No trains this weekend!

Due to engineering work all lines between New Cross Gate and Crystal Palace / East Croydon and West Croydon this weekend are closed (and for the following 3 weekends!)

  • London Overground services will start and finish at New Cross Gate.

  • Southern will not be operating any services to/from London Bridge via New Cross Gate

  • Bus replacement services are scheduled to run every 10 minutes serving all stations as follows:
    SATURDAY
    From Forest Hill towards New Cross Gate from 0535 to 0035
    From Forest Hill towards Crystal Palace / West Croydon from 0538 to 0108
    SUNDAY
    From Forest Hill towards New Cross Gate from 0630 to 2350
    From Forest Hill towards Crystal Palace / West Croydon from 0658 to 0008

Bus replacement services for stations to New Cross Gate will use Stop E in Dartmouth Road (by Stanford Estates where 122 stops) and for stations to Crystal Palace/West Croydon will use Stop B on London Road (by Guava Kitchen).

From Honor Oak Park towards New Cross Gate departures are 5 minutes after Forest Hill times above and to Crystal Palace/West Croydon 5 minutes before Forest Hill times above.
Use bus stop HA on Honor Oak Park for buses towards Crystal Palace / West Croydon
Use bus stop HB on Honor Oak Park for buses towards New Cross Gate

3 Likes

Thanks for the update :+1::+1:

Great, I get to use a bus today instead of a train!

2 Likes

Good luck - they have turned the A205 into a car park

1 Like

Took an Uber in the end.

1 Like

Why is it always us? When are they going to finish whatever it is they’re doing?

3 Likes

It feels like engineering work on this line is never ending! I realise it is a busy stretch of track into London Bridge, so getting much done over a single weekend will be difficult, but it seems ridiculous that (per TFL website) there are no Overground weekend services through to mid/end October

2 Likes

No wonder why it is going to take three weekends to complete when at the Garthorne Road Nature Reserve Open Day today which overlooks part of the work site. I saw so called Railtrack workers such as the engine driver was asleep in his cab while the tracklayers was either standing around or on their phones. This a disgrace. Railtrack contract should be terminated with immediate effect.
:face_with_symbols_over_mouth: :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

2 Likes

I think the Railtrack contract finished back in 2002 when the company dissolved.
I am rarely one to support the railworkers (don’t want to start a political argument), but it is often the case that the workers are there waiting for the heavy machinery (like hoisting rails in) to finish work so they can do 10 mins of work before the machinery restarts. If there was only 1 worker the bit in between the machine would be an hour whereas with 6 it is 10 mins. It can work out cost effective to employ people to sit around while the expensive bit (the machine is doing the work).
The same concept is in other industries - you put lawyers on retainer or call centre or IT workers on easy work so they start work immediately when the shit hits the fan

3 Likes

Sorry my mistake I should of said Network Rail they are both as bad as each other!!

1 Like

I agree with John, that the railways are one place where safety regs are lifesavers, and if crew are sitting around waiting for the current to be switched off or whatever, that makes total sense.

3 Likes

Yeh it’s been Network Rail for 17 years now. They own all the infrastructure (tracks, stations, bridges, tunnels, signaling, level crossings etc), signalers themselves are employed by Network Rail. They are also responsible for maintenance obviously. The TOCs (Train Operating Companies) then pay Network Rail to access the infrastructure to run a service. Network Rail then issue paths for each train, making sure there’s no conflict with other services. So when Network Rail say “we’re closing this bit for maintenance”, the only thing the TOCs can do is say “OK”. (London Overground North of New Cross Gate is a complicated exception to this and is under Rail For London/Cleshar responsibility on that side, but still signalled by Network Rail). For normal users, they just see a branded train going past, or branded stations so when SHTF service wise, or with too many closures, they place the blame on the wrong companies, as it’s the only ones they’re aware of day to day.

However, it is up each TOC to provide an alternative service if possible, such as Railway Replacement buses etc. Replacement buses between West Croydon/Palace and New Cross Gate are ALWAYS managed by Southern.

As John said, the workers have a posession of the line from 0100 Friday until 0400 Monday, there’s a lot of teams working on many different things, there’s track replacement, ballast and sleeper replacement, adjusting the trackbeds, drainage inspections, survey work, litter/graffiti clearance. There’s a massive section of line that’s being worked on, from up around South Bermondsey to Selhurst Depot. So there will be small teams waiting around for other items to be completed or just taking a break.

In terms of the Loco Driver being asleep, well, they have the worst job possible. That is their job, to drive the train. They move around to shunt wagons etc when they’re required, and only when. So they have nothing else to do apart from sit around for hours waiting for the next bit. There was a loco in the platform at New Cross Gate on Saturday when I went past, driver was there with feet up. Same guy was still there 7 hours later.

