RAIL USERS’ REPORTS
9/10/02 Late running all day. 09.15 Waterloo-Southampton, 09.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth and 18.50 Waterloo-Poole all about 10 minutes late. 13.05 Southampton-Eastleigh cancelled. 11.33 Portsmouth-Southampton 40 minutes late, meaning a huge 100 minute gap in services from many stations. 12.47 Southampton-Portsmouth 20 minutes late.
10/10/02 15.06 Poole-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo 12 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late at Southampton; last train of the day for all stations to Brockenhurst left just ahead, and waited at signals at Millbrook to be overtaken; one commuter who had been using Ashurst instead of Southampton Airport Parkway decided to switch back, given this appalling treatment. Lights failed in rear unit of the 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth. Train was 8 minutes late into Southampton after following another late train. Much of 18.05 Waterloo-Poole was stone cold.
11/10/02 17.00 Waterloo-Yeovil Junction left at 17.15. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 17.20.
13/10/02 19.50 Waterloo-Bournemouth nearly 20 minutes late at Southampton; 20.50 about 10 minutes late. 18.14 Paignton-Waterloo started from Yeovil Junction and was about 21 minutes late at Southampton.
14/10/02 For the umpteenth time, lighting on Ashurst station failed. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 12.34 Wareham Waterloo 20 minutes late. 13.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo was 10 minutes late; 13.47 was 7 minutes late. 13.45 from Salisbury 11 minutes late. 14.00 from Southampton and 12.48 from Weymouth 7 minutes late.17.40 from Eastleigh, the last stopping service of the day to Brockenhurst, advertised as leaving at 17.50. A member of the public asked if this was the empty train at platform 1. Reply was that it might be, but could be a London or Brighton service. Person was later told that this would be the Brockenhurst service, but it had to shunt to platform 2 before departure. The train duly departed northwards, ran back through a non-platform track, and disappeared towards Southampton. It was then announced that the train would start from Southampton. Staff refused to arrange for another service to make a special stop for a stranded Redbridge passenger.
15/10/02 05.00 from Southampton to Waterloo was ancient, unheated Mark I stock. Stood at platform 3 at Southampton while the Customer Information System showed it as leaving from platform 2. Although the 05.00 reached Waterloo on time, the 05.42 from Poole was 20 minutes late, and this was blamed on an overrun of engineering works in the Basingstoke area! 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 17.17 after a false start. Arrived at Southampton Central 7 minutes late, whilst the rear portion was 16 minutes late by Ashurst. 16.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 14 minutes late; 15.54 from Portsmouth via Eastleigh 22 minutes late. 13.35 Plymouth-Waterloo 28 minutes late. 15.48 from Weymouth 5 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter left at 18.55. 18.50 to Poole left at 19.03, and was a full 20 minutes late by Totton; connection from Winchester to the Hedge End line not held; an hour’s delay for Hedge End and Botley passengers; passengers for Fareham directed to travel via Southampton, reducing their delay to 40 minutes.
16/10/02 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 8 minutes late by Southampton. The 14.00 Southampton-Waterloo left 20 minutes late due to no driver.
17/10/02 05.58 Weymouth-Waterloo left Southampton 10 minutes late; was 45 minutes late by London. 07.12 Portsmouth-Eastleigh-Waterloo 1 hour late. 15.06 Poole-Waterloo 7 minutes late. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo was 9 minutes late, and 16.17 was 15 minutes late.
18/10/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 8 minutes late. 07.06 Basingstoke-Waterloo 9 minutes late. 16.06 Poole-Waterloo 21 minutes late. 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 6 minutes late. Passengers on parts of the ancient 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton wore their scarves, hats and outer coats because droplights in some door windows would not stay closed due to twisted or missing catches.
21/10/02 05.42 and 06.19 Poole-Waterloo 8 minutes late. At 08.15, every mainline arrival advertised at Waterloo as running 5-10 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 7 minutes late at Southampton; 17.45 20 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left at 18.10 and was 9 minutes late by Totton.
