Since the reintroduction of the Class 458s on the Reading line I have noticed an improved level of internal cleanliness that SWT never seemed to manage. However, I have a few queries:
1. Why are the automatic announcements on the peak services either incorrect or switched off? For example, on the 0712 from Reading, if it's not switched off, it either announces Virginia Water or Vauxhall, neither of which the trains stops at. System error or is it simply that you leave it to drivers to guess the codes to input?
2. I had understood that the end gangways were installed to allow passengers to walk through the train - quite important considering the general lack of working toilets - however, the gangways are usually locked and of course on the rare occasion when they are not passengers don't use them because they don't realise they can. What is the official position?
3. I have noticed a slight improvement with toilet availability compared to SWT, but it is still unacceptable that routinely often only one of four toilets is working even first thing in the morning. With about two more years left of these trains in service this needs tackling. What are you going to do about it?
I've just had word back from Andrew, our Head of on Train, he has advised me:
1. That he wasn't aware of the fault with automatic announcements so will investigate.
2. The gangways should be open for movement through the train.
3. He is pleased that you have noticed an improvement in cleanliness since SWR took over. We are committed to completing further work to ensure all toilets are in use on each service.
Hope this helps.