.35 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 16.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court reduced to 4 coaches. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 5 coaches. 17.30 Waterloo-Epsom reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 8 coaches. 18.09 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 18.12 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 18.54 Waterloo-Dorking reduced to 4 coaches.
Tuesday 8/2/05 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 19 minutes late. 06.00 Romsey-Totton, 07.07 Totton-Romsey and 07.57 Romsey-Totton all axed due to duff stock; 09.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton. 07.14 Alton-Waterloo and 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches.
Wednesday 9/2/05 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo reduced to 6 coaches. 05.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 05.54 Weymouth-Waterloo 3 minutes late after the two portions joined at Southampton Central; passengers noticed that the customer information screen at Southampton Airport had failed due to a software fault. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops after Kingston axed for operational convenience. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 08.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 24 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Fulwell. 08.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 09.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo failed at Clapham Junction on the outward leg of its journey. 09.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Teddington. 09.44 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham due to duff stock. 11.23 Waterloo-Alton started 5 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Farnham for operational convenience. 13.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Alton and Farnham. 15.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to duff stock. 18.10 Exeter-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 18.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 11 minutes late. 19.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 11 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Barnes axed for operational convenience. 19.46 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches due to duff stock.
Thursday 10/2/05 05.00 Poole-Waterloo reverted to old slam-door stock; train was tailed by the empty 10-coach Wessex Electric which formerly formed the 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo. 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 06.00 Romsey-Totton 8 minutes late. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo 4 minutes late at Ashurst but the delay was absorbed by the long wait at Southampton for the rear portion of the train; there was a delay outside Basingstoke before passing slowly through the station, and the train reached Waterloo 13 minutes late, the guard attributing the blame to following a slow train from Basingstoke and an incident in the Clapham Junction area. 07.49 Poole-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.55 Poole-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late at Southampton, explained by the guard as due to "a fault on the train that prevented us travelling at more than 80 mph"; at Southampton the guard further announced the split into Weymouth and Poole portions, but then made a "special announcement" that the whole train would run fast to Bournemouth; passengers for intermediate stations thrown off - an old slam door unit was eventually provided in replacement, and was 20 minutes late by Ashurst. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 14 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Guildford 41 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Effingham Junction. 18.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 19.33 Dorking-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 19.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed between Guildford and Effingham Junction.
Friday 11/2/05 So slack is the schedule of the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo that the train had 8 minutes in hand to complete the final mile of its journey. 06.12 Waterloo-Wareham 16 minutes late due to no crew. 06.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo delayed in the Surbiton area and 2 minutes late into Waterloo despite the slack schedule. 07.20 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo simply advertised as "delayed" due to duff train. 07.39 Waterloo-Guildford 15 minutes late due to duff train. 07.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 15 minutes late due to duff train. 07.53 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 4 coaches. 07.58 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 08.10 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 08.17 Woking-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops before Walton-on-Thames for operational convenience. 08.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 5 coaches. Big morning delays due to duff train: 10.01 Poole-Waterloo axed, and delayed 10.00 Weymouth-Waterloo ran non-stop from Southampton Central to Waterloo for operational convenience. 15.33 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 16.00 Southampton-Wareham axed. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches and 9 minutes late. 17.59 Wareham-Bournemouth axed. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late, the guard explaining that the delay was due to being delayed in the Weybridge area, ie the delay was caused by a delay. 18.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.24 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to duff stock. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 5 coaches. 18.28 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 8 coaches. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 8 coaches. 19.35 Alton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 20.56 Salisbury-Bristol and 22.25 Bristol-Salisbury axed due to "electrical problems" on a non-electrified route! 21.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no crew.
Saturday 12/2/05 Engineering works in the London and Poole areas; such extended journey times that difficult for trains to run late - for example, the 08.01 arrival at Waterloo from Southampton was 11 minutes early. 11.57 Brighton-Basingstoke axed due to duff stock. 16.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 51 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Guildford. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late; Wimbledon and Clapham Junction stops axed for operational convenience. 17.35 Waterloo-Poole 32 minutes late; Clapham Junction, Basingstoke and Eastleigh stops axed for operational convenience. 17.44 Poole-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 18.05 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 19.00 waterloo-Portsmouth 23 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole axed due to duff stock. 20.05 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 20.45 Porstmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late.
Sunday 13/2/05 07.39 Salisbury-Waterloo 24 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.54 Reading-Waterloo 32 minutes late due to no crew. 08.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 14.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth 21 minutes late and axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff stock. 18.01 Windsor-Waterloo 17 minutes late. Passengers on the 18.35 Waterloo-Poole thrown off at Woking due to duff stock.
Monday 14/2/05 05.00 Poole-Waterloo formed of old slam door stock. 07.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Noted at Totton that the guard of the 07.16 to Waterloo watched the clock and closed the doors 30 seconds early; with such a slack schedule, the train was then stationary at Southampton for 7 minutes. 07.50 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Staines axed for operational convenience. 08.07 and 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. Apparently there was a duff unit on the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth; rear unit instead of front unit continuing beyond Bournemouth, with inevitable confusion for passengers. 16.56 Havant-Waterloo 30 minutes late; all intermediate stops axed for operational convenience. 17.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 8 coaches. Despite the slack schedules, the 17.35 from Waterloo managed to be 2 minutes late at Totton. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. One passenger was so fed up with the ancient units which have been reintroduced on the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole that the travelled on the 17.48 to Southampton - it seems ludicrous to concentrate the older stock on longer-distance services. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton reduced to 4 coaches. 18.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 19.07 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver.
Tuesday 15/2/05 05.00 Poole-Waterloo still formed of old slam door stock. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 07.11 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 08.02 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.11 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. Passengers on the 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth thrown off at Petersfield; not clear why as train only 3 minutes late. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed between Shepperton and Teddington. 20.03 Woking-Waterloo 10 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Surbiton axed for operational convenience.
Wednesday 16/2/05 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo reduced to 6 coaches and 18 minutes late due to duff stock. 06.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 08.15 Waterloo-Haslemere axed between Waterloo and Guildford due to duff stock. 08.17 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 16.00 Southampton-Wareham 19 minutes late. Parts of 18.05 Waterloo-Poole freezing cold and train held in Southampton tunnel 7 minutes "awaiting a free platform" at Southampton Central; on arrival in the station, all 4 platforms were free. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late; train delayed 4 minutes in Southampton tunnel, presumably awaiting four free platforms, like the 18.05. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 28 minutes late. 20.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to no guard. 21.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no guard.
Thursday 17/2/05 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.46 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches due to duff train. 09.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 13.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 14.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed. 14.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late; ran fast from Havant to Waterloo for operational convenience. 16.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 16.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 17.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 24 minutes late. 17.37 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole not only old slam-door stock, but reduced to 8 carriages and 6 minutes late. 18.13 Waterloo-Shepperton delayed due to duff train. 18.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 14 minutes late; stops from Woking to Surbiton inclusive axed for operational convenience. 18.55 Reading-Brighton 25 minutes late. 19.06 Shepperton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction axed due to no guard. 21.00 Romsey-Totton 39 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Southampton. 22.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton.
Friday 18/2/05 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 10 coaches. 07.57 Waterloo-Strawberry Hill axed. 07.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed between Waterloo and Kingston due to duff stock. 15.00 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Poole due to bridge at Bincombe being hit by a road vehicle. 16.01 Poole-Waterloo 37 minutes late; all intermediate stops except Bournemouth, Brockenhurst and Southampton Central axed for operational convenience. As the 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth departed from London it was announced that the rear unit would run beyond Bournemouth instead of the front unit; huge upheaval for passengers and delay of 15 minutes. 17.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 18.01 Totton-Romsey 10 minutes late. 18.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 18.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches and 38 minutes late due to duff stock. 18.55 Reading-Brighton axed due to duff stock. 18.57 Brighton-Reading 24 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late due to duff train. 19.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court axed due to no guard. 19.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 20.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 14 minutes late. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury axed between Brighton and Havant due to duff stock. 22.03 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. (In addition, 21.45 Waterloo-Twickenham, 22.12 Waterloo-Shepperton and 23.11 Shepperton-Waterloo all advertised as cancelled due to no driver and then reinstated at a late hour).
Saturday 19/2/05 05.05 Waterloo-Reading 24 minutes late. 05.45 Salisbury-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 05.58 Waterloo-Windsor 16 minutes late. 07.39 Waterloo-Southampton axed, reinstated at 07.52 and departed 17 minutes late. 08.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed and then reinstated at 08.31. 15.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 18 minutes late due to no crew; intermediate stations before Staines axed for operational convenience. 15.57 Brighton-Reading 19 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 18.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 18.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to no crew. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading 18 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Poole 13 minutes late. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. 19.33 Weybridge-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 20.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no guard. 20.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 21.20 Waterloo-Reading 16 minutes late due to no crew. 21.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no guard. 21.28 Waterloo-Windsor 20 minutes late due to no crew; stops at Vauxhall, Clapham Junction and Putney axed for operational convenience. 21.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 22.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no guard. 22.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 23.23 Ascot-Aldershot axed due to no guard.
Sunday 20/2/05 06.50 Poole-Waterloo 39 minutes late. 07.10 Salisbury-Exeter 91 minutes late. 07.14 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 07.32 Yeovil-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 09.20 Exeter-Waterloo 47 minutes late. 14.40 Salisbury-Brighton 21 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.37 Waterloo-Basingstoke 20 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.37 Yeovil-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 19.32 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 21.05 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 21.57 Waterloo-Hampton Court axed due to duff stock. 23.05 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.