22/10/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo was 2 minutes late at Ashurst after crossing the New Forest; it was 20 minutes late at London, where it was announced that the delay was due to poor rail conditions in the New Forest. At 08.20, almost every mainline arrival advertised at Waterloo as running 10-15 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left ahead of the 18.35 to Exeter.
23/10/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late, due to the late running of the preceding 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester. 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst 10 minutes late.
24/10/02 At 18.00 nearly all advertised mainline arrivals at Waterloo were running 5-10 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 6 minutes late by Southampton; the Poole portion wasted 11 minutes in the station and departed 9 minutes late. Due to lack of advice about short platforms in announcements at Southampton, a cyclist heading for Totton got into the rear brake van of the 18.05 Waterloo-Poole. The train was therefore delayed at Totton while he attracted the guard’s attention, and eventually had to pull up.
25/10/02 05.42 from Poole nearly 15 minutes late into Waterloo; the screens immediately showed that the 06.19 from Poole had arrived, even though the latter wasn’t quite due. Evening services collapsed. 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton left on time, ahead of the 19.05 to Salisbury, but reached its destination 15 minutes late. 19.30 to Weymouth 15 minutes late by Southampton and 20.30 30 minutes late; connections for Swaythling and St Denys not honoured. 19.50 to Poole 12 minutes late.
27/10/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL Exceptional gale-force winds: total chaos all day after SWT closed down between 11.00 and 16.00.
28/10/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL Total chaos all day because of failure to sort out the previous day’s mess and a road vehicle hitting a bridge at Vauxhall. Many trains up to an hour late. Examples: 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst about 25 minutes late by Totton. 06.11 Brockenhurst-Eastleigh cancelled. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 13 minutes late at Totton and 38 minutes late by Waterloo. 14.45 Waterloo-Wareham only 2 minutes late at Eastleigh, but the 13.45 to Poole was 5 minutes behind it. Evening even worse. Information screens at Waterloo incorrect and nobody seemed to know where or when trains would arrive or depart. Reading passengers advised to travel via Paddington. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole an hour late by Southampton. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth was running 125 minutes late by Southampton Airport. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth formed of ancient outer-suburban stock. Left Waterloo 13 minutes late and was over 40 minutes late by Southampton. It was announced that the rear portion would call at all stations to Bournemouth to cover for cancelled trains, but nobody at Southampton bothered to have it rerouted to the platform line at Millbrook so it sailed past. 17.28 to Portsmouth via Eastleigh left at 17.51; the ancient rolling stock was freezing cold by Basingstoke. Information screens at Ashurst down all day. A passenger who tried to contact SWT’s recorded information system received a message that the service had been withdrawn.
29/10/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL
Delays and cancellations continued apace. 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst about 20 minutes late. The return service at 06.56 from Brockenhurst to Southampton was cancelled. London commuters at Ashurst begged SWT to stop another train for them but were refused point blank. They eventually got to London 45 minutes late. Evening just as bad: 13.35 Plymouth-Waterloo 37 minutes late. 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 16.49 Portsmouth-Waterloo 16 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter left at 19.04. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left at 19.06 and was over 30 minutes late by Southampton.
