The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

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fearofablondeplanet
Posts: 2
Joined: 9 Mar 2015 19:57
Location: Sydenham

The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by fearofablondeplanet »

Any regular commuters who rely on Southern to get to work in the morning (I'm guessing this will be a fair few people), wondering if anyone has the impetus to try to deal with the absolutely lamentable service at the moment. I know the MP Jim Dowd is campaigning on it and at least part of it is to do with the ongoing dog's breakfast at London Bridge but even allowing for the London Bridge mess the service is woefully unacceptable.

My regular train in the morning, the 7.38 to Victoria from Sydenham has literally been on time once since the start of the year. Its got to the point where I think my employer is struggling to believe that a suburban rail network can be this bad.

I am going to write to Dowd and to Boris about it and also to the Office of the Rail Regulator. I'm not an expert in transport logistics and I'm sure there are extenuating circumstances but I just don't think Southern are fit to run a proper service any more and I think they should be stripped of their franchise.

Would anyone be up for signing a petition to send to the above if I could get one going? And can people also please tweet and put this on Facebook and generally try to give this a bit of amplification?
Rachael
Posts: 2450
Joined: 23 Jan 2010 13:42
Location: Sydenham / Forest Hill Intersection

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by Rachael »

Take yourself over to SE23.com. There are several very useful and lengthy threads there on the subject. You'll find info there on what local councillors and MPs are doing, who to email, when there are Meet the Manager session at LB, what the latest press releases and planning docs say. All sorts of things. You are most certainly not alone, and you'd do well to join in with the established group of (justified) grumblers over there rather reinventing the wheel here.

Oh, and if you're using Sydenham to get to Victoria, how about using Penge East instead? Quicker, more frequent trains, entirely different track, and not Southern!
fearofablondeplanet
Posts: 2
Joined: 9 Mar 2015 19:57
Location: Sydenham

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by fearofablondeplanet »

Thanks for that, that's really helpful. Will have a look....
I'm still up for creating a bit of noise on here though, if anyone's interested. The more attention this gets the faster its likely to get sorted.
I've already signed this petition and I would urge others to do the same:

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/74578
biscuitman1978
Posts: 1588
Joined: 16 May 2006 20:14
Location: Chislehurst; previously Sydenham

The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by biscuitman1978 »

Welcome to the Forum

I too am very frustrated by Southern's performance, but whilst they are far from blameless, a lot of the recent problems have been for reasons beyond their control. Today's problems, for example, were caused by a broken down engineering train, which is Network Rail's responsibility.

Similarly, the problems last week were caused by signalling problems (again, Network Rail's responsibility) and a person hit by a train.

As for the poor day-to-day performance, the issue appears to be that the timetable, which is (as I understand it) ultimately Network Rail's responsibility, is simply unachievable, even with the recent changes (including the cancellation of a number of evening peak trains from London Bridge to Sydenham).

If you haven't seen it, you may be interested in the Joint Improvement Plan - see http://www.southernrailway.com/download ... ance-plan/

There are some encouraging proposals, although I fear that we can expect delays until the new timetable is implemented in December 2015 - and that would be the case whether it is Southern, another private operator or a Government-run company who run the services.

My view is that all the proposed measures (summarised on page 13 of the document) need to be implemented, and the December 2015 timetable needs to be realistic and, therefore, deliverable.

In the meantime, I think there is far more that Network Rail, Southern, Thameslink and TfL can do to keep us informed. For example, if evening peak National Rail services from London Bridge are seriously delayed, why not arrange for eastbound Jubilee line drivers to advise passengers to continue to Canada Water to pick up a London Overground service, rather than leaving them to get off the Tube at London Bridge and add to the crowds? (And yes, I know, the Overground is already stretched.)

Similarly, I think most commuters want decent information about why things are going wrong. For example, people were understandably angry that it took most of the day to move the broken down engineering train today, but only late in the day did Network Rail explain why that was! See http://www.twitlonger.com/show/n_1sl4rt9 for Network Rail's explanation.
biscuitman1978
Posts: 1588
Joined: 16 May 2006 20:14
Location: Chislehurst; previously Sydenham

The nightmare that is Southern Rail...