Monday 21/2/05 05.50 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo reached Totton over a minute before departure time; two passengers raced to catch it, in full view of the guard, as the doors started to close but only one managed to board; the train then had to sit at Southampton for 9 minutes, awaiting its rear portion, before leaving one minute late. Passengers arriving at Totton for the 06.07 to Yeovil found it advertised on the customer information system as cancelled, with no eastbound service until the 06.46 to London. As the station manager scrambled to arrange for the 05.45 from Poole to make a special stop, the 06.07 arrived from the siding. Passengers thrown off at Southampton after a journey of less than 10 minutes, "due to no crew", and the train reversed and disappeared down the direct line to Salisbury as empty stock; despite the ridiculously slack schedule of the 05.45, stops were not made to pick up stranded commuters at St Denys or Swaythling. 06.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 07.24 Reading-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 14.58 Guildford-Waterloo axed. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.56 Havant-Waterloo 23 minutes late due to duff stock. 17.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 17.34 Guildford-Waterloo axed. Sixth carriage of the 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth freezing cold; some passengers kept their overcoats on. 17.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.56 Southampton-Bournemouth started at 18.00, due to its being parked behind the 17.58 to Westbury - it seems likely that the 17.58 was switched from its normal platform because of the delay to the 17.01 Totton-Romsey, which was still advertised at Southampton Airport as delayed, 12 minutes after its booked departure time. 17.56 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 18.00 Romsey-Totton 37 minutes late due to duff stock. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 21 minutes late; stops at St Margarets, North Sheen and Mortlake axed for operational convenience. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 8 coaches. 18.45 Waterloo-Chessington 15 minutes late; all stoops before Raynes Park axed for operational convenience. 18.56 Poole-Waterloo delayed 25 minutes at Southampton. 19.01 Totton-Romsey 33 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Southampton. 20.00 Romsey-Totton axed.
Tuesday 22/2/05 (The day that SWT's electronic Journeycheck facility collapsed under the strain of disruption) 05.40 Basingstoke-Weymouth axed. 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo one minute late from Totton, with very cold second coach: a passenger who sought a warmer coach overheard the guard asking on his handset "Do you know how to reset?" and getting the reply "No. I don't either"; train was 8 minutes late into Waterloo. 07.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Fareham. 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo axed. 07.52 Waterloo-Weybridge 14 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.58 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Bournemouth due to duff stock. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 22 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops between Waterloo and Barnes axed for operational convenience. 17.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.57 Guildford-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 18.02 Waterloo-Guildford 16 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. Passengers on the 18.20 Yeovil-Waterloo thrown off at Basingstoke. 18.25 Waterloo-Alton 53 minutes late. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 18.35 Dorking-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late. 18.39 Waterloo-Southampton 13 minutes late. 18.40 Chessington-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke 10 minutes late. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches and 24 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Woking 44 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 15 minutes late. 18.53 Waterloo-Alton 10 minutes late. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor 12 minutes late. 18.59 Effingham Junction-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 19.03 Woking-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 32 minutes late. 19.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 29 minutes late. 19.12 Waterloo-Eastleigh 10 minutes late. 19.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.15 Waterloo-Haslemere 23 minutes late. 19.16 Waterloo-Chessington 36 minutes late. 19.20 Waterloo-Woking axed. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton/Bristol 26 minutes late. 19.23 Waterloo-Alton 11 minutes late. 19.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 19.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 43 minutes late. 19.39 Waterloo-Southampton 14 minutes late. 19.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 72 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Woking 43 minutes late. 19.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 22 minutes late. 19.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 39 minutes late. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 37 minutes late. 20.03 Woking-Waterloo 38 minutes late. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 32 minutes late. 20.08 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 20.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 32 minutes late. 20.11 Shepperton-Waterloo omitted all intermediate stops between Kingston and Waterloo for operational convenience. 20.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 18 minutes late. 20.15 Waterloo-Haslemere 27 minutes late. 20.20 Waterloo-Exeter 20 minutes late. 20.23 Waterloo-Alton 59 minutes late. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 20.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 50 minutes late. 20.33 Woking-Waterloo axed. 20.35 Dorking-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 23 minutes late. 20.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 23 minutes late. 20.38 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 20.39 Waterloo-Southampton 27 minutes late. 20.40 Chessington-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 20.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 20.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke 37 minutes late. 20.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 36 minutes late. 20.50 Waterloo-Woking 25 minutes late. 20.53 Waterloo-Alton 33 minutes late. 20.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 21.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 40 minutes late. 21.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 21.03 Woking-Waterloo 25 minutes late. 21.05 Waterloo-Poole 28 minutes late. 21.10 Chessington-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 21.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 14 minutes late. Passengers on the 21.14 Alton-Waterloo thrown off at Farnham. 21.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 21.20 Waterloo-Yeovil axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke. 21.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 21.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 25 minutes late. 21.33 Woking-Waterloo axed. 21.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 21.35 Dorking-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 21.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 25 minutes late. 21.38 Guildford-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 21.39 Waterloo-Southampton 18 minutes late. 21.46 Guildford-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 21.50 Waterloo-Woking axed. 21.53 Waterloo-Alton 43 minutes late. 21.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed. 22.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late. 22.03 Woking-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 22.05 Waterloo-Poole 13 minutes late. 22.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 22.55 Guildford-Waterloo axed.
Wednesday 23/2/05 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo left Totton early. 06.33 Staines-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 06.50 Waterloo-Guildford 12 minutes late. 07.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court 13 minutes late. 07.13 Waterloo-Guildford 13 minutes late. 07.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late due to duff stock. 08.00 Shepperton-Waterloo 14 minutes late. Duff stock on 08.05 Waterloo-Poole; train 16 minutes late and ran fast from Southampton to Bournemouth, where passengers were thrown off. 08.20 Waterloo-Woking omitted all intermediate stops before Surbiton for operational convenience. 09.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 16 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Kingston for operational convenience. 09.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 20 minutes late. 09.54 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to duff stock. 10.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed between Waterloo and Kingston. 10.50 Waterloo-Reading 15 minutes late. 11.05 Dorking-Waterloo axed between Dorking and Epsom due to duff stock. 11.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 11.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no driver. 13.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 15.53 Waterloo-Alton axed due to duff stock. 16.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo omitted stops at Isleworth, Syon Lane, Kew Bridge, Chiswick and Barnes Bridge for operational convenience. 16.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 10 coaches. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches and 21 minutes late due to duff stock. A passenger who waited for the 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth, in order to avoid the old Mark I stock on this freezing cold evening, found that the 18.35 was formed of old stock, with duff intercom leading to inaudible announcements. 18.20 Waterloo-Woking reduced to 4 coaches. 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 8 coaches. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 18.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 11 minutes late. 20.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 20.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late.
Thursday 24/2/05 04.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 05.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot. Passengers angry at the tropical temperatures in parts of the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo. 06.12 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Bracknell. Duff stock on the 06.19 Woking-Portsmouth; passengers thrown off at Winchester. 06.21 Southampton-Portsmouth 25 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Fareham. 07.11 Haslemere-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.36 Portsmouth-Southampton axed between Portsmouth and Fareham. 08.10 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 08.24 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to duff stock. 08.25 Exeter-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 08.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 22 minutes late due to duff stock. 09.35 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 09.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 34 minutes late due to lineside fire. A notable failure of the morning was SWT's electronic 'Journeycheck' facility. 10.01 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 10.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 10.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 11.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late due to lineside fire. 11.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 11.58 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 16.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 16.10 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 16.54 Waterloo-Dorking reduced to 4 coaches. 17.32 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 17.53 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to duff stock. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 8 coaches. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking reduced to 4 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole advertised as reduced to 8 coaches; a commuter avoided it by catching the 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth, only to reach his home station 24 minutes late. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late due to no rolling stock. 18.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 5 coaches. 18.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 19.20 Waterloo-Woking axed due to no driver. 20.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 20.33 Woking-Waterloo axed due to no driver.
Friday 25/2/05 Light snowfall in Surrey; many morning peak trains into Waterloo delayed. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 6 minutes late. 06.50 Southampton Airport-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 07.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo halted at Woking while the driver investigated a fault on the train; arrival at Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.06 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.11 Haslemere-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 07.32 Woking-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 08.10 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.26 Waterloo-Alton 15 minutes late. 08.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.20 Waterloo-Paignton 20 minutes late due to duff train. 16.58 Guildford-Waterloo 29 minutes late. 17.05 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late due to duff train. 17.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 17.35 Dorking-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 17.48 Waterloo-Southampton reduced to 5 coaches. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole was at long last formed of new carriages, but reduced from 12 to 5 coaches: gross overcrowding, with many passengers standing for an hour to the first stop at Winchester; passengers treated to some interesting automated announcements such as "this train is arriving at Waterloo" just as it was departing, and "the next station is Fareham" when it obviously wasn't; the last straw for a passenger who had stood to Winchester was discovering that the drop down tables on these Desiro trains are too small to balance a laptop on. 18.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 9 coaches. 18.20 Waterloo-Woking 10 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Esher axed for operational convenience. 18.53 Waterloo-Alton axed between Waterloo and Woking due to duff train. 19.02 Waterloo-Woking axed due to duff train. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 5 coaches. 19.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 19.54 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.22 Waterloo-Weybridge 27 minutes late. 20.28 Waterloo-Windsor 27 minutes late.20.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 17 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Twickenham axed for operational convenience.
Saturday 26/2/05 Passengers on the 07.24 Basingstoke-Brighton thrown off at Winchester. 11.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 12.42 Reading-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.12 Reading-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 15.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 13 minutes late; all intermediate stops axed for operational convenience. 17.20 Waterloo-Yeovil 28 minutes late. 17.00 Exeter-Waterloo 17 minutes late and axed between Exeter and Yeovil, due to no crew. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton 18 minutes late. 22.14 Alton-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff stock. 22.20 Waterloo-Salisbury axed between Waterloo and Woking due to no guard.
Sunday 27/2/05 Day of exceptionally slack schedules during engineering work. For example, the National Rail website showed the 12.25 from Paignton as due at Waterloo at 17.41 but expected at 17.28, and the 17.32 from Portsmouth as due at 19.37 but expected at 19.25. 10.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 12.54 Waterloo-Bournemouth called additionally at West Byfleeet and all intermediate stations between Woking and Basingstoke, presumably to substitute for an axed service. 17.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 29 minutes late; intermediate stops between Guildford and Waterloo axed for operational convenience. 20.01 Fareham-Salisbury axed due to duff stock.