30/10/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL
Intermittent light drizzle. Service collapsed all day. Examples: 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 25 minutes late; 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester spent 15 minutes at Millbrook station while ‘connections’ for Brighton and London sailed past; 07.12 Waterloo-Southampton 34 minutes late; 08.46 Weymouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late by Southampton; 09.34 Wareham-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 11.00 and 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham and 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth all about 20 minutes late in the Southampton area; connection out of the 11.00 for stations from Millbrook to Brockenhurst not honoured. 11.34 Wareham-Waterloo only 3 minutes late after crossing the leafy New Forest but sat at Southampton for 24 minutes, apparently awaiting crew; most passengers transferred to the 13.00 to Waterloo. 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth and 13.34 Wareham-Waterloo both about 10 minutes late. 13.35 Plymouth-Waterloo about 26 minutes late. Announcement after announcement about delays and cancellations was made at Southampton Central with no explanation whatever. 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late. 14.35 Waterloo-Plymouth 22 minutes late, due to no crew. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 33 minutes late and was to terminate at Poole. 15.05 Southampton-Eastleigh left at 15.09; it was announced just as it disappeared into Southampton tunnel. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late; 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 11 minutes late and, due to problems splitting the units, the Poole portion left 17 minutes late. 17.34 Waterloo-Portsmouth Harbour 23 minutes late; 17.51 15 minutes late. 18.00 Southampton-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. 18.20 Portsmouth Harbour-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter cancelled between Waterloo and Woking. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole over 20 minutes late. 19.05 Waterloo-Salisbury cancelled between Waterloo and Woking. 19.20 Waterloo-Portsmouth 40 minutes late.
31/10/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL
06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester terminated at Eastleigh; Winchester passengers thrown off. 14.45 Waterloo-Wareham 30 minutes late at Southampton; 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late. 17.00 Waterloo-Yeovil 24 minutes late by Salisbury.17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 15 minutes late. After splitting, the Poole half wouldn’t start – passengers thrown off after 15 minutes further delay. Rear half of 17.45 wouldn’t start either and, after a similar delay of 15 minutes, furious passengers were about to be thrown off a second time. Fortunately, a Railtrack official who was on board explained that the driving cab was immediately above the train protection system aerial; if the driver backed down the platform, the train would start, which it duly did. Scandalous that SWT drivers don’t seem to be given adequate training. Passengers who asked at Southampton Central for an Ashurst stop by the 17.45, to compensate for the 17.15, were refused point blank. They watched the 17.45 leave, not knowing that the guard had announced the extra stop on the train intercom; the stop was duly made. At 18.00, all mainline arrivals at Waterloo advertised as arriving 3-13 minutes late. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo actually 24 minutes late; 16.17 about 15 minutes late. Stock for 18.05 to Poole arrived at 18.11 and left at 18.19; was 26 minutes late by Totton. 20.50 Waterloo-Poole 15 minutes late by Eastleigh.
1/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL
06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester ran over 20 minutes late; passengers thrown off when the train terminated at Southampton; many ‘connections’ lost. Waterloo closed for a short period in the afternoon, due to fire alarm, but no fire. 13.45 Waterloo-Poole and 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham both advertised at Southampton as running on time. The former train arrived 40 minutes late and then waited 20 minutes for a driver; not known whether the latter ever arrived. Rails in good condition and earlier evening peak trains running well by SWT standards, with the 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth only 20 minutes late at Southampton and the 17.15 only 11 minutes late. Then a train failure brought chaos. At 19.00, every arrival at Waterloo was shown as delayed, with no indication of the lengths of the delays. Nobody seemed to have any information. Departures were similarly shown as delayed but only one mainline service, the 20.50 to Poole, had an expected departure time – 19.30! 18.35 to Exeter was three coaches only, and left at 19.20. One woman passenger was heard to say on her mobile that she had lost the will to live. The guard made an announcement asking if a passenger was on board as his wife was waiting for him on the platform in a ‘very distressed condition’. Horrendous overcrowding with a group of small children squashed together on the vestibule floor. At Woking there was a general announcement about trains being cancelled or running up to 40 minutes late. However the Exeter train was 72 minutes late by Basingstoke. 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton was 39 minutes late. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about one hour late. 19.50 Waterloo-Poole was 13 minutes late by Totton, and just ahead of the 18.50, which was about 80 minutes late.
