Latest Rail News

15.07.16

Southern adds 16 services to revised timetable after cancelling 341 a day

Southern will add 16 services to its revised timetable after cancelling 341 a day to try to gain control of the franchise.

Southern announced the cancellations earlier this month, saying they were necessary to reduce the impact of an industrial dispute with the RMT union over driver-operated only services and high rates of staff sickness.

It has now said that it is able to introduce additional services to the revised timetable.

Alex Foulds, Southern’s passenger services director, said: “Now that the revised timetable has had time to bed in, we have been able to fine tune the deployment of our available train crews to plug timetable gaps and provide additional capacity on some of the routes most affected.

“Although we are running fewer trains, we are providing greater certainty for commuters by concentrating our resources on providing a more reliable and punctual rush hour service. The journey to restoring the railway to a better level of performance still has some way to go but we are encouraged that the new timetable is a first step in that direction.”

Southern said that the new timetable means that eight out of 10 trains are arriving on time compared to six out of 10 before, and just one train has been cancelled at peak times since the new timetable began compared to 85 the week before.

However, Southern is facing widespread criticism because of its performance, with London mayor Sadiq Khan recently calling for its parent company, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), to be stripped of the franchise.

In a Westminster hall debate on Wednesday, Tim Loughton, the MP for East Worthing and Shoreham, called the situation “embarrassing, pathetic, unsustainable and a national disgrace” and said it was an even bigger issue than the European Union referendum for MPs. He said the emergency timetable was making overcrowding worse.

Perry considers ‘falling on her sword’ over Southern

Responding to the debate, rail minister Claire Perry admitted that she had considered resigning over the issue.

“If I thought it would help by me falling on my sword, I would,” she said. “I have thought about it repeatedly. I do not like failure. I do not fail at stuff in my life. This feels like a failure.”

However, she repeated her earlier remarks to the Transport Select Committee that she did not believe stripping GTR of the franchise would solve the problem.

She said problems causing the issue include the rail industry’s “disdain” for passengers, a “broken” investment system, complexities in the franchising system and a lack of levers for taking away contracts.

She said she was seeking to bring forward plans to improve compensation to passengers and devolution of London transport powers.

The new services are:

  • 0906 Gatwick Airport to Victoria non-stop (arriving 09.36)
  • 1000 Victoria to Brighton (arriving 10.54) calling at Gatwick Airport
  • 0636 Victoria to Dorking calling at Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Hill, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill , Crystal Palace, Norwood Junction, West Croydon, Waddon, Wallington, Carshalton Beeches, Sutton, Cheam, Ewell East, Epsom, Ashtead, Leatherhead,
  • 0734 Dorking to Victoria calling at Leatherhead, Ashtead then as normal from Epsom departing 0749
  • 0835 Dorking to Victoria calling at Leatherhead, Ashtead, Epsom, Ewell East, Cheam, Sutton, Carshalton, Hackbridge, Mitcham Junction, Mitcham Eastfields, Balham, Clapham Junction 
  • 1637 Victoria-Epsom calling at Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Hill, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill , Crystal Palace, Norwood Junction, West Croydon, Waddon, Wallington, Carshalton Beeches, Sutton, Cheam, Ewell East
  • 1857 Epsom to Victoria calling at Sutton, Carshalton Beeches, Wallington, Waddon, West Croydon, Norwood Junction, Crystal Palace, West Norwood, Streatham Hill, Balham, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Junction, Battersea Park
  • 0620 Streatham Hill to London Bridge (arriving 0643) calling at Tulse Hill, North Dulwich, East Dulwich, Peckham Rye, Queens Road Peckham  and South Bermondsey
  • 0905 Streatham to London Bridge (arriving 0929) calling at Tulse Hill, North Dulwich, East Dulwich , Peckham Rye , Queens Road Peckham and South Bermondsey
  • 1709 Peckham Rye to London Bridge (arriving 1719) calling at Queens Road Peckham, South Bermondsey
  • 1746 South Bermondsey to West Croydon, starting 1730 at London Bridge
  • 0840 East Croydon to Clapham Junction 0904 calling at Selhurst, Thornton Heath, Norbury, Streatham Common, Balham, Wandsworth Common
  • 1735 Brighton to Lewes (arriving 1751)
  • 1757 Lewes to Brighton (arriving 1813)
  • 1822 Brighton to Seaford (arriving 1855)
  • 1859 Seaford to Brighton (arriving 1931)

(Image c. Rui Vieira from PA Wire)

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Comments

Jerry Alderson   18/07/2016 at 21:10

Can anyone explain why the TOCs choose to employ train staff directly rather than rely on outsourcing companies to provide them? If ROSCOs provide trains why cannot an OBSCO (on-board staff company) provide staff? Admittedly drivers require route knowledge (pehaps one day SatNav equivalents might take over) and so do guards, although on-board supervisors would not.

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