Monday 28/2/05 Track circuit failure at Waterloo; fast tracks out of use in morning peak with widespread delays and cancellations - for example, despite its greatly inflated schedule, the 05.45 from Poole was almost 15 minutes late. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo advertised at Totton as being on time until two minutes before its scheduled departure. The indicator board then switched to say that the next train did not stop and a track maintenance machine rolled throygh. The London train was then shown as 5 minutes late; after slow running, the train reached London 15 minutes late. 16.05 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 3 coaches. 17.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. Some passengers freezing cold on the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole due to no heating. 18.35 Alton-Waterloo 23 minutes late due to duff stock; passengers thrown off at Woking. 18.35 Waterloo-Poole 5 minutes late at Totton. 19.05 Alton-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole, having earlier been advertised at Totton as 6 minutes late, got to be 31 minutes late. 19.07 Weybridge-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 19.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late. 20.16 Waterloo-Chessington 20 minutes late due to no crew; all intermediate stops before Raynes Park axed for operational convenience. 20.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 17 minutes late due to duff stock. Passengers on the 20.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth thrown off at Fratton due to "rolling stock problems". 21.12 Reading-Waterloo axed.
Tuesday 1/3/05 05.16 from Portsmouth reached Southampton 15 minutes late, at 06.29; this was 8 minutes after it should have returned to Portsmouth, and meant that passengers wanting the 06.30 to Waterloo had to race wildly across the footbridge. 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo 4 minutes late into Waterloo, having shut its doors at Totton 10 seconds before departure time. 07.23 Waterloo-Alton omitted all intermediate before Woking for operational convenience. 07.39 Waterloo-Southampton 18 minutes late due to duff stock. 07.44 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. West Byfleet stop of the 08.02 Woking-Waterloo axed. 08.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke omitted all intermediate stops for operational convenience. 08.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed between Portsmouth and Basingstoke due to no driver. 16.36 Portsmouth-Southampton 23 minutes late due to no crew. 16.42 Southampton-Portsmouth axed between Southampton and Fareham due to no driver. 17.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole was old slam-door stock again. 18.48 Waterloo-Guildford 23 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.42 Southampton-Portsmouth axed due to guard not being trained to operate old slam-door stock. 21.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 21.40 Brighton-Salisbury axed due to duff stock.
Wednesday 2/3/05 05.44 Alton-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 05.45 Salisbury-Waterloo reduced to 3 coaches and 16 minutes late. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. Passengers on the 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo thrown off at Haslemere due to duff stock. 07.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 07.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.32 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.40 Chessington-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.55 Poole-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 08.17 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 09.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to duff stock. 11.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot due to duff train. 12.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed. 13.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 14.20 Waterloo-Reading 123 minutes late due to duff train in front. 14.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Wokingham due to duff stock. 14.50 Waterloo-Reading "reinstated from Virginia Water" (whatever that means). 15.05 Waterloo-Poole 13 minutes late. 15.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to no driver. 15.20 Waterloo-Reading 102 minutes late. 15.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 11 minutes late. 15.50 Waterloo-Reading 35 minutes late. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo 93 minutes late. 16.20 Waterloo-Reading 25 minutes late. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo 51 minutes late. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Staines. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 18.38 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.48 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to no rolling stock. 19.05 Alton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 19.35 Alton-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches, axed between Alton and Farnham, and 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.35 Waterloo-Weymouth started with a cold fourth carriage, which eventually warmed up. 21.55 Reading-Portsmouth axed.
Thursday 3/3/05 Doors on the second coach of the 06.04 Bournemouth-Waterloo did not open at Totton, and frantic scurrying at subsequent stops when passengers realised they could not enter the front of the third coach or rear of the second; guard explained that doors were faulty and had been isolated. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo axed. 06.44 Alton-Waterloo 24 minutes late due to duff train. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.00 Aldershot-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 07.12 Reading-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.14 Alton-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to duff train. 07.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.36 Farnham-West Byfleet 15 minutes late. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo ran fast to Weybridge for operational convenience. 08.47 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 16.39 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 4 coaches. 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. The 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth had exactly the same door problem as the 06.04 from Bournemouth; presumably this was the same unit, running all day with unattended faulty doors.
Friday 4/3/05 05.40 Basingstoke-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff stock. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 06.43 Cosham-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. Big morning delays in the Fareham area when an old slam door train caught fire and passengers evacuated. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late due to no crew. 16.01 Poole-Waterloo suffered duff stock, and replaced by a train which ran 39 minutes late from Bournemouth to Southampton Central and Waterloo only. Inhuman overcrowding on the 16.05 Waterloo-Poole. 16.38 Winchester-Southampton 18 minutes late; too much trouble to give waiting passengers an excuse. 16.50 Waterloo-Yeovil reduced to 3 coaches. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 8 coaches. 17.23 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 8 coaches. 17.45 Waterloo-Haslemere reduced to 8 coaches. 17.55 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 9 coaches. 18.02 Waterloo-Woking axed. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole reduced to 8 coaches; the previous Friday it had been reduced to 5 coaches - are short, crowded trains a Friday evening treat on SWT? 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth 28 minutes late. 20.55 Southampton-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late due to duff stock. Passengers on the 21.39 Waterloo-Guildford thrown off at Epsom. 22.09 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to no guard. 22.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court axed. 22.50 Waterloo-Woking axed between Waterloo and Wimbledon. 23.24 Hampton Court-Wimbledon axed.
Saturday 5/3/05 08.56 Waterloo-Poole 24 minutes late; stops at Clapham Junction and Eastleigh axed for operational convenience. 09.44 Poole-Waterloo 27 minutes late. 09.56 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 10.01 Poole-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 10.26 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 11.26 Waterloo-Pole 19 minutes late. 12.26 Waterloo-Poole 14 minutes late. 12.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late due to no stock. 12.56 Waterloo-Poole 16 minutes late; stops at Clapham Junction, Basingstoke and Eastleigh axed for operational convenience. 13.01 Totton-Romsey 24 minutes late. 13.01 Poole-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 13.16 Brockenhurst-Poole 13 minutes late. 13.26 Waterloo-Poole 23 minutes late due to no crew; stops at Clapham Junction, Woking, Farnborough, Fleet, Micheldever and Eastleigh axed for operational convenience. 13.44 Alton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 14.01 Poole-Waterloo 24 minutes late due to duff stock. 14.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke 16 minutes late due to no crew. 14.26 Waterloo-Poole 30 minutes late. 15.00 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late due to duff stock. 15.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 13 minutes late; stops at West Byfleet, Byfleet and Wimbledon axed for operational convenience. 15.56 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late. 16.16 Brockenhurst-Poole 12 minutes late. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.16 Brockenhurst-Poole 10 minutes late. 17.24 Basingstoke-Southampton axed. 17.26 Waterloo-Poole 32 minutes late. 17.42 Southampton-Portsmouth 30 minutes late due to no crew. 18.20 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late. 18.56 Waterloo-Poole 17 minutes late. 19.26 Waterloo-Poole 21 minutes late. 20.07 Waterloo-Twickenham 13 minutes late. 20.50 Waterloo-Reading axed due to duff stock.
Sunday 6/3/05 08.15 Waterloo-Plymouth axed between Waterloo and Clapham Junction and 31 minutes late due to duff stock. 09.16 Basingstoke-Waterloo 25 minutes late; all stops between Woking and Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 11.13 Ascot-Guildford 11 minutes late. 15.50 Guildford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 18.10 Brighton-Exeter/19.15 Waterloo-Exeter advertised as going only to Yeovil. 19.52 Woking-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 21.50 Waterloo-Woking axed due to no guard.
Monday 7/3/05 00.21 Staines-Woking axed due to no driver. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. 06.40 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. Passengers on the 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo thrown off at Havant due to duff stock. 07.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to duff stock; stations from Isleworth to Barnes axed for operational convenience. 07.50 Teddington-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 15.58 Waterloo-Windsor 15 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.22 Waterloo-Weybridge reduced to 4 coaches. 16.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 17.28 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 17.35 Waterloo-Poole left Southampton Central just as a late running Virgin Trains service arrived. Having deprived the Virgin passengers of their connection, it dawdled until the Virgin train passed, reaching Totton 3 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 19.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 15 minutes late; stops at St Margarets, Richmond, North Sheen and Mortlake axed for operational convenience. 19.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction axed. 19.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 21 minutes late; ran fast from Teddington to Waterloo for operational convenience. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 16 minutes late. 20.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 20.39 Waterloo-Southampton 27 minutes late; all intermediate stops axed for operational convenience. 21.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.45 Waterloo-Twickenham axed due to no driver.
Tuesday 8/3/05 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.46 West Byfleet-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.50 Teddington-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 13.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Woking. 14.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to no driver. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.25 Dorking-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 19.00 to Reading delayed at Waterloo due to duff stock; all intermediate stations before Staines, plus Martins Heron, to be axed for operational convenience. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo delayed at Bournemouth for 36 minutes due to no driver; all intermediate stops after Southampton Central axed for operational convenience. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 16 minutes late due to duff stock; passengers thrown off at Woking. 21.00 Exeter-Axminster 20 minutes late. 21.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 17 minutes late due to duff stock and ran fast to Richmond for operational convenience.
Wednesday 9/3/05 Passengers on the 06.24 Weymouth-Southampton thrown off at Poole due to duff stock. 07.30 Shepperton-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 07.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches due to duff stock. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. Fatality in the Surbiton area towards the end of the morning peak. Delays of up to 40 minutes; Surbiton station closed for a time; Hampton Court served by bus service, and trains from Alton and Basingstoke to Waterloo omitted all intermediate stations after Woking; 09.35 Waterloo-Weymouth axed between Waterloo and Bournemouth. This incident was quickly followed by more major disruption due to a train failure. 10.20 Waterloo-Exeter 39 minutes late due to duff train. 10.50 Waterloo-Salisbury 32 minutes late due to duff train. 11.24 Basingstoke-Brighton axed. 12.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 13.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 13.57 Brighton-Basingstoke axed. 14.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 31 minutes late. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 15.05 Waterloo-Poole 12 minutes late. 15.15 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to no driver. 16.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 16.16 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. 17.46 Waterloo-Chessington reduced to 4 coaches. 17.54 Waterloo-Dorking reduced to 4 coaches. 18.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches. 18.53 Windsor-Waterloo 14 minutes late.