Post by biscuitman1978 »

Sunday sees the introduction of the summer railway timetable.

It includes the reinstatement of the majority of the withdrawn evening peak services between London Bridge and West Croydon - see page 25 (electronic page 13) of http://www.southernrailway.com/download ... mmer-2015/

Let's hope the new timetable works okay!
Mayowthorpe
Posts: 111
Joined: 30 Jul 2014 07:16
Location: Sydenham

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by Mayowthorpe »

Hopefully, the new timetable is better.

Note the rail strike for 24 hours starting on Bank Holiday Monday at 5pm:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-32748029
markylon
Posts: 12
Joined: 20 Apr 2013 11:13

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by markylon »

Issues aside, why don't you take a short bus ride or 8 minute walk to Penge East Station where there are faster more reliable services to Victoria?
Hissing Syd
Posts: 118
Joined: 7 May 2012 15:09
Location: Sydenham

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by Hissing Syd »

It really is breathtaking how bad the service is, especially at that time in the morning. I'm with markylon - Penge East is great, or more often, for me, it's Lower Sydenham now; the Charing Cross line there is brilliantly fast and reliable, and not having to change is a huge bonus.

In the case of Lower Sydenham however, it's just a shame as I would never dare use it after dark. I've heard rumours about relocating it over the years and I do hope that happens before long. I assume the station was never intended to be at the end of a long, deserted built-up stretch as it currently is. It would be great if it could be brought down towards Sainsbury, and the access to it was made less mugger-friendly.
John J Rambo
Posts: 15
Joined: 17 Jul 2014 09:37
Location: Kirkdale

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by John J Rambo »

markylon wrote:Issues aside, why don't you take a short bus ride or 8 minute walk to Penge East Station where there are faster more reliable services to Victoria?
Ridiculous thing to post.

1) Penge East is in zone 4 whereas Sydenham is in zone 3. So it is more expensive.

2) My partner and I both work in the City. What use is it going to Victoria?

3) We shouldn't have to alter our lives on a daily basis because of the continuing foul ups. I reckon having to walk from where we live to Penge East, train to Victoria and then get the tube to Bank would add about an hour to our daily commute.

The problem is that no-one in the rail industry has an incentive to get a move on to sort all this out as they know we are cash cows. Proper legislation to adequately compensate us for when things go boss-eyed is needed, or even a change to employer season ticket loans to make them a tax free benefit would be a good start. Or dare I say it, renationalisation?
Eagle
Posts: 10658
Joined: 7 Oct 2004 06:36
Location: F Hill

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by Eagle »

Mr Rambo

Your rather strange suggestion for re nationalisation suggests you are young or young middle aged

I recall the terrible service of the so called British Railways then British Rail. Do not forget twice as many now travelling on the railway as were when re privatised. Also billions being spent up grading the system ( which is part of the reason for occasional delays ).

Part of the problem is reduction of trains to LB from Syd to accommodate the many overground trains. You cannot expect the docklands service without some reduction on trains to LB.


Would have suggested Lower Sydenham to LB , however lots of problems on that line too fo 12 months or so.

You cannot make an omelette without breaking eggs.
John J Rambo
Posts: 15
Joined: 17 Jul 2014 09:37
Location: Kirkdale

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by John J Rambo »

And I assume from your rather patronising post you are old enough to have a Freedom Card and not have to pay for travel?

At the moment I pay over £100 a month out of my net salary for the 'pleasure' of using Southern. The problem at the minute is the lack of transparent accountability and the competition between the different elements who run the railways (and public transport in general). They are all out to out-do each other and squeeze every last penny from each other and who loses out? The consumer, as usual. At least with a nationalised system there is one organisation, one board and one set of rules.
Syd_Stone
Posts: 49
Joined: 3 Sep 2009 17:52
Location: Sydenham

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by Syd_Stone »

Fabulously patronising comment indeed. Doubtless it being so would never have occurred to the man. You're obviously so, so unfortunate not to share Eagle's experience-led authority in this matter.