As John and JRW have said, the UK railway these days are incredibly safe thanks to the work that Network Rail do maintaining it. The Stonehaven incident was the first fatality due to a train accident in 12 years, and that was purely down to bad weather causing a landslip.

I know people have accused me of being defensive sometimes, but I just like to let people know the correct people/companies to blame and complain to, obviously not negating in any way the inconvenience it’s causing. After all, I do live in SE23 too :smiley:

9 Likes

I’m not sure your measurement for last fatality, there have been plenty in the last 12 years including one where the guy went to jail

@Flora_Noris I think you are defensive and also forgotting the reason people are complaining. It doesn’t matter who is at fault, however it is clear that nobody gives a shit about the passengers or public.
As to the reason why Southern /LO get blamed - it is because they take our money and often don’t give the service paid for (whether it is their fault or not)

She’s trying to explain the finer details, and has an insight that you and I clearly lack.

It does matter who’s at fault, if we’re going to publicly criticise people.

You have no idea who “gives a shit” (or not) about passengers or the public and it is insulting to all rail staff for you to claim they don’t care.

As always, thank you, @Flora_Noris, for the insight you bring to this forum, and apologies for some of the replies you’ve received.

7 Likes

@ChrisBeach My point is the issues lie with either the railway companies - the people who take our money or National Rail - the people doing some of the maintenance, it doesn’t matter who out of the two of them is to blame for issues as only one of them is technically public facing.

You may think it is insulting to rail staff, but please remember you are commenting on a matter that doesn’t personally affect you, but does affect a lot of people and a lot of the evidence does seem to point to a general apathy towards the customers for a prolonged period of time - and probably extending for many months to come (or years because they don’t tell us their plans)
Also from the customer perspective ‘rail staff’ includes the people who are planning to close the lines, the people not (seemingly) coordinating and the people not advertising the fact. These responsibilities are the responsibilities of ‘rail staff’ - though they probably aren’t all Flora’s job.

Train companies don’t get to choose the supplier of the tracks, points, signals, stations, level crossings and other infrastructure.

If train companies could choose their supplier then I’d agree with you - let’s direct our anger toward the train companies and pressure them into choosing a better supplier.

But they can’t, so we shouldn’t (IMO)

The supplier is Network Rail. A relic of nationalised rail. Its successes and failures are a reflection on the pros and cons of nationalisation.

If the UK public scapegoats the train companies, we make it more likely that their private operators will pull out (or have their franchise taken from them), which will bring us one step closer to a fully nationalised rail system, for better or worse (likely worse, given what we know about Network Rail)

I commute by train into the City. Issues with rail companies and Network Rail affect me - probably more than you, given my journey is longer and thus more prone to works and issues.

2 Likes

Now you are making assumptions that the train companies are not at all at fault, which simply isn’t true. They are literally responsible for the lack of communications this thread is about - they are the figurehead and take all the blame (just like you blame Sainsburys if your bread is mouldy and expect them to compensate you - even though it often isn’t their fault)
If anyone can change Network Rail it is the rail companies (either directly or via lobbying the government) - not us the customers.
I believe rail companies do have power with an awful lot of the problems. Any issue which is a business to customer issue is their fault (either directly or indirectly). Broken ticket machines/unattended desks, dangerous car park, rude staff, unattended ticket gates, decision to not install step free access, poor maintenance of steps (becoming worryingly dangerous), out of service toilets, customer refuges placed where no trains stop, poor communication with customers, replacement buses not actually to the station, no signage to where the buses are…

The question of nationalised vs privatised is a very political discussion (certainly not for this thread) - and really difficult to judge because population is very different, demands change and of course a lot of people who commuted under BR have retired (it was 20 years ago) so there are few who can compare. And I’m sure the arguments will be very different next year given ‘circumstances’

Your comment about longer travelling is a little odd. You travel approximately 6 times further to London Bridge than FH, by that estimate you should have 6 times more works - that means you expect 12 days of line closures every week this year!!! Distance does not equal priority and sadly NR and others prioritise some lines over others - one of the reasons I think you have quoted for moving! (Not that I blame you there - but it doesn’t mean we can’t complain). The fact that the FH line can be closed and other trains diverted seems to mean we are more at risk as through trains are just slowed down

I’m not sure you realise, but several of those things are actually the responsibility of National Rail, not the train operating companies.

Getting back to the topic in hand, I don’t think the current issues bear any relation to those you’ve listed above.

I wish Network Rail, which is responsible for the ongoing works, would communicate properly with the public. They’re the ones that really know what’s going on. I don’t want a Chinese Whispers arrangement where the train companies pass on messages from Network Rail. I want Network Rail to be more open and transparent with the public, given they are a publicly funded company (covering 70% of their income. Only 11% of their income comes from the train companies)

While we are straying off-topic here, you may be interested in this news from today:

Let’s hope this eventually brings about a better service for all.

2 Likes