4/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL
Customer Information System at Totton failed. Broken rail South of Basingstoke; huge delays. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo nearly 45 minutes late, arriving in London at 08.45 to form the 08.30 to Weymouth. Some Southampton line trains were diverted via Havant. 05.58 Weymouth-Waterloo about 75 minutes late. Line closed between Winchester and Basingstoke for part the morning. 14.45 Waterloo-Poole stopping service was standing at the western end of platform 3 at Southampton Central; the connecting faster service (15.00 Waterloo-Wareham) pulled up behind it. The 14.45 departed immediately, denying passengers their connection to smaller stations. It was then announced that the 15.00 would terminate, "due to no staff", and passengers were thrown off. The train was later re-instated and departed 40 minutes late. Afternoon delays of up to one hour due to signalling problems at Poole. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 40 minutes late. Evening service unstable. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo over 15 minutes late; 16.17 about 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left at 18.15.
5/11/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late. Guard failed to announce the Ashurst stop, so driver announced it instead. 21.55 Waterloo-Poole formed of ancient Mark I coaches. Train reached Basingstoke on time, but was then deliberately delayed for 10 minutes by Stagecoach, an announcement being made that this was because the police had been called to remove two passengers without tickets. Immediately after the announcement, the train departed, presumably because the police didn’t want to know, or else because someone had realised that further delay would mean loss of the last connection of the day to the Hedge End line, with need to provide passengers with taxis.
6/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL
Signalling problems at Alton destroyed the morning peak service; Some trains ran only to and from Farnham. 07.56 Farnham-Waterloo over 70 minutes late. General morning delays of up to 15 minutes on the Waterloo-Reading line. Signalling problems at Brockenhurst; delays of up to 40 minutes. 06.20 Honiton-Waterloo 24 minutes late. 06.53 Poole-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 07.30 Eastleigh-Waterloo about 35 minutes late. 08.45 Poole-Waterloo cancelled due to duff rolling stock. 08.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 08.38 Waterloo-Portsmouth 32 minutes late. 09.00 Waterloo-Wareham 16 minutes late at Southampton. 09.15 Waterloo-Southampton over 25 minutes late. 09.30 Waterloo-Weymouth over 35 minutes late. 09.45 Waterloo-Poole about 25 minutes late. 10.00 Waterloo-Wareham about 30 minutes late. 10.15 Waterloo-Southampton over 15 minutes late. 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 40 minutes late. 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham 25 minutes late. 12.15 Waterloo-Southampton about 50 minutes late. 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 40 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham about 25 minutes late at Southampon. 13.15 Waterloo-Southampton over 20 minutes late. 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth over 20 minutes late. 10.06 Poole-Waterloo about 30 minutes late into Southampton. 10.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 12.48 Weymouth-Waterloo over 15 minutes late at Southampton.This was the day that SWT had its new franchise cut from 20 years to 3 years, and was warned to focus on customer service. 13.06 Poole-Waterloo, formed of old Mark I coaches, arrived at Southampton over 10 minutes late. This train normally goes forward as the 14.30 Southampton – Waterloo after a long layover. As the 12.15 from Waterloo (which returns as the 14.00 to Waterloo) was very late, the 13.06 was advertised as the 14.00, expected to leave at 14.09. At 14.19, the information screens changed, showing the train as due to leave on time at 14.00! At about 14.25, the 12.15 from Waterloo arrived at another platform. This returned as the 14.00 to Waterloo, with about 5 passengers aboard, after a few minutes. The 13.06 from Poole reverted to the 14.30, but too much trouble to tell the passengers on board. This train eventually departed at 14.30, ahead of the faster 14.15 to Waterloo which was standing at the next platform. 15.45 Waterloo-Poole started from Woking. 16.00 and 16.45 Waterloo-Poole over 15 minutes late at Southampton. 16.34 Wareham-Waterloo started from Poole. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late and 17.45 about 10 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole about 20 minutes late; 18.50 nearly 15 minutes late.
7/11/02 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton over 20 minutes late starting. 16.28 Alton-Waterloo over 30 minutes late. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late. 15.06 Poole-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left at 18.13; was 20 minutes late by the Southampton area. 18.43 Poole-Waterloo 12 minutes late at Southampton Airport.
