How was your commute?



We’re not getting them. However the Class 455 units on Southern (the oldest stock) will be replaced at some point, probably with more of those ironing board Southern trains.


well thats a shame. Really feels like the service has gone backwards with all the old stock on our line.


At least those “ironing board” Southern trains, assuming you’re referring to those ones that we currently get on the Victoria route, have air-conditioning and seats which aren’t cramped together in rows of three with narrow aisles, and usually come with 10 coaches. I actually find the seats rather comfortable as well, especially compared to the Overground :rage:!

I understand that the old trains won’t be replaced under the current franchise so we’re probably stuck with them for a few years more to come.


I believe the 06.43 did turn up today but I was running a bit late and wouldn’t have made it so took my time at home and got the 06.58 instead. #publicserviceannouncementoftheday


My train today stank of cigarettes and Dettol. Not that fresh smell of some naughty teenager sneaking a quick fag on a late return home. But that deep ingrained smell you only ever get in old working men’s clubs and pubs with threadbare carpet of the 70s.

Gives an idea how old this stock is.


The Class 455 units which are on Southern were built between 1982-1984 which gives you an idea of how old the units are.

They were refitted over a decade ago, but are really showing their age now.


I’ve found the newer trains seem to have issues with the doors or electrics on occasion; the 455s might be ancient but there is nothing fancy about their technology so less likely to break (just about all they have going for them)

For me my morning commute from FOH to LBG feels proportionally worse - down from 6 to to 4 trains an hour between 7am and 8am (one of which is invariably late or cancelled), plus the long timetabled waits to get into a platform at London Bridge. Quite disappointing really.


The waiting around before London Bridge is a bit annoying indeed - I was hoping that the train would simply arrive early when it leaves on time but it actually gets held on the way.

That said, I’m rather impressed with punctuality so far especially considering all the issues with Thameslink. I find our trains running like a clockwork the last few days. They used to be reliably late every single time and now they’re bang on time most of the time.

It’s a shame to have fewer trains before 8am but there are more instead after 8am which is when they have been usually busier.


06.43 this morning has gone from being 5 minutes delayed to now just “delayed” which probably means it’s about to be cancelled. Nice to see the adjustments are working well!


Now back to being 8 minutes delayed.


08:25 to Caterham, the first train to East Croydon cancelled today…


Yep. Such a pain when they do that. I’m now going via Timbuktu to get to Gatwick.


I’m now catching an earlier train to arrive at work 10-20 minutes later. Part of this is due to the longer journey times built into the timetable. But most of it is the annoying stoppage outside of London Bridge. And combined with a similar stoppage now outside Charing Cross.

And seldom a train with a table for my On the Hoof coffee.

It sucks.


It definitely feels like a worse service on the Southern trains - the overground is no different, just getting used to the change in timings.
Older carriages, longer waits outside LB, poorer service to East Croydon and beyond. I’m sure some users are benefiting but it’s not us.


Just found a website that allows people to search past train times.

I did a search for FH to LB departing between 6 and 10 am, Monday to Friday, for the last two weeks.

I’m on my phone so a bit limited, but it would be interesting to see if we can pull more relevant data out that I did.


Ooohhh… that website is interesting…


I’m not surprised at the red-tinged result for the 0843. My two experiences on the 0836 bares out the 80% result as well.

But as with my first trip and my second today, the 0836 was barely 1/3rd full.


Remember, with delays and cancellation Delay Repay is your best friend.


The petition reached 10,000 signatures quite quickly, and has received a response from government in an unusually short period too. From :

Passengers on this franchise have faced totally unsatisfactory levels of service in recent weeks. Poor service prior to this, as the Gibb report made clear, had largely been down to industrial action by the trade union on Southern rail. The Secretary of State and the Rail Minister have been clear that they share the frustration of passengers about the situation in recent weeks and they intervened as soon as the problems arose, with the Transport Secretary demanding a recovery plan. Since then, the Department has been in daily contact with the leadership of Network Rail and Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) and have insisted that both organisations put whatever resource is needed into resolving the situation, and into making sure that there is proper industry leadership of the recovery effort. Service information to passengers has improved and considerable work is being undertaken to operate the services in the timetable.

This timetable change was intended to deliver the benefits to passengers of major investment in the rail network. This means, through the £7 billion Thameslink Programme, new trains and improved stations, including the rebuilding of London Bridge and Blackfriars. The programme and timetable changes were designed to provide more frequent and longer trains through central London to respond to the huge growth in passenger numbers that we have seen in recent years. But this timetable change instead has resulted in unacceptable disruption for passengers that rely on these services.

The process of introducing the new timetable was overseen by an Industry Readiness Board, which included representatives from Network Rail, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) and the train operating companies, and an Independent Assurance Panel. Both of these groups informed the Department that they had not been given any information to suggest that the implementation of the new timetable should be halted. These bodies were set up specifically to ensure that all parts of the rail network – Network Rail, GTR, other train operators - were ready to implement these major timetable changes. It should have been clear to them that some key parties were not ready; they did not raise this risk. As few as 3 weeks before the timetable was to be implemented GTR themselves assured the Transport Secretary they were ready to implement the changes. Clearly this was wrong, and it is totally unacceptable.

Investigations being carried out right now will give more information about what has gone wrong and why the industry remained of the view until the last moment that it would be able to deliver these changes. There has to be a proper investigation into events. Since this petition was launched the Chief Executive of GTR, Charles Horton, has resigned in order to make way for fresh leadership of GTR. Further action may need to be taken against GTR but only once we have the findings of these investigations.

It is right that the industry has apologised for the situation and that Charles Horton has stepped down, and it is right that we learn the lessons for the future, but right now the focus should remain on restoring the reliability of their service to passengers.

Department for Transport


Smooth train journey this morning but I was almost driven up the wall by an almighty orchestra of sniffing and snorting in my coach this morning, as if it was the height of truffle season! Further social studies revealed that the majority of offenders was wearing ear protection aka headphones, so they would not have to bear the noises of their own making. I was pretty close to offering a round of tissues to the whole lot but then the sniffers appeared to be in the majority over the non-sniffers, and I probably didn’t have sufficient supply with me anyway, so I ducked out…