Thursday 10/3/05 Points failure at Waterloo in the morning peak; many trains around 5 minutes late. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 08.23 Windsor-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.40 Chessington-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.52 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 16 minutes late. 18.07 and 18.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 18.35 Waterloo-Reading axed between Waterloo and Clapham Junction. Passengers on the 19.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo thrown off at Twickenham due to duff stock.
Friday 11/3/05 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.42 Reading-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 15.58 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 16.20 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches. 16.58 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 5 coaches. 19.20 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 21.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 21.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 20.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 58 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Havant, except Guildford, axed for operational convenience.
Saturday 12/3/05 06.50 Waterloo-Reading reduced to 4 coaches. 07.41, 08.41 and 09.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.42 and 08.42 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to no driver. 07.58 Twickenham-Waterloo axed. 08.10 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 09.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 10.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no driver. 11.00 Romsey-Totton 20 minutes late. 12.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 22.35 Waterloo-Poole axed due to no driver.
Sunday 13/3/05 08.41 Aldershot-Ascot and 09.13 Ascot-Aldershot 30 minutes late. 13.15 Waterloo-Paignton 15 minutes late. 14.00 Plymouth-Waterloo 48 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops after Salisbury axed for operational convenience. 15.10 Haslemere-Waterloo axed due to duff stock.
Monday 14/3/05 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 06.42 Hilsea-Waterloo 19 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Haslemere axed for operational convenience. 06.44 Portsmouth-Waterloo 23 minutes late; all intermediate stops between Havant and Haslemere axed for operational convenience. 07.33 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.50 Waterloo-Guildford omitted all intermediate stops before Surbiton due to duff stock. 07.50 Brighton-Basingstoke axed between Brighton and Worthing. 08.46 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 15.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 11 minutes late and axed between Waterloo and Clapham Junction due to duff stock. 16.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. Plenty of Wessex Electric stock at Waterloo to form the 16.35 to Weymouth but the train was formed of an incoming service which did not arrive until 16.27; the 16.35 left at 16.39, arriving at Southampton Central about 9 minutes late at 17.58 - 17.56 connecting service for intermediate stations to Bournemouth was still at the next platform, so staff sent it off as passengers raced over the footbridge. 17.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 17.41 Waterloo-Basingstoke reduced to 4 coaches.
Tuesday Ides of March 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes late. 06.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 06.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 07.36 Basingstoke-Waterloo stopping service ran as a non-stop service Basingstoke-Clapham Junction, "due to a speed restriction imposed by Network Rail". 08.02 Woking-Waterloo axed. 08.24 Waterloo-Dorking axed. 09.35 Dorking-Waterloo axed. 15.59 Wareham-Winchester axed between Bournemouth and Winchester due to no driver. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 8 coaches. 17.45 Waterloo-Haslemere reduced to 8 coaches. 18.01 Totton-Romsey axed due to duff stock. 18.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock. 18.38 Winchester-Southampton axed due to no driver. 19.00 Romsey-Totton axed due to duff stock. 19.37 Weybridge-Waterloo axed. 19.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed due to no guard. 20.01 Totton-Romsey axed between Totton and Southampton due to duff stock. 21.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no guard.
Wednesday 16/3/05 05.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 33 minutes late; Wimbledon and all intermediate stops between Southampton and Bournemouth axed for operational convenience. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 4 minutes late. 07.32 Dorking-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 07.46 Waterloo-Chessington omitted all intermediate stops before Raynes Park. 07.50 Waterloo-Guildford axed. 07.52 Epsom-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 08.06 Waterloo-Hampton Court 15 minutes late. 08.16 Waterloo-Chessington 15 minutes late. 08.17 Woking-Waterloo 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 08.24 Waterloo-Dorking 14 minutes late. 12.10 Exeter-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 14.25 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 14.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 14.38 Guildford-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 14.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 14.41 Shepperton-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 15.03 Woking-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 15.05 Dorking-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 15.10 Chessington-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court 15 minutes late; all intermediate stops before Surbiton axed for operational convenience. 15.42 Waterloo-Shepperton 20 minutes late. 15.54 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to no conductor. 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 35 minutes late. 17.01 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.03 Weybridge-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.35 Dorking-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.56 Poole-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 18.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 18.05 Dorking-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 18.30 Waterloo-Epsom reduced to 4 coaches. 18.32 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 18.35 Dorking-Waterloo 22 minutes late. 18.43 Southampton-Winchester 29 minutes late. 18.58 Waterloo-Windsor axed. 19.57 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 13 minutes late. 20.23 Windsor-Waterloo axed. 20.35 Dorking-Waterloo 34 minutes late; all intermediate stops after Epsom axed for operational convenience.
Thursday 17/3/05 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 9 coaches. 07.50 Waterloo-Guildford reduced to 4 coaches. 08.42 Reading-Waterloo axed between Reading and Ascot due to duff stock. 15.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 15.33 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 16.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 16.56 Havant-Waterloo axed due to no guard. Passengers on the 17.00 Weymouth-Waterloo thrown off at Bournemouth due to duff stock. 18.43 Southampton-Winchester axed due to duff stock. 18.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to no guard; 19.00 delayed by compensatory stops. Passengers on the 18.45 Salisbury-Waterloo thrown off at Basingstoke due to duff stock. 18.50 Waterloo-Reading 19 minutes late due to duff stock. 19.00 Weymouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches. 19.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 20.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth 25 minutes late; stops at Woking, Farncombe, Godalming and Portsmouth Harbour axed for operational convenience.
Friday 18/3/05 07.30 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 14.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to no guard; 15.00 delayed by compensatory stops. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 17.55 Southampton-Waterloo axed. 19.05 Waterloo-Reading axed due to no driver. 19.09 Waterloo-Effingham Junction axed due to duff stock. 20.11 Shepperton-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 20.42 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver.
Saturday 19/3/05 06.19 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 06.42 Waterloo-Shepperton axed. 07.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 07.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 07.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed. 08.45 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to duff stock; 09.00 delayed by compensatory stops. 09.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to no guard. 09.53 Windsor-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 11.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 11.52 Waterloo-Weybridge axed due to no guard. 12.05 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. 12.16 Waterloo-Chessington axed due to no guard. 12.36 Waterloo-Hampton Court axed due to no guard. 13.10 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 13.24 Hampton Court-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 13.33 Weybridge-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 13.54 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 14.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed due to no guard. 14.09 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to no serviceable stock. 14.51 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed first due to no serviceable stock and then due to no guard. 15.28 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no serviceable stock. 17.09 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to no guard. 17.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 18.28 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 19.41 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 19.42 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed due to no guard. 21.12 Waterloo-Shepperton axed due to no crew. 22.11 Shepperton-Waterloo axed due to preceding train being axed.
Sunday 20/3/05 08.02 Waterloo-Epsom axed due to no guard. 08.36 Woking-Bournemouth 30 minutes late. 08.42 Portsmouth-Southampton 35 minutes late. 08.54 Epsom-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 13.10 Brighton-Reading 27 minutes late due to no crew. 13.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo 44 minutes late; passengers thrown off at Fareham. 13.48 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late. 14.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo 25 minutes late; Petersfield stop axed for operational convenience. 15.05 Bournemouth-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 15.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 28 minutes late. 17.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo 26 minutes late. 18.15 Alton-Waterloo 23 minutes late.
Monday 21/3/05 05.10 Exeter-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to duff stock. 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 5 minutes early due to slack schedule. 07.06 Basingstoke-Waterloo axed. 07.33 Waterloo-Alton reduced to 4 coaches. 07.40 Haslemere-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 07.47 Woking-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.52 Basingstoke-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 08.37 Guildford-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.37 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 14.47 Plymouth-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 15.22 Waterloo-Weybridge axed. 16.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 17.50 Waterloo-Reading axed. 19.42 Reading-Waterloo axed. Afternoon fatality at Wimbledon: no recognisable service on the main line. Examples: 12.20 Yeovil-Waterloo 71 minutes late; 13.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 48 minutes late; 13.39 Haslemere-Waterloo 81 minutes late; 13.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 37 minutes late; 14.55 Southampton-Waterloo 23 minutes late; 15.03 Waterloo-Guildford axed; 15.09 Waterloo-Guildford axed; 15.12 Waterloo-Basingstoke axed; 15.23 Waterloo-Alton axed; 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth departed 7 minutes late; despite the slack schedule and lack of delay in the Wimbledon area, it was about 20 minutes late by Southampton, with the connection for intermediate stations to Bournemouth not honoured; 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 30 minutes late; 17.18 Portsmouth-Waterloo 33 minutes late and passengers thrown off at Woking for operational convenience; 18.08 Guildford-Waterloo axed; 18.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo axed; 19.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth axed between Waterloo and Woking; 20.15 Waterloo-Haslemere axed. 19.10 Paignton-Basingstoke axed (but advertised as revised to run from New Malden to Basingstoke (different section of route and opposite direction)! 19.24 Waterloo-Dorking axed due to no guard. 20.08 Waterloo-Guildford axed due to duff stock. 20.14 Alton-Waterloo axed due to duff stock. 20.24 Basingstoke-Waterloo 19 minutes late; intermediate stops between Woking and Waterloo axed for operational convenience.
Tuesday 22/3/05 Passengers joining the 05.45 Poole-Waterloo with computers and hot drinks found that most of the tables had been removed. 07.10 Waterloo-Paignton axed between Waterloo and Basingstoke due to duff stock. 07.30 Aldershot-Waterloo axed due to no stock. 12.35 Paignton-Waterloo 47 minutes late. 14.10 Exeter-Waterloo 33 minutes late. 15.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 16.01 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no guard. 16.35 Waterloo-Weymouth departed 7 minutes late due to duff connecting doors between the two units; 3 minutes delay at Southampton Airport due to duff external doors which would not open, and arrival at Southampton Central at 18.00 where passengers for the 17.56 stopping train to Bournemouth found that it had already departed. 16.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 19 minutes late; Clapham Junction stop axed for operational convenience. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 8 coaches. 17.20 Waterloo-Exeter reduced to 3 coaches. 17.23 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no guard. 17.39 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 8 coaches. 18.00 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 9 coaches. 18.24 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; stops at Godalming and Farncombe axed for operational convenience. 18.31 Guildford-Ascot axed due to no guard. 19.20 Waterloo-Honiton 15 minutes late. 19.53 Ascot-Guildford axed due to no guard. Passengers on the 20.06 Weymouth-Waterloo thrown off at Brockenhurst due to duff stock.