8/11/02 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo, 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo and 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo all 25-30 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 16 minutes late leaving Southampton; earlier announced as following a train which had reported a bump in the Esher area. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter left at 18.104.22.168 Waterloo-Poole left at 19.05. At Winchester the guard announced that the Fareham line connection had gone ahead, but arrangements had been made to hold it at Eastleigh, so intending passengers should stay on the train. At Eastleigh he announced that he was very sorry that nobody had told the Eastleigh foreman, so the train had gone already and passengers for Fareham should travel via Southampton. No use to Hedge End and Botley passengers of course - they were delayed 67 minutes.
9/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL Collapse of Bournemouth line services. Example: 08.45 Waterloo-Weymouth (normally the 09.30, but retimed and diverted because of engineering works), delayed for an hour by a points failure at Totton and train failure at Ashurst; train staggered into Bournemouth at 13.15 (equivalent to an average speed over the normal route of 24 mph).
11/11/02 Evening peak services badly delayed. 16.00 Southampton-Waterloo about 35 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 20 minutes late by Southampton - very slow running to New Malden, guard saying it was following slower trains that had been warned of an object on the track 20 minutes earlier. 17.48 Waterloo-Alton about 15 minutes late; 17.51 to Portsmouth about 20 minutes late. 14.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 45 minutes late; 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 20 minutes late; 16.15 Salisbury-Waterloo cancelled. At 18.05 neither the 17.34 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Havant nor the 17.56 via Fareham had departed. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole left 9 minutes late and was 20 minutes late by Southampton. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 25 minutes late at Southampton.
12/11/02 Information screens at Ashurst not working. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 17 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 10 minutes late into Southampton, where it caught up with the 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth which then departed 59 minutes late. Rear portion of the 17.15 was 16 minutes late by Ashurst. 18.00 Southampton-Waterloo departed at 18.40.
13/11/02Big delays to morning services because of a fatality at Surbiton. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 5 minutes late; 17.45 about 8 minutes late. As the 4-coach 12.40 from Newcastle terminated at Southampton, almost on time at 18.50, the guard apologised for the quality of the journey due to no toilets on the train. It then returned as the 19.10 to Manchester.
14/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL No morning peak services from the Fareham line to Waterloo because of flooding at Hedge End. Tree on the line at Sway; first train from Poole to Waterloo (the 05.00) 113 minutes late. Southampton-Waterloo stopping train, formed of ancient Mark I stock, left at 06.40 and reached Waterloo 110 minutes later; on-board announcements consistently included a stop at Clapham Junction, but the train raced through the station. 16.00 Waterloo-Poole 10 minutes late. Front portion of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at 17.20 – train was 15 minutes late by Winchester. 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo about 20 minutes late; 16.17 over 10 minutes late. 15.06 Poole-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 16.47 Basingstoke-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 17.00 Alton-Waterloo about 10 minutes late. 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 12 minutes late. 17.51 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at about 18.10. It was followed by the 18.05 to Poole, which was 24 minutes late by Totton – the ancient 4-VEP unit included in this train had had some of the transverse luggage racks removed, causing additional discomfort for passengers.
15/11/02 05.35 Waterloo-Weymouth about 15 minutes late. A passenger on the 05.42 Poole-Waterloo experienced the common Stagecoach trauma of having her seat collapse under her. 11.45 Waterloo-Poole over 30 minutes late at Eastleigh. Normal delays to evening services: 17.31 Alton-Waterloo nearly 10 minutes late; 17.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo 15 minutes late; 15.44 Exeter-Waterloo over 10 minutes late; 16.06 Poole-Waterloo over 15 minutes late; 17.17 Portsmouth-Waterloo about 10 minutes late; 16.34 Wareham-Waterloo over 15 minutes late. Rear portion of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 10 minutes late at Ashurst. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole left at 19.00 and was 15 minutes late by Totton.
