The ideal Christmas present for a Southeastern commuter…

Over on 853Blog there’s a post of a couple of Christmas present ideas for the Southeastern commuter… well I was going to put this up as part of the surviving winter on Southeastern series but here is my suggestion 😉

Gas Mask for surviving a Southeastern Toilet

Yep for the serious Southeastern commuter who has to put up with the unique odour common on the trains because they haven’t emptied the toilets for days on end.

 

Southeastern Contact Detals

English: Class 395 "Javelin" unit 39...
Image via Wikipedia

A new avenue for disgruntled SouthEastern Trains commuters to voice their complaints at the regular disruption, poor customer service and rip-off fares has arisen, perhaps you’d like to get in touch with the MD of SouthEastern Trains, Mr Charles Horton, give him a call on 0207 983 6200 or if emailing him is more your style, then drop him a message at Charles.Horton@southeasternrailway.co.uk.

But instead, you might prefer to contact the Head of Communications, Sarah Boundy, if she’s who you want to take a complaint to, then you can call her on 0207 620 5509 – both these are direct dial
numbers, obviously, some might prefer emailing her, so you have a papertrail of what you send her, if that is the case, fire your emails over to her at Sarah.Boundy@southeasternrailway.co.uk.

Of course, you might also want to call the Main switchboard and ask to speak to Vince Lucas, Frances Maynard or any of the other managers, the main switchboard is available on 0207 620 5000.

If you call Charles Horton or Sarah Boundy and get hold of their PAs, please be nice to them, it’s not their fault they work for – we believe that Charles’s PA is a lady called Lillian Connett and Sarah’s PA is Jennifer Wood.

Ah brilliant #southeastern 18:21 Charing

Ah brilliant #southeastern 18:21 Charing X to Ashford cancelled – now I’m going to presume this is the hastings obstruction causing that train to be stuck? Who knows

Dear Peter Mount,

Disruption has been reported to services between London Charing Cross and Staplehurst.

The 18:21 will be cancelled due to an obstruction on the line.

For the latest live running information please see http://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/live-running-information

To change your settings, suspend your alerts, or to unsubscribe from the Southeastern Alerting Service, please log in to
your user account at http://www.journeycheck.com/southeastern/login

A good commentary of one of the HS1 trai

A good commentary of one of the HS1 trains stuck in the tunnel this morning by @garethhector #southeastern http://setra.in/s/vd #hatetravel

Southeastern Franchise no public consultation and continuation if awarded would be at the price agreed in 2005

Class 395 "Javelin" unit 395008 at E...
Image via Wikipedia

Southeastern could find that its franchise will be extended to cover the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2014 with no public consultation.

Also if it is awarded then it would be at the price agreed in 2005 potentially costing the taxpayer even more.

Thanks to @hsdeal for finding this:

From www.publications.parliament.uk

Southeastern: Franchises

Sir John Stanley: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) by what date he expects to take a decision on the extension of the Southeastern rail franchise by a further two years as provided for under the Integrated Kent Franchise; [33333]

(2) whether he plans to undertake a public consultation before deciding whether to extend the Southeastern rail franchise by a further two years. [33334]

Mrs Villiers [holding answer 17 January 2011]: The Southeastern Continuation Review period under the Integrated Kent franchise agreement ended on 12 December 2010. The Department for Transport is currently reviewing Southeastern’s performance against the review criteria and the Secretary of State expects to notify the operator of the outcome in due course.

The Secretary of State will not be undertaking a public consultation. The terms of the franchise agreed by the previous Administration require the Secretary of
18 Jan 2011 : Column 665W
State to offer an additional two years to Southeastern, at the price agreed in 2005, if it passes the Continuation Review.

Mr Evennett: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what plans he has for the future of the Integrated Kent Franchise; and if he will make a statement. [33904]

Mrs Villiers: The franchise contract agreed with Southeastern by the previous administration includes a Continuation Review. The terms of the franchise provide that if the targets contained in the Continuation Review are met by Southeastern, the Department for Transport is obliged to offer the train operator a two year extension of its franchise to cover the period 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2014.