Wednesday 23/3/05 06.55 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 8 coaches. 07.53 Windsor-Waterloo reduced to 4 coaches. 14.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo delayed at Haslemere. 15.37 Haslemere-Waterloo 11 minutes late. 17.09 Waterloo-Portsmouth reduced to 4 coaches. 17.15 Waterloo-Fratton reduced to 8 coaches. 17.58 Waterloo-Windsor reduced to 4 coaches. 18.42 Reading-Waterloo axed. 19.35 Waterloo-Weymouth reduced to 5 coaches. 19.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no guard.
Thursday 24/3/05 05.45 Poole-Waterloo 6 minutes early due to slack schedule. 05.50 Yeovil-Waterloo 30 minutes late. 07.13 Portsmouth-Waterloo reduced to 5 coaches. Duff train in the Wareham area: 17.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 51 minutes late; 18.35 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late; 20.06 Weymouth-Waterloo axed between Weymouth and Bournemouth; 21.10 Weymouth-Waterloo 18 minutes late. 21.15 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 22 minutes late.
Good Friday Huge disruption due to engineering work in the Basingstoke area. Additional early morning disruption due to an incident in the Eastleigh area. 10.15 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 17.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 21.28 Waterloo-Windsor axed. 22.08 Guildford-Waterloo axed.
Saturday 26/3/05 Continuing disruption. Passengers on the 10.10 Paignton-Brighton thrown off at Exeter Central due to guard; the train was reinstated, 36 minutes late, from Salisbury with its stops at Cosham, Fratton, Portsmouth and Portsmouth Harbour axed for operational convenience. 14.23 Windsor-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 16.40 Chessington-Waterloo axed due to no guard. 17.03 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo 14 minutes late. 18.07 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo axed due to no crew. 18.12 Reading-Waterloo axed due to duff train. 19.08 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 20.45 Waterloo-Brentford-Waterloo 18 minutes late due to duff stock.
Easter Sunday Continuing disruption. 07.32 Woking-Portsmouth axed due to no driver. 07.32 Portsmouth-Waterloo 22 minutes late due to duff stock. 16.30 Waterloo-Portsmouth 18 minutes late. 16.54 Waterloo-Weymouth 23 minutes late. 17.05 Bournemouth-Winchester 22 minutes late. Passengers on the 17.26 Guildford-Waterloo thrown off at Earlsfield due to duff stock. 18.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 43 minutes late. 21.42 Portsmouth-Southampton 30 minutes late.
Easter Monday Continuing disruption. 06.14 Alton-Waterloo diverted via Guildford due to engineering work. 06.37 Guildford-Waterloo axed due to no driver. 08.20 Waterloo-Reading 20 minutes late due to duff stock; all intermediate stops between Waterloo and Staines axed for operational convenience. 08.45 Portsmouth-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 12.23 Waterloo-Alton and 14.14 Alton-Waterloo axed between Farnham and Alton due to no guard. 15.27 Waterloo-Kingston-Waterloo axed due to no guard.
MEDIA REPORTS - ENVIRONMENT
3/2/05 GRIM ASSESSMENT OF THE DANGERS OF GLOBAL WARMING
Bill Hare, from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, told a conference in Exeter on avoiding climate change that the risks to the natural world and human race were already apparent, but grew significantly with each small rise in temperature. Environmental refugees could move across borders due to lack of food or water. As temperatures rose, a large group of poor, highly vulnerable countries, particularly in Africa, were expected to grow short of food. A 1C-2C rise would increase fires around the Mediterranean, and would affect trout in US rivers. A rise of more than 3C, expected by 2100, would accelerate damage to wildlife. More than half the world's population would be living in countries expected to suffer large crop losses. The Government's Chief Scientist said that the problem was a "globally serious and urgent issue on which we need to take action". However, President Putin's adviser refused to accept the general thesis, saying people were welcome to live in Siberia. (Guardian)
3/2/05 OIL FIRMS MAY SEAL OFF GREENHOUSE GAS IN TAX DEAL
The Government is considering tax concessions for oil companies to pump carbon dioxide from coal-fired power stations into nearby exhausted oil and gas wells in the North Sea to help solve global warming. The Government Chief Scientist, Sir David King, had had talks with oil companies to launch the scheme, which could cut UK emissions by 25%. The cost of pumping the liquid carbon dioxide into the wells would pay for itself, because it would force more oil out of the ground. However, the companies say it would only pay for itself if they were given tax breaks on the oil. There are concerns that the Chinese are building a large number of coal-fired power stations, which could make things worse. They have been asked to design the stations so that they could adopt the British scheme if it worked. One of the problems is how to seal the wells so that the carbon dioxide does not leak out. Power stations account for a quarter of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions, double the amount by which the Government has agreed to reduce its greenhouse gas output under the Kyoto protocol. (Guardian)
[Isn't the case growing ever stronger, in the crowded areas of the world, for electric transport running on power which has been generated from renewable resources?]
7/2/05 AVIATION FUEL TAX
Airlines have reacted furiously to moves by European governments to introduce a tax on aviation fuel, warning that fuel prices are already incredibly high, and that a third of European airlines could be forced out of business within a year. British Airways say its profits were cut almost in half by record high oil prices in the final quarter of last year. Environmentalists say that a tax on jet fuel, which is unique among major fuels in not carrying a duty, is the only way that Europe could hope to meet its targets for reducing carbon emissions; cheap flights are possible only because the airline industry is under-taxed. The Prime Minister of Luxembourg, who chairs the monthly meetings of European finance ministers, considers that other countries would follow a European lead in introducing the tax. (Guardian)
10/2/05 NEW DANGER FROM CAR FUMES REACTING WITH POLLEN
Scientists from the Technical University of Munich believe that car fumes could react with pollen to create a dangerous "super-smog" across London. Up to 5% of the air we breathe could be infected. This could help explain the increase of allergies. Britain has one of the highest asthma rates in Britain with 1.5 million children affected. It is believed that London's air pollution has caused hundreds of premature deaths. The findings could help to develop drugs that stop nitrated proteins disrupting immune systems. (Evening Standard)
10/2/05 CLIMATE CHANGE MAY AFFECT RANGE OF CROPS WHICH CAN BE GROWN
Government conference on climate and agriculture concluded that climate change may lead to livestock farming being confined to the west of Britain, while the east dries out in summer. Increasing storminess will affect cereal growing in East Anglia and Lincolnshire, and the south might be confined to champagne and red wine grapes, maize and sunflowers. (Guardian)
15/2/05 LEGAL THREAT OVER UK'S REVISED GREENHOUSE GAS PLAN
Despite the threat of legal action from Brussels, the UK has insisted on pressing ahead with revised allocations allowing industry to produce higher levels of carbon dioxide than initially approved by the EU Commission. The Government's stance is applauded by the CBI but could undermine the Prime Minister's claim for leadership in combating global warming. DEFRA officials argue that the figures used in its initial calculation were wrong and that the revised regime will still mean substantial cuts in emissions. The Government has a fallback plan to make Britain's power generators absorb any further cuts in pollution which the Commission might succeed in enforcing. This is seen by the Association of Electricity Producers as an easy target. DEFRA is continuing its discussions with Brussels. (Guardian)
26/2/05 REPORT DOUBTS FUTURE OF WIND POWER
A report from Germany, the world's leading producer of wind power, argues that it is an expensive and inefficient way of generating sustainable energy. Instead of investing billions on wind turbines, money should be spent on making homes more energy efficient. One problem with wind farms is that they have to be built in areas where the electricity is not needed. New and upgraded lines, and plants to cope with fluctuations in energy, will cost each German household 16 euros a year. There is also a disastrous effect on the landscape. The UK's wind power industry is the fastest-growing in the world, with up to £10 billion expected to be invested in the next 5 years. The Government is promoting wind power as a means of producing 10% of energy by 2010. The 1,034 big turbines now running in Britain produce about as much energy as one conventional power station. The British Wind Energy Association argues that Britain is much windier than Germany, giving more favourable economics. (Guardian)
MEDIA REPORTS - TRANSPORT
4/2/05 ADVANCE BOOKING FIASCO CONTINUES
Although Network Rail is obliged to give details of engineering works 12 weeks in advance, the train companies say it isn't doing so. Network Rail counters the accusations by saying the companies don't provide it with details of how the timetable needs to be altered. The result is that, as in the Christmas/New Year period, passengers cannot get cheap advance-booked tickets, because nobody has much notice of which trains will be running over a particular weekend. The long-distance routes out of London are badly affected. Passengers travelling from London to Manchester may have to pay almost twice as much for their tickets. The 12-week obligation is not likely to be honoured before September. (Evening Standard)
4/2/05 BLITZ ON FARE "CHEATS"
[Interesting to compare this with the previous item] South West Trains, Southern and South Eastern Trains are to start a major new revenue protection campaign from week commencing 6 February. There are to be more ticket inspectors, more spot ticket checks, an extension of the penalty fares scheme, and more ticket gates - feasibility of installing gates at Waterloo is being investigated. The three companies say they are losing £40 million a year, half of it on SWT. (Evening Standard)
[This is an old chestnut. A recent report in the Evening Standard found that the 150 inspectors on London's buses caught only one ticketless passenger a day on average. Whilst some train operators seem to like to denigrate their passengers, the fact is that ticketing at many stations is still hugely unsatisfactory. Some people would lose their trains if they queued for a ticket. Others don't like ticket machines because it is difficult to tell which ticket they need. There is all the difference in the world between deliberate evasion and being in a hurry and genuinely wanting to pay. Would Thameslink like to stand up and call Cherie Blair a cheat because of the day she was in a hurry and couldn't get a ticket before boarding her train? On the customer-focused lines, like Heathrow Express, passengers have always been welcome to buy their tickets on board. Isn't the real problem that overcrowding, and the complexities of the fare structure, make it difficult for conductors to sell tickets on board trains to passengers who need them?