18/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL A minor road traffic incident involving a bridge at Vauxhall caused evening peak services to collapse. 16.00 Southampton -Waterloo and 16.28 Alton-Waterloo both about 40 minutes late; 16.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo and 16.15 Salisbury-Waterloo around 30 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 35 minutes late at Winchester. 17.28 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Eastleigh cancelled. 17.30 Waterloo-Exeter left at 17.55. Rear portion of 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth about 25 minutes late at Pokesdown. 17.51 Waterloo-Portsmouth left at 18.10. 17.56 Waterloo-Portsmouth via Eastleigh left 12 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole about 30 minutes late at Totton. 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth about 25 minutes late at Winchester. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 45 minutes late by Southampton.
19/11/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo about 8 minutes late. At 08.15 most mainline arrivals at Waterloo were advertised as running late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth about 8 minutes late at Southampton. Guard of 19.15 Waterloo-Southampton announced an Eastleigh stop and told passengers to alight for the Hedge End line; unfortunately, this is almost the only 15 minutes past from Waterloo which doesn’t bother stopping at Eastleigh.
20/11/02 At 09.00 many trains advertised as running 5-20 minutes late through Woking. The Group received an early morning call from the Portsmouth News which was following up a story about furious Portsmouth-Southampton commuters being delayed 45 minutes at Netley due to a few leaves on the line. Customer information system at Totton failed again; passengers were being told to stand clear of the platform edge after trains had passed. In addition, some of the screens at Southampton failed.11.06 Poole-Waterloo cancelled; dismayed by the 3-hour gap in Ashurst-London services, an Ashurst passenger walked several miles to Totton for a train which got him to Waterloo at 16.00. 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 20 minutes late at Southampton; connection with the stopping service to Poole not honoured. 13.15 Waterloo-Southampton over 10 minutes late. 13.30 Waterloo-Weymouth nearly 15 minutes late. 13.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 20 minutes late. Rear portion of 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 20 minutes late from Southampton. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 17 minutes late.
21/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL 05.42 Poole-Waterloo was 8 minutes late leaving Ashurst, after crossing the New Forest; was 26 minutes late at Waterloo, where the guard blamed slippery rails in the Forest. 07.12 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh cancelled. 07.20 Wareham-Waterloo an hour late. 09.15 Waterloo-Southampton about 15 minutes late. 09.45 Waterloo-Poole expected at Southampton nearly 25 minutes late. 13.45 Waterloo-Poole 6 minutes late; 14.00 Waterloo-Wareham 10 minutes late. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham 70 minutes late. 16.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 60 minutes late. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived Southampton 21 minutes late; delay in splitting the train caused both portions to leave about 25 minutes late. 14.34 Wareham-Waterloo 12 minutes late; 15.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo 9 minutes late; 14.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh 20 minutes late. Information screens at Ashurst not working in the evening. 21.55 Waterloo-Poole ancient Mark I stock.
22/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL 05.40 Basingstoke-Brockenhurst 12 minutes late. 06.56 Brockenhurst-Southampton so late that the 05.58 from Weymouth and 06.26 from Poole both preceded it. Too much trouble to arrange additional stops, so Ashurst passengers got to London 45 minutes late. 13.00 Waterloo-Wareham 8 minutes late from Totton; delay blamed on train in front running late; Wessex Electric unit, presumably faulty, noted in platform 5 at Southampton at 14.20. 16.45 Waterloo-Poole 8 minutes late. 17.15, 17.45, and 18.30 Waterloo-Weymouth all 5-10 minutes late. 16.06 Poole-Waterloo and 17.34 Wareham-Waterloo both about 15 minutes late. 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo nearly 20 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole was formed of 8 ancient Mark I coaches and arrived at Southampton Central 30 minutes late. A person meeting a family with two small children, who were returning from Paris Disneyworld, off the 20.55 from Waterloo at Totton (due 22.28) was amazed to find it advertised as expected to arrive at 01.40. A call to SWT’s helpline met with a taped reply, giving scheduled departure times only. The National Rail Enquiry Service could not help. They said they were not allowed to give any SWT number – SWT withdrew the running information public train service number some time ago on economy grounds. The train was actually standing at the up platform at Winchester. The 21.55 from London terminated at Winchester and passengers were transferred to the 20.55, which left 80 minutes late and arrived at Totton after midnight. No explanations given, but weekend engineering works at Eastleigh had apparently started and engineers’ trains were fouling up and down tracks. 21.48 Poole-Waterloo at Southampton Central one hour after its scheduled departure time. Staff confirmed there was no crew.