The Continuation Review period ended on 12 December 2010. Department for Transport officials are currently assessing Southeastern’s performance against the review criteria and an announcement on the outcome will be made in due course.

© Parliamentary material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of  HMSO on behalf of Parliament. Licence No: P2011000006

Written answers in House of Commons about Southeastern Franchise

The following is a set of Written Answers in the House of Commons dated 20 Dec 2010.

It contains details of some of the figures being used in determining if SouthEastern retain their franchise when it’s up for a two year extension in 2012.

The original document is available this section is a long way down that page.

London and South Eastern Railways: Franchises

Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what recent assessment he has made of the performance of Southeastern in discharging its obligations under its franchise agreement. [30738]
20 Dec 2010 : Column 999W

Mrs Villiers: Department for Transport Officials monitor Southeastern’s performance against the contract on a four weekly basis. This review includes operational performance and the delivery of committed obligations.

The Southeastern franchise agreement is currently due to end on 31 March 2012, though the option does exist for a two year extension to the agreement to allow the franchise to end on 31 March 2014. In order for Southeastern to be offered that two year extension, they must pass a performance based continuation review. That review period concluded on 12 December 2010 and the Secretary of State expects to notify the operator of the outcome early in the new year.

London and South Eastern Railways: Standards

Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of rail services run by Southeastern was subject to a delay of over 10 minutes in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010. [30735]

Mrs Villiers: The information requested is given in the following table.

Period Trains planned Trains more than10 minutes late % of trains more than 10 minutes late
(a) 2008-9 (periods 1-13) 590,435 13,947 2.4
(b) 2009-10 (periods 1-13) 604,972 16,251 2.7
(c) 2010 (periods 1-8) 417,208 9,808 2.4
Notes:
1. Results are reported on a four weekly periodic basis each year, starting with period 1 on 1 April to period 13 ending on 31 March.
2. Rail Industry Period 8, running from 17 October to 13 November 2010, is the latest period from which this data is available.

Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport how many rail services Southeastern has cancelled in (a) 2008, (b) 2009 and (c) 2010. [30736]

Mrs Villiers: The information requested is given in the following table.

Period Trains planned Trains cancelled % of trains cancelled
(a) 2008-9 (periods 1-13) 590,435 7,326 1.2
(b) 2009-10 (periods 1-13) 604,972 9,653 1.6
(c) 2010 (periods 1-8) 417,208 4,008 1.0
N otes:
1. Results are reported on a four weekly periodic basis, starting with period 1 on 1 April to period 13 ending on 31 March.
2. Rail Industry Period 8, running from 17 October to 13 November 2010, is the latest period from which this data is available.

Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport whether he has had recent discussions with Southeastern on ensuring the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of its service. [30742]

Mrs Villiers: Department for Transport officials review Southeastern’s delivery of its services on a four-weekly
20 Dec 2010 : Column 1000W
basis. This includes its train performance and the financial delivery. The effectiveness of the operator’s delivery is also tested on an annual basis through the business planning requirements of its franchise agreement.

Separately, as this House is aware, Sir Roy McNulty has published his interim report into the Value for Money of the railway, available at:

which identifies potential savings of up to £1 billion a year in the running of Britain’s railways. The Government will be taking forward these savings with train operators and Network Rail, to ensure a more efficient and effective railway.

London and South Eastern Railways: Tickets

Mrs Grant: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what mechanisms are in place to ensure that Southeastern carries out efficient ticketing enforcement on its rail services; and if he will make a statement. [30734]

Mrs Villiers: All franchise agreements entered into since 2004 require train operators to implement a structured revenue protection strategy.

Southeastern’s revenue protection strategy includes a penalty fares scheme, approved by the Department for Transport. Under the scheme, a passenger who cannot show a valid ticket for their journey, where ticket facilities were available at their starting station, may be liable to a penalty fare of £20 or twice the single fare.

Revenue protection officers operate on the Southeastern network to combat instances of ticketless travel and, where appropriate, to issue penalty fares. The Southeastern network is also served by teams of rail enforcement officers, who are authorised collectors of penalty fares under the penalty fares scheme.