And how are those supposedly huge losses calculated? It is noticeable on the Weymouth main line that commuters have their tickets checked on the train virtually every day, and then face a line of inspectors at Waterloo. If you travel off-peak, you can usually walk straight though the barrier. How much "saving" is claimed if someone is caught without a ticket in the peak - is it the price of the ticket sold, or is there some kind of multiplier which assumes that peak passengers travel regularly and would be evading payment over an average period? Is the "penalty" element included in the "savings" from revenue protection when, in reality, it is nothing of the kind, but a bonus for the operator? And how can operators know the level of loss unless they are managing to catch everyone without a ticket? Put otherwise, are the "losses" simply estimates pulled out of thin air?]
4/2/05 POSSIBLE HIGH SPEED LINE BETWEEN LONDON AND MANCHESTER
The Secretary of State for Transport, addressing a conference on the Future of Rail, stated that the past few years had been spent on fixing current problems, and it was time to look to the increase in capacity which would be required on the railways in the next 10-20 years. A high-speed North-South link would be likely to link up with the new Channel Tunnel terminus at St Pancras. An initial route could link London and Manchester, but could then be extended to Scotland. This could slash the London-Manchester journey time by around 50 minutes, to 90 minutes. He criticised Virgin Trains' Pendolino services, saying that such options needed to deliver fast; the trains are breaking down every 2,000 miles. (The Independent)
4/2/05 TRAIN FIRMS WANT FRANCHISE OVERHAUL
Train operators claim their contracts are bureaucratic, excessively prescriptive and wasteful. For stations alone, the SRA had set 227 performance indicators. Keith Ludeman, head of rail for Go-Ahead Group, criticised Richard Bowker, former Chairman and Chief Executive of the SRA, for believing he could do anything through a detailed contract. The SRA commented that it is not surprising that some operators would like to be held less to account for what they do. The Secretary of State thought that things needed to be simplified. (Guardian)
[Somewhat incongruous that the prescriptive Mr Bowker handed out huge additional sums to SWT and Virgin Trains, the companies with which he had strong links?]
4/2/05 SOUTH EASTERN, VIRGIN WEST COAST AND SCOTLAND
(1)The announcement that Stagecoach, First and others were being invited to bid for the new Integrated Kent Franchise, didn't mention that South Eastern Trains' subsidy was now 23% lower than before it was taken back into the public sector. The Daily Telegraph had ignored this official figure and claimed the costs were 65% higher, which suited the argument for re-privatisation. The Telegraph also failed to mention the huge bail-outs for South West Trains, Virgin and some other private operators. (2) Despite optimistic comments by the Prime Minister, a £7.5 billion modernisation, and the huge subsidy to Virgin Trains, there are still major infrastructure problems on the lines out of Euston, and track renewed in the past few years is having to be replaced. On 10 January, a driver felt a lurch on renewed track near Watford; loose bolts were found, with some sleepers not secured to the track at all. The unsecured track, on the fast down line, had been handed over by the contractors, Mowlem, nearly 12 hours earlier. (3) Edinburgh Waverley station may be upgraded after all, through a transfer of £325 million from the Department for Transport to the Scottish Executive. This fits with the Department's policy of taking back controls on rail in England and devolving them in Scotland. (Private Eye)
7/2/05 COMMUTERS' ANGER COULD LEAD TO ELECTION BACKLASH
A YouGov survey of more than 2,000 people, commissioned by the environment pressure group Transport 2000, found that 27% of people said they could switch their votes at the next election because of rising rail fares and overcrowding. Among daily rail users, the proportion rose to 46%. Almost half of those who said they would change parties were in the 18-29 age group. The Transport Secretary accepts that people are inpatient for change. (Evening Standard)
7/2/05 INVESTIGATION INTO TREATMENT OF CONNEX
The National Audit Office has launched an investigation into the sacking of Connex from the South Eastern franchise for poor financial performance. There could be legal action against the Government if the NAO finds that Connex was unjustly treated. The NAO's report will be published in the summer. (Evening Standard)
7/2/05 SWT PRESS RELEASE ON NEW TRAINS
SWT has now put 109 of their 155 new Desiro trains into service, claiming the units represent Britain's biggest train order, worth £1 billion. (Southern Daily Echo)
[The facts are that the original contract was to hire 785 coaches worth £644 million; the figure of £1 billion includes maintenance. SWT has slashed the order by 120 coaches. This means it will be hiring £665 new coaches, worth £545 million. Meanwhile, Southern is introducing well over 700 new carriages.]
7/2/05 EFFECTS OF LONDON'S CONGESTION CHARGE
A survey suggests that motorists and taxi users have gained most from congestion charging. Average driving speed on 6 key routes is 11.2mph now, compared with 3.1mph in May 2003. Tailbacks are reducing. Speeds from Parliament Square to Tower Hill have increased to 21mph, compared with 9.8mph a year ago. On the Strand, drivers can reach 15mph, compared with 5.4mph a year ago. The morning rush hour taxi fare from the City to Piccadilly has reduced from £12 to £8. Bus users are having to wait 15% less time compared with a year ago, though the bus journey time from Waterloo to Oxford Circus is still 22.3 minutes, compared with 22.5 minutes two years ago. Tube journeys in Zone 1 between 07.00 and 10.00 are down to 487,000, from 513,000 before the congestion charge. 93% of small businesses in the charging zone say they are getting fewer customers, and shoppers are down 15.2% compared with two years ago; outside the zone, they are down only 5%. (Evening Standard)
9/2/05 POSSIBLE CUTS ON THE NORTHERN FRANCHISE
Department for Transport has made a covert attempt to delay a study of rail services in Northern England for fear that cuts to train routes could cost votes. The SRA is appointing a consultancy firm to carry out an audit of the Northern rail franchise, with a view to reducing annual subsidies of £350 million. Consultants vying for the contract were told to assess the impact of fare rises, bus substitution or cuts to timetables. The SRA even told the bidding consultants to carry out a study of the impact of running no trains under the franchise. The SRA was told on Monday to halt the process until the political issues around it had been resolved. The Transport Secretary is said to be very unhappy with the furore provoked by the review, but a Department for Transport spokesman denied that he had intervened, saying Mr Darling was quite clear that the review should go ahead. (Guardian)
[What a pity that the SRA, under Richard Bowker, directed so much cash to Stagecoach and Virgin, to bale them out; and why spend taxpayers' money on consultants?
10/2/05 MINISTERS HAD WARNING OF RAIL SYSTEM COLLAPSE
Papers released under the Freedom of Information Act show that the SRA warned the Government that a quarter of the rail system could close within three years, without an injection of funds to meet spiralling engineering bills in 2003. Investment in new projects would be axed and there would be substantial fare increases. Richard Bowker wanted to circulate the document throughout the industry but was overruled by Alistair Darling. The current financial climate is seen as substantially changed. (Guardian)
[Once again: what a pity that the SRA, under Richard Bowker, directed so much cash to Stagecoach and Virgin, to bale them out]
10/2/05 SWT WON'T HELP GUARDS GET TO WORK
South West Trains has little faith in its own service. Press advertisements to recruit guards conclude with the line, "You must have your own transport". (Evening Standard)
[This would stop some low-income, unemployed people from applying, and may be a reason for the large number of train service cancellations due to no crew in recent times.]
10/2/05 NEW VICTORIA LINE TRAINS
47 new trains are under construction for London Underground's Victoria Line. (Metro)
10/2/05 LONDON CITY AIRPORT LINK PROGRESSING
Dockland Light Railway's line to London City Airport and North Woolwich is expected to open in December. Work has been completed on a new viaduct and other work continues apace. (Metro)
11/2/05 TWO MILLION WORKING FROM HOME
Research by the Office for National Statistics has established that more than two million people are now working from home instead of going to an office. With the spread of broadband, this trend is likely to continue. One half of men and one third of women would work from home if allowed. Saving money is a major incentive; the average office worker spends £4,000 a year on commuting, lunch, drink and work clothing. (Metro)
11/2/05 NO NEW TRAINS FOR LYMINGTON?
Two old slam door trains likely to be purchased outright for the Lymington branch. 'Heritage' trains [posh name for stock which should have been withdrawn months ago for safety reasons] is seen as complementing tourism in the area. SWT is inviting suggestions for naming the old trains. (Lymington Times) [How about 'Stagecoach 1' and 'Stagecoach 2'?]
15/2/05 CALL FOR SOUTH EASTERN RAIL AUTHORITY
The Institute for Public Policy Research believes that there should be a South East regional rail authority to prevent the Mayor of London controlling services. 49% of public transport journeys in the region originate outside London. The Mayor's office is opposed to the plan. (Guardian)
16/2/05 RESTORATION OF KINGS CROSS
Kings Cross station is to be restored to its full yellow-brick Victorian glory under a £400 million plan. The 1972 extension at the front of the station was intended to last only 5 years. The station concourse will triple in size and the cramped London Underground ticket hall will be rebuilt. The plans, which need the approval of Camden Council, will tie in with a massive residential and commercial redevelopment to consign the area's "red light" image to the history books. (Guardian)
17/2/05 TRANSPORT A 'JEWEL IN THE CROWN' OF BID FOR OLYMPICS
International Olympic Committee given a glowing picture of the transport facilities in prospect for a successful 2012 Olympic bid. Improvements include the East London line extension, longer Jubilee Line trains, Northern Line upgrade, a train serving Stratford every 15 seconds over 10 different lines, 12-coach Javelin trains on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Tube trains until 2.30 am, and connecting services to the Olympic Park from 309 stations. There would be only a 5% increase in passengers, because 20% of London's commuters would be on holiday. (Metro) [High temperatures like those of the summer of 2003 will presumably need a very thorough risk assessment, or the jewel in the crown could become the thorn in the flesh.]