My God, the trains in London are stunningly, stunningly poor. And you know what? People understand that the infrastructure is being built up. They understand the volume issue. But they resent, perfectly understandably, when told something will happen when it doesn't, being treated like fools and literally being taken for granted.

People would be considerably less angry about all this if we had:

a) genuine apologies from human beings when issues occur.
b) Much stronger punishment for failure, transparent to see, immediately imposed and independently audited.

Wasn't privatisation meant to improve performance? Instead we have the kind of disgusting corporate behaviour the government had to step in and solve a few months back at London Bridge when the companies' contempt for their customers became too much even for them to bear.

But no, apparently it's a 'rather strange suggestion' to look at re-nationalisation. You don't have to be a card-carrying communist to consider that a perfectly valid debate given the lamentable performance of all parties. It may not be the answer, but something has to happen and Eagle's comment would be hilarious if it wasn't so insulting.

(Every time I take a look at this forum to see what's going on. EVERY time...)
somerandombloke
Posts: 599
Joined: 9 Jan 2015 20:01
Location: the elephant enclosure

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by somerandombloke »

A mate of mine has a mate whose got a blog where he records every train he gets when he commuting into London Brige from Crystal Palace. The bloke get three trains every day and he trying to find out how often all 3 trains are on time at the start and end of the journey. Apparenty thats happened 4% of the time so far this year. FOUR PER CENT!!!!
mikej
Posts: 419
Joined: 14 Dec 2006 21:55
Location: New Beckenham

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by mikej »

Rambo,

The original post said the person goes to VICTORIA from Sydenham.

Presumably that is why people suggested that she try Penge East.

I agree it will be a bit more expensive, but it might well be worth it for the much better service.
John J Rambo
Posts: 15
Joined: 17 Jul 2014 09:37
Location: Kirkdale

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by John J Rambo »

The thread title refers to Southern Rail. I assumed any bitching which one might want to do about Southern would be best placed here.
Suzee
Posts: 195
Joined: 7 Jul 2006 12:42
Location: Sydenham

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail...

Post by Suzee »

biscuitman1978 wrote:Sunday sees the introduction of the summer railway timetable.

It includes the reinstatement of the majority of the withdrawn evening peak services between London Bridge and West Croydon - see page 25 (electronic page 13) of http://www.southernrailway.com/download ... mmer-2015/

Let's hope the new timetable works okay!

Well it's still pretty useless. I used to get the 1636 which was withdrawn but has now been reinstated as the 1627, only 5 mins after the 1622. The one after that is 1653. Not sure how they've been running so far but the timings are not useful.

Think I'll stick to Bank>Shadwell>Sydenham. It's been pretty reliable in the early evening peak time.
Parker1970
Posts: 453
Joined: 4 Nov 2014 22:36
Location: Kirkdale

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by Parker1970 »

To add insult to injury... Strike action incoming.

https://twitter.com/SouthernRailUK/stat ... 6740488193

Image
biscuitman1978
Posts: 1588
Joined: 16 May 2006 20:14
Location: Chislehurst; previously Sydenham

The nightmare that is Southern Rail...

Post by biscuitman1978 »

And in a separate dispute, Southern drivers have also voted for strike action: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-32810994
alburt.c
Posts: 747
Joined: 26 Apr 2015 13:58
Location: Lower Sydenham

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by alburt.c »

mayby not vary good pay for to drive train so hafing to strike. train drive good job in china but no strike permitings. if strike there is no job no pensions. in uk many strike so no good for london worker.
JRobinson
Posts: 1104
Joined: 5 Jan 2010 12:40
Location: De Frene Rd

Re: The nightmare that is Southern Rail....

Post by JRobinson »

let me google tube driver starting salary for you

back in 2011 - pay was £46k, and said to rise above £50k

... yeah, you're right - train driver pay is not that good :shock:
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