25/11/02 05.42 Poole-Waterloo 10 minutes late, overcrowded, and without the advertised buffet service. 15.06 Poole-Waterloo and 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 18.05 Waterloo-Poole about 8 minutes late at Southampton, due to having caught up with the 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth, which was about 30 minutes late. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole about 20 minutes late.
26/11/02 17.00 Alton-Waterloo about 40 minutes late. 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo 10 minutes late. 17.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo about 15 minutes late.
27/11/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL 11.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 15 minutes late at Southampton; 12.00 to Wareham 20 minutes late; 13.00 to Wareham 25 minutes late – connection at Southampton with the two-hourly stopping service to Brockenhurst not honoured; 13.30 to Weymouth 30 minutes late. Train struck an object at Surbiton. 17.15 Woking-Waterloo about 20 minutes late and omitted all 10 intermediate stations. 14.30 Waterloo to Weymouth started from Woking and about 30 minutes late; 14.35 to Plymouth about 80 minutes late; 14.40 to Portsmouth Harbour via Eastleigh about 65 minutes late. 16.10 to Southampton about 50 minutes late; 16.45 to Poole about 20 minutes late; 16.52 to Alton about 25 minutes late; 17.00 to Yeovil about 15 minutes late.
28/11/0211.30 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late. 10.48 Weymouth-Waterloo over 15 minutes late. 11.00 Brighton-Basingstoke about 20 minutes late by Winchester.
29/11/02 12.00 Waterloo-Wareham, 12.30 Waterloo-Weymouth, 16.45 Waterloo-Poole, 16.48 Weymouth-Waterloo and 17.06 Poole-Waterloo all 5-10 minutes late in the Southampton area. 15.54 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Eastleigh 12 minutes late; 17.25 Portsmouth-Waterloo via Guildford 17 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 15 minutes late.
30/11/02 Fourth Saturday of line closure between Southampton and Winchester: chaos at Southampton Central. The 07.50 from Poole terminated at a middle platform. No announcement whatever for alighting passengers – only when they reached one end or other of the footbridge did they know whether they were heading in the right direction for a replacement bus. The departure screens had, for at least half an hour, shown the 09.15 to London via Havant as leaving from platform 1. As it approached the station, an announcement said: "Here is a platform alteration, the 09.15 for Waterloo (panic as passengers grab cases and turn to the footbridge) will now depart from platform 1". No announcement was made about the short platform at Fareham, where the doors in the rear unit would not be released. An on-board announcement was made just as the train reached Fareham. The evening witnessed even worse chaos. SWT’s information system apparently only recognises 4 platforms at Southampton Central, whereas operationally there are 7 (1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B). So it was that the 17.47 to Portsmouth stood at platform 3A from before 17.30 until 17.42, opposite a dot matrix display showing "1st 17.42 to Frome; 2nd 17.44 terminates". SWT staff on the platform apparently took no action – they were busy trying to find out why the Portsmouth to Poole train (due out at 17.47) was advertised on platform 2, which was already blocked by the 18.16 to Poole. The Frome train arrived at platform 3B and left almost immediately. The screen then went through a "correction" routine and showed the Portsmouth train for the first time. Once the Portsmouth train had gone, the delayed 17.47 to Poole entered the platform it had vacated.
