Every day this month the 7.19 from Overton has been formed of 8 carriages instead of 10. SWR suffers no consequences for this 20% reduction in service because they pay no compensation. It makes 3 previously commutable stations un-commutable.
Why is this happening? We have had no warning or explanation (like that we have enjoyed for engineering work by Network Rail). We have no indication whether this is a permenant change or when it might end.
Basically as part of a cost cutting initiative by first, many spares for engines etc are no longer stored at Salisbury, as they used to be. This means parts have to be transported from other locations, or built especially, taking far longer for repairs to happen etc.
Also, the 158s and 159s are being 'refurbished' at the moment, so a couple are out of service at a time for that.
Thanks Peter, that makes sense. A "lean" supply chain is pretty much industry standard now I think, but it is clearly not being managed well if it is causing delays.
The "refurbishment" annoys me more. It seems to amount to mere re-branding which benefits nobody but the marketing men. The old coaches were not tatty and invariably the refurbished ones I have travelled in were less comfortable. However I will give them the benefit of the doubt that an important mechanical overhaul will result in better reliability over the next 12 months. Let's see.
However, what REALLY annoys be is the total lack of communication from South Western Railways. Surely they can tell us which trains will be affected and for how long the problem will last? Why is it any different to informing us about engineering works?
Yeah, the refurbishment is pretty pointless. From December there *should* be an extra 158 (2 car) freed up as the Lymington line switches to 450 operation, so hopefully they will use the set wisely, and make it a 10 car again.