© Parliamentary material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of HMSO
on behalf of Parliament. Licence No: P2011000006

How a single train can cripple an entire network

This morning a train failed between two main stations, Tonbridge and Sevenoaks. Although this happened just before 8am it caused chaos across the entire southern half of the network which was felt well into the late evening.

The following has been taken from the uk.railway newsgroup as it’s one of the best accounts I’ve seen for any failure from someone who must be someone who works on the Railway.

First of all the unit was on the up line, the train involved being 06.39 Ore – Cannon St.

It depends what you mean by “the rescue” train. When the Ore service came to a stand (formed 12 coach 375) very quickly the following 07.40 Tunbridge Wells – Charing Cross (formed 10 coach Networker) was at a stand behind it at Hildenborough. This had to be moved back first before any rescue train could go to the passengers. There was a nearby access point (from a public road bridge) however the gate was chained out of use owing to the access steps being in poor condition. This meant that detraining was out of the question. To my mind trying to arrange road transport to meet somewhere in the region of 750 – 800 people would have been a logistical nightmare.

So the decision was made to get a train up behind to try and push/rescue the passengers. The Tunbridge Wells train was moved back wrong line to Tonbridge (a series of procedures to follow, as not a signalled move), and an additional delay while trains were emptied at Tonbridge to (1) provide a platform for the Tunbridge Wells train to come back into and (2) supply an assisting train. The assisting train needed to be emptied, otherwise its easy to get two train loads of people stuck in the middle of nowhere.

While this was going on the driver was in touch with various technical people receiving assistance, but the fault appears to have caused the whole 12 coach train to have become disabled. There was also a possibility of an attaching train having the fault transferring. About 09.40 the front and rear units got power and there was hope of limping the train forward to Sevenoaks, but this was scuppered when the brakes would not then release.

During this time an empty 12 coach train was brought up to Hildenborough and at 10.00 went onto the back of the failed train to remove the passengers. By shortly after 10.00, the evacuation of the failed train was underway, however it required 750 – 800 people to walk though one gangway connection into the other train which had arrived behind. As can be imagined this took time, but by 11.00 the passengers were transfered and the rescue train was ready to move back to Tonbridge, once authorization for the wrong line move was obtained.

During this time a crew from GBRf were found to go to Hoo Jn and pick up and engine there, and this then started making its way over towards Sevenoaks. The fitters were on site as well, but despite numerous efforts unable to get the train to come back to life.

There were several false dawns when the staff on site believed they had fixed the faults, only for something else to then occur.

During this time only a limited amount of trains could go via Redhill (Network Rail Sussex zone stated not more than one per hour to be diverted) and this was also hindered by Networkers not being cleared to run via Redhill, and also the limited crew knowledge (only Tonbridge and Hastings crews sign the route via Redhill). All other trains were having to use the down line in both directions, and owing to the nature of the signalling, a maximum of one train every 15 minutes could go up the down line (assuming of course that nothing is actually coming the other way).

The rescue engine from Hoo Jn got to the failure at around 13.00, and was attached to haul the errant train away. Owing to the different couplings on loco and units, this meant the movement back to Tonbridge could only go at a maximum of 5mph. The wrong line move commenced at 13.13, and was back in clear at Tonbridge by 13.54, at which time the up line could be used for the first time since 07.45 this morning.

During this time disruption spread out over a vast area due to train crews in the wrong place, not helped by the complexity of the crew workings. The intricate nature of the crew working is something that South Eastern are aware of, but have so far chosen not to address, for whatever reason.

In addition the supervision of train crew has been drastically reduced, instead of each depot having its own Train Crew Supervisor, they are now based at Orpington and Ashford for the whole county (so one person deals with seven depots instead of one). I understand train crew find it difficult to contact these staff, as needless to say the phone is constantly busy due to the vastly increased workload. This is another issue that I believe South Eastern are aware of.

The Gene Genie.

The original posts are available here: http://bit.ly/e6olZ9 and http://bit.ly/glaDhP

Thanks to @TimJWatts for sending those links to #southeastern on twitter.