2/12/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL Landslip at Hinton Admiral caused closure of down line between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth. SWT failed to get its act together. Skeleton service West of Brockenhurst and total chaos to the East. A few examples 06.00 Southampton-Poole 30 minutes late. 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester cancelled. 06.26 Poole-Waterloo advertised as terminating at Totton due to duff Customer Information System. 15.00 Waterloo-Wareham cancelled. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late at Southampton and was to terminate at Bournemouth. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth left at 18.07 and about 35 minutes late at Totton.
3/12/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL Previous day’s problems continued. A few examples 05.42 Poole-Waterloo started from Southampton Central. 06.26 Poole-Waterloo again advertised as terminating at Totton due to duff Customer Information System. 13.35 Plymouth-Waterloo about 25 minutes late. 17.00 Southampton-Waterloo 15 minutes late. 15.48 Weymouth-Waterloo about 40 minutes late. 18.35 Waterloo-Exeter started at 18.57. 18.50 Waterloo-Poole about 45 minutes late by Basingstoke and terminating at Bournemouth. Whichever train was retimed to leave Basingstoke at 18.53 for Waterloo was expected 73 minutes late.
4/12/02ANOTHER DAY OF HELL Previous day’s problems continued. Many delays and cancellations. 05.42 Poole-Waterloo started from Southampton again. The clerk at Totton station requested that either the 06.19 from Poole make an additional stop at Totton or SWT’s 06.25 railbus from Hythe to Southampton stop there. Both requests refused point blank, so Totton commuters over 45 minutes late getting to work in London. During the middle of the day there were no train services between Brockenhurst and Bournemouth. Waterloo-Wareham trains apparently withdrawn completely, leaving huge gaps at some urban stations East of Brockenhurst. Radio Solent reported that one passenger had taken from 07.00 to 09.00 to get from Southampton to Bournemouth – there was only one substitute bus at Brockenhurst and it left 22 people behind. The summary screens at Southampton listed many trains as "on time" but without information about their departure times! Announcements were very restricted; for example stops beyond Westbury of Wessex Trains’ service to Penzance not broadcast. Initially, it was wrongly announced that passengers for stations to Westbury needed to travel in the rear two carriages. It was then announced that the rear portion would be the "West of England service" – one elderly couple overheard discussing whether Bristol counted as West of England – it didn’t because Bristol is served by the front (Cardiff) portion. 17.15 Waterloo-Weymouth arrived at Southampton 10 minutes late; passengers for Totton and Ashurst thrown off so that the stops could be omitted to save time. 17.45 Waterloo-Weymouth 10 minutes late; 18.50 Waterloo-Poole 20 minutes late.
5/12/0216.01 Portsmouth-Waterloo over 10 minutes late. 15.34 Wareham-Waterloo about 15 minutes late. 17.51 Waterloo-Portsmouth departed nearly 10 minutes late. 21.55 Waterloo-Poole formed of old slam-door carriages and had no water in toilets.
6/12/02 05.34 Bournemouth-Waterloo already nearly 15 minutes Late by Totton. This in turn delayed the 06.11 Brockenhurst-Winchester. Faulty customer information system at Totton again wrongly showed the 07.18 to Waterloo as terminating there. Classic evening chaos. 15.48 from Weymouth, due at Waterloo at 18.34 was about 35 minutes late. The rear unit of the 18.50 Wessex Electric to Poole was still awaiting its front portion after 19.00, yet the first Wessex Electric train to arrive went into another platform. SWT staff then claimed they had no idea which unit would form the Poole service. At 19.15 the front portion duly arrived. The 18.50 left at 19.27 and reached Totton 50 minutes late, the guard announcing that the front unit had failed on its inward journey. Hedge End and Netley line passengers a full hour late because of missed connections. 19.30 Waterloo-Weymouth delayed behind the 18.50 and must have been at least 30 minutes late by Southampton. Considerable passenger anger.