17/2/05 PLAN TO EXTEND METROPOLITAN LINE BEING TAKEN FORWARD
Hertfordshire County Council has proposed a joint funding package to the Department for Transport to join the Metropolitan Line at Croxley with the disused Network Rail branch, allowing Metropolitan trains to reach Watford Junction station for interchange with Virgin West Coast services. (Metro)
18/2/05 DECISION ON GNER FRANCHISE DELAYED
Announcement of new 10-year franchise delayed until the middle of March. GNER are favourites to retain the franchise because of their high standards of customer service, but Danish state railway company, DSB, has sprung a surprise by offering new trains. The Deputy Prime Minister [Hull constituency] has made clear that he does not want Virgin (49% Stagecoach owned) to win. (Guardian)
18/2/05 HIGH-SPEED SPIN
(1) Department for Transport arranged a conference to announce that a high speed rail link from London to the North would be considered. Many schemes have already been looked at and found to have a good case, only to disappear. Examples are Thameslink 2000, reinstatement of the Oxford-Cambridge line, and Crossrail. Even if the high-speed line concept is accepted, it is incompatible with public-private partnerships. The Channel Tunnel Rail Link partnership fell apart, leaving taxpayers to meet the bill, including £402 million just for a new train depot in Stratford. Travelling on the new line will be even less affordable than the majority of Virgin Trains' tickets are today. High speed lines in France and elsewhere are designed to complement and relieve the wider transport infrastructure. This will only happen if a huge share of the market switches to the new trains. Public funding is justified if the new trains mean fewer road vehicles and planes to guzzle oil and accelerate global warming. The Prime Minister doesn't care enough about the environment to risk upsetting the road and air lobbies. (2) "We have invested £7.5 billion of our money upgrading the West Coast main line and suddenly performance drops. That can't be right." - Tony McNulty, Transport Minister. "Before privatisation --- people used to be getting a Morris Marina service, now they are getting a BMW service." - Virgin Trains' spokesman. (Private Eye)
18/2/05 300 MPH FLOATING TRAINS COULD BRIDGE NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE
The Prime Minister is poised to approve studies into a magnetic levitation system for use in Britain. The objective responds to criticism of a two-speed economy in Britain, with London and the South east powering ahead of the other regions. The system could provide a 100 minute journey time from London to Newcastle compared with 65 minutes by air, 2 hours, 55 by GNER, just over 6 hours by car, and 7 hours, 30 by coach. The system is seen as avoiding traditional railway problems and affording the fastest, safest and most environmentally sustainable transport network in the world. Detractors point out that the system would sit uneasily alongside the new European high speed rail network and question whether such high speeds are really necessary. (Guardian) ['Network' may be the critical word. This type of system was considered decades ago, but ran into the problem that there was no equivalent to points, so each route needed to be self-contained. Another point to consider is whether a high-speed traditional rail link could make through trains from the North of England to Europe commercially viable.]
21/2/05 TUBE CHIEF ROUNDS ON 'WEARY' PRIVATE SECTOR COMPANIES
Tim O'Toole, Managing Director of London Underground, has accused private sector companies of behaving like "age-old infantry". Improvements to the Tube were taking far too long. There are still too many track and signalling failures, and overrunning engineering work often ruins the morning peak service. Ken Livingstone and Transport Commissioner Bob Kiley agree. The two companies, Metronet and Tube Lines, earned nearly £100 million pre-tax profit for the year ending last March. They robustly reject the allegations. (Evening Standard)
22/2/05 NETWORK RAIL BLAMED FOR TIMETABLE CHAOS
The board of the Office of the Rail Regulator has discussed repeated delays in the publication of train timetables. Virgin Trains and the Association of Train Operating Companies have made formal requests for enforcement action against Network Rail. GNER, Great Western and Virgin are unable to take bookings for the Easter period, because they do not have notice of engineering works, which Network Rail is supposed to provide 12 weeks in advance. In particular passengers unable to get cheaper Apex tickets, which require advance booking. Network Rail says the operators are partly to blame for demanding too many last minute changes to cram more services into their timetables. (Guardian) [Reassuring to know that the industry is still at war with itself?]
22/2/05 11,000 YEARS OF DELAYS ON THE PRIVATISED RAILWAYS
Passengers have been delayed 11,000 years waiting for late trains since privatisation. Timekeeping has worsened in all areas except Merseyside and the Isle of Wight. The Association of Train Operating Companies blamed the 20% increase in the numbers of trains running and Network Rail pointed to the aftermath of Hatfield and said it would take until 2009 to get 90% of trains running on time. (Metro) [Meaningful comparisons on SWT will be impossible because of the greatly increased journey times which now apply.]
25/2/05 NATIONAL EXPRESS PROFITS SOAR
National Express, Britain's major rail operator, enjoyed a 30% leap in pre-tax profits to £130 million last year. Passenger numbers were up 5% on its 8 rail franchises. (Guardian) [The company's franchises have generally produced reasonable performance levels; it will be interesting to see whether they get the Greater Western franchise, which includes their current Wessex Trains operation.]
26/2/05 NEW RAIL CHIEF NAMED
56-year old Mike Mitchell, a senior executive from First Group, is to be the Department for Transport's Director General for Rail, heading a team of 250 which will set finance and strategy and award franchises. (Guardian) [Stagecoach and First have been referred to as arch rivals; hopefully there will be a change of thinking compared with the SRA's Richard Bowker, with money being invested in the greater interests of passengers and other taxpayers.]
1/3/05 PLANS TO EASE OVERCROWDING AT VICTORIA
Westminster council plans to remodel the area in front of Victoria rail station to create new tube entrances and improve the bus station. Victoria tube station often has to close during peak hours to avoid overcrowding; passenger numbers at Victoria - London's busiest station - between 07.00 and 10.00 are forecast to rise from 107,700 in 2001 to 125,300 by 2016, an increase of 16 per cent. (Evening Standard)
1/3/05 FEAR OF SERVICE CUTS IN KENT AND THE WEST MIDLANDS
The SRA is planning big service reductions in Kent, with some small stations having their trains to and from Victoria cut from up to 50 a day to 4 or 6 at peak times. Huge cuts in branch line services, and station closures, are being considered for the West Midlands. (Evening Standard)
1/3/05 "ENTIRELY FICTTIOUS IMPROVEMENT" IN SWT'S PERFORMANCE
SWT issued a press release claiming progress in meeting its performance targets since the new December timetable. The Rail Passengers Committee Southern [rightly] dismissed the improvement as fictitious, given the big deceleration of services. (Southern Daily Echo)
3/3/05 20,000 COMPLAINTS ABOUT BUS DRIVERS
Transport for London's statistics show that there were 20,310 complaints against bus drivers in the 12 months to September 2004. The vast majority involved deliberately missing stops and poor or dangerous driving. Out of over 40 operations, Arriva London North had the most complaints, followed by Metroline and Stagecoach East London. (Evening Standard)
4/3/05 "BACK TO THE FUTURE"
The SRA strengthened central control of franchises after a period when each company did its own thing with no thought for network cohesion. The franchisees have been complaining and the Government now wants them to "take revenue risk" to have an incentive to increase their revenue. The idea is to maximise revenue and improve quality, but all the evidence since privatisation is that maximising revenue in a subsidised system of finite capacity rarely translates into better public service - even when "revenue risk" turns out to mean that franchises [like South West Trains] are bailed out with public money. Virgin was so keen to maximise revenue that peak-time trains on the Euston main line were carrying empty seats because cheaper fares had been banned to make business travellers pay up. The 17.15 from Euston has been noted with only 6 passengers in a standard class carriage. The fares are still staggering, even though the company is shored up with giant amounts of emergency subsidy. The cheapest fare on the train, except advance-purchase tickets which are hard to obtain and have draconian restrictions, is £87.50 for a single to Warrington. Is Virgin West Coast really getting £330 million subsidy to move empty seats round Britain's most important main line? National Express, which has the most franchises, doesn't need encouragement to maximise revenue - last year its rail profits rose 76%. Now C2C passengers are to be bombarded with adverts on TV screens on trains. Central Trains already has on-board TV, but doesn't employ enough drivers. Some services have been suspended since January, when a temporary overtime agreement ended; passengers don't get compensation for suspended trains. Controlling franchises from the centre is impractical and bureaucratic, and leaving companies to their own devices is a costly disaster for passengers and other taxpayers. Clearly franchising the entire network is unworkable, but the Government is "too blinkered" to reach that conclusion. Meanwhile Virgin's bid for the GNER franchise is not affected by past performance being taken into account in franchise bids, because the competition was launched in advance of the past performance criterion's being introduced. (Private Eye)
5/3/05 THE TRUE REASON FOR SWT'S TIMETABLE CHANGES
County Councillor Mike Roberts highlights the fact that the reason for SWT's decelerated timetable was to avoid fines for failing to run trains on time. It's now difficult for trains not to be on time. The longer journeys are very poor news for commuters. No thought given to the speedy and reliable service which passengers want. (Southern Daily Echo)
9/3/05 HUGE FARES WINDFALL FOR SOME TRAIN OPERATORS AT EASTER
Network Rail has failed to give early details of Easter weekend engineering works and the Office of Rail Regulation has failed to take legal action. Train operators will not therefore issue cheap tickets which have to be booked in advance on specific trains. This will mean some passengers having to pay standard fares. So Euston-Manchester becomes £187 instead of £24 [How does Virgin-Stagecoach get away with such massive fares?] and London-Weymouth £75.60 instead of £21.80. [Hard to believe that more realistic 'walk-on' fares couldn't be issued to cope with this kind of emergency]. (Evening Standard)
10/3/05 FUTURE OF METROPLOITAN LINE SERVICES TO CHESHAM
London Underground wants to introduce a more frequent shuttle service on the Chesham branch, but at the cost of losing through services to and from Central London. A public consultation exercise is in progress. [Wouldn't it have been nice if SWT passengers had been consulted before their services were re-cast, slowed or axed by Stagecoach?] (Metro)
10/3/05 MINISTER MAY CLOSE UNDERUSED RAILWAYS
The Secretary of State admitted that underused services could be axed in the course of developing the network. Four out of ten clauses in the Railways Bill make it easier for Government to reduce rail services. [The crucial issue of course is why the services are underused. That was something which the Beeching Plan never considered, and it is widely recognised that some lines were axed which could have had a bright future.] (Metro)
15/3/05 CHRISTMAS CHAOS
Network Rail admitted that they had caused Christmas chaos by not giving advance notice of engineering works so that passengers could get cheap book-ahead tickets. They forgot that passengers need to make return journeys. However, the Chief Executive and his Deputy had decided not to give up the £150,000 bonuses which they receive on top of their £400,000 annual salaries. (Metro)
17/3/05 QUARTER OF COMMUTER TRAINS STILL LATE
One in four London commuter trains was late in the three months to December 2004. SWT was in last but one place among the 10 commuter railways, despite much of the final month of the period falling within its new, decelerated timetable. SWT had more than 20% fewer punctual trains than C2C [once known as the Southend Misery Line]. (Evening Standard)
18/3/05 STANDARD EXCUSES FROM SWT FOR DECELERATED TIMETABLE
Letter from SWT in response to that from Hampshire County Councillor Mike Roberts, claiming that the new decelerated timetable is not just to avoid paying compensation. (Southern Daily Echo) [Presumably this is a roundabout way of attacking the Rail Passengers Committee for Southern England which has made similar points. It makes no sense for SWT to claim that the slow timings are because of safety regulations and performance characteristics of rolling stock, when the 05.45 from Poole routinely crawls through Clapham Junction and reaches Waterloo up to 6 minutes early, whilst it no longer serves passengers at towns like Totton and Eastleigh.]
