Hi - I commute daily on the Waterloo to Salisbury line and am getting increasingly frustrated at overcrowding as a result of reduced carriage numbers. Both yesterday evening and this morning, I travelled on trains each missing three carriages, meaning I and many other passengers had to stand for 1 hour +. This seems to be happening more and more regularly - multiple times each week. until the last few months the situation was very rare - I can only think of a single occasion in 2.5 years commuting under the previous franchise holder that this happened. Can someone explain why this is happening so regularly now? Is it the result of a change in operating policy and thus set to continue, or is it a result of short term issues with rolling stock? In either case it is extremely unpleasant - far worse than a 15 minute delay, for which I can at least claim compensation.
Hi Markbe, we are working hard to improve our diesel fleet both in terms of on board experience and reliability. For every train we take out of our rolling stock to work on it reduces our ability to replace units that need to be removed from service because of unexpected faults or other issues. The youngest of these train units is 26 years old so they do require a lot of care to keep them running and because the line between Basingstoke and Salisbury is not electrified we aren't able to use any other rolling stock on this line.
In short this should be a short term issue but I can't promise it will never happen again!
I’m afraid this just continues to happen more and more regularly. It’s only Tuesday evening and I am standing for the third time this week as a result of reduced carriage numbers. 3 out of 4 journeys in two days. This is properly, miserably unpleasant on a 1 hour journey. Please stop your refurbishment program until you have enough carriages to maintain a proper service. It’s just part of doing business - especially when you are running a monopoly. South West Trains managed it perfectly well before SWR took over. If I told my customers that they couldn’t have a full service from me 75% of the time because I had failed to invest in modern equipment they would simply buy the service from someone else. Sadly SWR passengers don’t have that luxury. And please don’t tell me it’ll be worth it in the end. Quite apart from the current misery, the seats in new carriages are much less comfortable than the old ones.