Wow, a new low!
1609 from Waterloo - Woking today, 40 mins late, 90 mins to get to Woking, no seats, no air, no space!
a track fire, points failures and god knows what else!
you are not capable of delivering a service and WE have to beg to get any sort of recompense via the useless delay pay system!
what is going on and what the hell are you doing about it?
simply not good enough, and it's getting worse!!!
The thing to take into consideration is that some (definately not all however) of the delays experienced this week are purely safety measures introduced by network rail as the tracks get hotter, that aspect is beyond SWRs control, and these measures are their for a good reason; the alternative would either be running fewer trains or putting the public at a greater risk of danger.
Definately not an excuse for SWR at all however, the reliability of the fleet has been poor as has management under disruption.
Yesterday (26th June) was not a good day to travel. It took me 3 hours to get home (circa 90 mins to go from Waterloo to Guildford) but i was lucky i had a seat and the air con was working.
I think the events which impacted my journey (high temperature, fire and points failure) weren't necessarily SWR's fault but it is the chronic lack of information that is the worst thing. Future trains show as "on time" right up until the time they are scheduled to leave and then they become "delayed". At Waterloo you are constantly pressured to take other routes. Well for me the nuclear option is to go to Paddington then catch a train to Reading and then a train to Guildford, that's 3 hours at a minimum so i would ignore that unless i am told there is no chance that another route will open up so i will wait at Waterloo.
Clearly SWR knows where all of its trains are. It must have a rough idea as to how long it will take to fix (is the line blocked?.is the line open but signalling equipment broken etc. Yet every high impact i have experienced the information supplied is awful and no improvements over time.
There were a number of trains that were going to Woking, i did not know whether i should board one of these (maybe trains could travel between woking and portsmouth?) There seemed to be plenty of trains waiting at the platforms which were not being boarded.
We all understand that things change over a period, but it should not be impossible to say "customers going to XXX should board the XX:XX train as we expect it to be the quickest journey". That would at least give people options. I saw 2 members of staff wandering around under the display board who whilst they were friendly were unable to give out any relevant or useful information. The "Fastest train to XX" display is totally useless at best as it assumes the next fast train will be on time, so this information is actually misleading. Surely there must be some manual override which could be used to supply more accurate info.
also with the high temperatures predicted for the whole week (and thus the associated cancellations) SWR should have been handing out bottles of water as a minimum.
I would like to know what SWR is doing to improve the quality of information provided, as it is as bad as it has always been.
I do accept that safety is an issue and that there are some things that are beyond the control of the operator and for which they cannot be held responsible, however even then the service is still not good enough.
The initial issue was a fire, this was exacerbated by points failures and other problems which I'm still in the dark about. How many times have points failures been an issue in recent months, why arn't they being addressed? It's hot - well yes, its high summer!
It's just not acceptable to run a poor service almost every day and expect people to put up with it, its not acceptable to then put the work on them to claim back compensation and its not acceptable to charge such a high price for a service where I get a seat once a month if lucky.
I want to know what the plan is to improve things, is there one and how will it be measured?
It's completely fair to say performance is not where we want it to be and I am sorry for the disruption in recent weeks.
Running a railway is hugely expensive and on average the train operating company take about 3% profit the rest goes back into the railway.
Between 29 April and 26 May 67% of delays caused to our trains were as a result of Network Rail of which 35% were railway infrastructure*. On a network as busy as ours the rails and points wear out very quickly and require frequent maintenance, which Network Rail has very little time to complete. Imagine us shutting Woking down for a few days to complete track repair work - it's just not an option. So NR fit in around us and the train service to cause minimal disruption to journeys.
*for the sake of balance 29% of delays was caused by South Western Railway.
I read a really interesting article recently in an industry magazine about heat on the railway and it states a 5km length of railway under 37'C heat can expand by up to 2 feet in length. As we all know leaving huge chunks of metal out in the sun all day means reaching 37'C isn't that unrealistic. On the flip side to this during freezing temperatures the rails can shrink which under extreme circumstances could lead to a crack in the rails.
We rely on Network Rail to improve the infrastructure whilst we work on ensuring trains are well maintained. There is loads available on the NR website which outlines their plans on upgrading and improving. They are very transparent regarding causes of delays and all that information can be found here.
Everyone wants to see us run a punctual train service but there are lots of things that can go wrong. SWR's focus right now is minimizing delays and recovering from them in the best way possible.
And automatic delay repay for smart card holders is coming I promise!
Disruption in the last few weeks?
if that was all it was it wouldn’t be so bad would it? It’s months of rubbish service that gets me all hot and bothered, why do you continually mimimise the issues and deflect?
i pay you thousands of pounds every year NOT nwrail, I think it’s stupid that the operator and nwrail are separated too but YOU signed up to the system and YOU take my money!
delay pay improvements you promise - please excuse me if I choose to wait and see on that one!!