18/3/05 GNER KEEPS EAST COAST FRANCHISE
GNER has beaten bids from Virgin-Stagecoach, First and Danish group DSB to retain the Kings Cross-Leeds/Edinburgh franchise. They will pay the Government £1.3 billion over the next 10 years. Trains will be upgraded, stations improved, and more services introduced on the Leeds route by developing a newly electrified section of track south of the city. (Guardian) [It would be good if the returns to the Government were invested in rail travel, and hence pollution relief, instead of being handed on a plate to bottom of the range operators like SWT which have consistently failed passengers.]
18/3/05 ROLLING STOCK COMPANIES MAKING HUGE PROFITS
The Government would rather raise fares and cut services than restrain the massive profits of the rolling stock companies. GNER has pointed out to the Government that, in any other industry, as the asset gets older the people leasing it pay less. Hundreds of useful inter-city carriages are rotting in sidings because they are too expensive to lease. Service cuts are planned in the Midlands and North, with a 20% hike in fares in the West Midlands in prospect to drive the poorest people off trains. Of course the rolling stock companies can't afford more realistic charges. One is owned by HSBC, which made only a £9.2 billion profit last year, another is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Scotland which made only £8.1 billion, and the third is owned by Abbey, subject of a multi-billion takeover bid by Spain's Banco Santander. (Private Eye)
18/3/05 MPS BLAST TUBE FIRMS
The Commons Transport Committee believes that public-private partnership has failed on cost, safety and service. The PPP cost billions, with private sector maintenance firms Tube Lines and Metronet accused of failing to fulfil the terms of their contracts. There has been an increase in incidents which could lead to accidents. The report came 24 hours after massive delays because Metronet again failed to complete works on time. Meanwhile, retiring BA chief executive Rod Eddington has been recruited to help Alistair Darling sort out the Tube, overloaded main roads and overcrowded railways, airport expansion, city-centre congestion and soaring pollution. (Evening Standard)
24/3/05 RAIL PRIVATISATION WASTES £6 BILLION
A report by the Catalyst Forum found that privatisation of the railways has cost £6 billion since 1996. Re-nationalisation would produce immediate cash savings of £500 million a year. Sooner or later passengers will suffer fare rises and service cuts to pay for private sector waste. (Metro) [If the railways are not re-nationalised, then who runs them is crucial. When the High Court decided that it would not be in the public interest to ban the World in Action programme "Cowboy Country" about Stagecoach, it seems that the judiciary was sending out a message which the executive failed to appreciate, to the detriment of passengers and other taxpayers for almost a decade.]
25/3/05 MORE TUBE DELAYS
Shoddy working practices are causing big delays on the Northern Line with engineering works overrunning. 650,000 commuters are affected. In one instance Metronet was left with a bill of £250,000 and two workers were sacked. Details of the schedule for repairing the line are undecided. Most urgent repairs are needed at Bank, Old Street and Camden Town, making these sections likely to be the first to close. Meanwhile, London Transport bosses stand to take home more in bonuses than in salaries. (Metro)
25/3/05 GNER MAY BID FOR OTHER FRANCHISES
Having retained the GNER franchise, it is believed that Sea Containers are interested in obtaining Greater Western. In that event, First Group could find themselves without rail franchises in the South. Meanwhile Sea Containers' Hoverspeed services are doing well as P&O is struggling to offer a normal service because of running repairs to its berths at Calais. (Evening Standard)
ADDENDA TO ISSUE 101
January 2005 RAILWAYS BILL
The Transport Secretary claims that the new Railways Bill will improve the lot of everyday passengers. It will be "customer, and not industry, focused". Views vary about whether and how it will change things. It is accepted that privatisation was fundamentally flawed [Yes, even the PM said on Breakfast with Frost that it had been a disaster]. Since South Eastern was returned to the private sector punctuality and staff morale have gone up and complaints have gone down, but re-nationalisation is not on the cards. There is concern that abolition of the regional Rail Passenger Committees will lead to less passenger representation. Network Rail is seen as not really answerable to anyone and needs to be more outward looking. The Government will be able to cut services almost on a whim. Consumers' experiences need to be at the heart of the changes. (Which?)
29/10/04 LOCAL BUS ISSUES
Complaint from Winchester councillor that First have not provided access to low-floor buses for the 6,500 residents of Denmead. Complaint from a Winchester resident that a bus shelter in the centre of Winchester has not been replaced months after being demolished by a driver. The resident also asks what 'imbecile' at Stagecoach scheduled the 17.40 No.66 service for operation by an incoming bus from Romsey, ensuring that it is always late because of traffic congestion. (Hampshire Chronicle)
26/11/04 CLOSURE OF WATERLOO INTERNATIONAL CRITICISED
Winchester reader complains of how much more difficult access to Eurostar will be for 11-12 million people living south of the Thames if all trains are diverted to St Pancras. The public should have been consulted. (Hampshire Chronicle) [Will Waterloo International become another white elephant, like the Millennium Dome?]
27/11/04 THREAT TO LYMINGTON LINE
Councillors and businesses in Lymington may have to step in to secure the future of the town's railway service, due to poor passenger numbers. Wightlink, who operate the connecting ferry service, would lobby the Government on what it saw as an important transport link. SWT denied that the line could face closure. (Lymington Times). [The trains connect with the ferries, but connections with mainline train services are very poor, and journeys between Waterloo and Lymington have been further slowed by SWT's new timetable. Was this whole exercise just to manipulate public opinion into seeing failure to provide new trains as the salvation of the line rather than the breaking of SWT's promise to eradicate slam door trains?]
25/12/04 SWT QUICK TO APPLAUD PROMISE OF NEW TIMETABLE
SWT says its new timetable has resulted in some of its best performance figures. This is not simply because of 'padding out' [fastest journey times from Southampton to Waterloo 19.7% longer than with old slam door stock in 1990] but because the service is more robust and reliable. (Lymington Times) [The performance rapidly deteriorated, even with such a slowed service. The first 4 weeks of the new timetable saw 87% of mainline peak trains within 5 minutes of time. In the next 4 weeks, this dropped to 81.5%]
31/12/04 CRACKDOWN ON RAILWAY 'CRIME'
A 4-week crackdown on crime on the Southampton-Portsmouth line by South West Trains and British Transport Police has resulted in 27 arrests. The arrests were for a range of crimes, including trespass, graffiti and fare evasion. SWT spokesman declared this a fantastic result which showed the value of combining the resources of SWT and the BTP to combat crime. (Hampshire Chronicle) [Hang on. All those resources for less than one arrest a day? And what is meant by 'fare evasion' - if intending to purchase a ticket on the train is a crime, then Cherie Blair would be a criminal. It can often be difficult for passengers to get tickets - typically they find it hard to grasp which ticket they need, and see the permit to travel scheme as a waste of time if they are expecting to buy their ticket off the conductor anyway.]
28/1/05 SERVICE WITH A SMILE
Couple from Chandlers Ford grateful that taxis were provided when passengers on the 15.01 Totton-Romsey service thrown off at Eastleigh due to signalling problems. (Hampshire Chronicle) [If taxis had not been provided, their 8-mile journey from Southampton would have taken them about as long as going almost 80 miles to London]
Interesting comment by 'Rail' columnist Barry Doe in issue No 508: "There are a couple of dozen ex-BR operators, and if you really take into account overall service quality, timetables, on-board services, cleanliness, staff attitudes and so on, then a few match BR's quality, a handful are better but most are immeasurably worse. Those that really shine are certainly GNER and South West Trains…" Surprised by the juxtaposition of one of the best operators with one of the worst?.. Look no further than Mr Doe's column in issue No. 502: "As a consultant, I am privileged to be able to update the bus/rail links table for SWT's own superb timetable…"
Interesting entry on SWT's timetable poster on Southampton Central station. If you catch the 23.37 Wessex Trains' service on a Sunday evening, you can get to Trowbridge at 05.42 on Monday. This entails arriving at Westbury at 00.37, and departing on a 'connecting' service at 05.37. Doesn't anyone bother checking the draft posters for commonsense?
Interesting entry on the TV schedules for 26 February in the Evening Standard's Metrolife magazine: "3.25pm STAGECOACH - John Wayne stars in the first great Western". [Our underlining]
Interesting scheduling in SWT's new timetable. There are two direct trains from Devon to South Hampshire on Saturdays. Wessex Trains' service from Penzance to Portsmouth Harbour via Taunton leaves Newton Abbot at 10.27 and gets to Southampton Central at 13.22. SWT's service from Paignton to Brighton via Yeovil leaves Newton Abbot at 10.33 and gets to Southampton Central at 13.32. Could be better spaced?
Permanent feature on the Wanadoo home page is a News Forum, with the caption "Something on your mind? Need to get it off your chest" and a picture of a SWT train in Stagecoach livery. (on reflection, perhaps that's not so odd!)