Goodbye Thameslink

Status
Not open for further replies.

vrbarreto

Member
Joined
25 Sep 2013
Messages
134
You know what.. I've finally given up with Thameslink or trying to catch tiheir trains from East Croydon to Luton Airport parkway 3 times a week to get to my head office..

Previously it would be.. Get to East Croydon, hope the 07:23 train was running, watch 3 minutes at a time get added on to the estimated arrival time and then after 20 minutes of waiting for the train, get on and be nicely squashed for the 40 minute crawl to central London. Arrive late and then have to walk 20 minutes.

On the way back, get to Parkway and hope the train was not delayed due to the mystical 'Fault on the train' and then sit on it for one hour 20 minutes all the time getting later and later.

Now it's get in the car and drive. I would rather catch the train as it's supposed to be less stressful and I can read a book. But I really dislike the new class 700. So the car it is.. I've done it for the last 2 weeks and my stress levels are way down.. I know there can be incidents on the motorway but at least I'm sitting down and can listen to some music.

Also no ned so stress on strike days and try and get to Beckenham junction and get onto a clapped out short formed class 319..
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,493
Location
Central Belt
Best of luck to you, I wouldn't judge the M25 until next week however. When everyone is back from work due to the chrismas break.

Even the 387s look comfortable (in terms of you can get a seat) this week.

I always found the section between the M1 and the M4 (the only bit I needed) was very unpredictable.
 

theblackwatch

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
15 Feb 2006
Messages
10,369
I've looked at this service on RTT and it seems to be one of those that is never on time from East Croydon - although this week it has been on time into Luton Airport Parkway once! For the record:
Tues 3rd - 11 late ex East Croydon, 11 late into Luton Airport Parkway
Weds 4th - 6 late ex East Croydon, on time into Luton Airport Parkway
Thurs 5th - 8 late ex East Croydon, 10 late into Luton Airport Parkway
Fri 6th - 18 late ex East Croydon, 22 late into Luton Airport Parkway
 

vrbarreto

Member
Joined
25 Sep 2013
Messages
134
I've looked at this service on RTT and it seems to be one of those that is never on time from East Croydon - although this week it has been on time into Luton Airport Parkway once! For the record:
Tues 3rd - 11 late ex East Croydon, 11 late into Luton Airport Parkway
Weds 4th - 6 late ex East Croydon, on time into Luton Airport Parkway
Thurs 5th - 8 late ex East Croydon, 10 late into Luton Airport Parkway
Fri 6th - 18 late ex East Croydon, 22 late into Luton Airport Parkway
That's the of the reasons I've given up.. It's just been crazy at East Croydon along with the strike days.

The staff at Luton Airport have been very nice, when I told them I had to keep the ticket for delay repay they were very sympathetic.. Can't blame them for the terrible service. My fellow travellers on this service were also beginning to get irate and it was not a pleasant experience being squashed and fellow commuters squaring up to each other because of the lack of space and the squish factor.

I suppose the new 12 coach 700's will alleviate this although I do wonder what the seating capacity of one of these is versus an 8 coach 387?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Best of luck to you, I wouldn't judge the M25 until next week however. When everyone is back from work due to the chrismas break.

Even the 387s look comfortable (in terms of you can get a seat) this week.

I always found the section between the M1 and the M4 (the only bit I needed) was very unpredictable.
Yes it can be variable but I'd rather be sat in a traffic jam on the M25 then rammed up against someone's armpit on the way up to central London. Of course a serious accident can add a lot of time to the journey but I think I'll take my chances..

The other option was to catch the first train to Victoria, tube it to St Pancras and then go for the Nottingham train but that is hassle city!
 
Last edited:

FordFocus

Member
Joined
15 Apr 2015
Messages
907
I've looked at this service on RTT and it seems to be one of those that is never on time from East Croydon - although this week it has been on time into Luton Airport Parkway once! For the record:
Tues 3rd - 11 late ex East Croydon, 11 late into Luton Airport Parkway
Weds 4th - 6 late ex East Croydon, on time into Luton Airport Parkway
Thurs 5th - 8 late ex East Croydon, 10 late into Luton Airport Parkway
Fri 6th - 18 late ex East Croydon, 22 late into Luton Airport Parkway
What has been the reasons for delays? Is it mainly infrastructure and trespass?

(open question not directly asked towards yourself blackwatch!)
 

IKB

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2013
Messages
339
I've looked at this service on RTT and it seems to be one of those that is never on time from East Croydon - although this week it has been on time into Luton Airport Parkway once! For the record:
Tues 3rd - 11 late ex East Croydon, 11 late into Luton Airport Parkway
Weds 4th - 6 late ex East Croydon, on time into Luton Airport Parkway
Thurs 5th - 8 late ex East Croydon, 10 late into Luton Airport Parkway
Fri 6th - 18 late ex East Croydon, 22 late into Luton Airport Parkway
That's the of the reasons I've given up.. It's just been crazy at East Croydon along with the strike days.
Understandably its far from ideal on strike days, but the industrial action will end probably sooner rather than later.

At least the Thameslinks are still running. The timings above, whilst not ideal, are not too horrendous. 10/11 minutes late is bearable.
 
Last edited:

Failed Unit

Established Member
Joined
26 Jan 2009
Messages
7,493
Location
Central Belt
But I can imagine the journey isn't very pleasent - people getting grumpy because the coach is so full. We have all see the arguement "move up the coach", "I can't", "move up or I will punch someone" arguements during overcrowding events.
 

theblackwatch

Emeritus Moderator
Joined
15 Feb 2006
Messages
10,369
But I can imagine the journey isn't very pleasent - people getting grumpy because the coach is so full. We have all see the arguement "move up the coach", "I can't", "move up or I will punch someone" arguements during overcrowding events.
And the train is busier than it should be due to people who have arrived for a later service having turned up and decided to board.
 

vrbarreto

Member
Joined
25 Sep 2013
Messages
134
What has been the reasons for delays? Is it mainly infrastructure and trespass?

(open question not directly asked towards yourself blackwatch!)
A lot of times the train seems to get held to allow other services to go past.. Without fail the Gatwick Express will go through East Croydon just a few minutes before the Thameslink service.

When it is running late it does see to take a lot longer to get past Tulse Hill and a lot of service seem to go past it at Elephant and Castle.. It then makes a few minutes up due to the schedules being presumably padded in the core.
 

IKB

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2013
Messages
339
A lot of times the train seems to get held to allow other services to go past.. Without fail the Gatwick Express will go through East Croydon just a few minutes before the Thameslink service.

When it is running late it does see to take a lot longer to get past Tulse Hill and a lot of service seem to go past it at Elephant and Castle.. It then makes a few minutes up due to the schedules being presumably padded in the core.
The Gatwick is booked in front because it's non-stop, it would be a little silly to put it behind a stopper.

Only another year or so and the Tulse Hill diversion will be no longer.
 

vrbarreto

Member
Joined
25 Sep 2013
Messages
134
The Gatwick is booked in front because it's non-stop, it would be a little silly to put it behind a stopper.

Only another year or so and the Tulse Hill diversion will be no longer.
Presumably the 07.04 Gatwick Express must overtake the 07.00 departure from Gatwick to Bedford at some some point north of Gatwick? There always seems to be a couple of minutes difference between the Gatwick Express going through East Croydon and the Thameslink service arriving.

As the Gatwick Express goes through platform 1 and Thameslink stops on platform 2 there would be no blocking of this service at East Croydon?
 

IKB

Member
Joined
15 Nov 2013
Messages
339
Presumably the 07.04 Gatwick Express must overtake the 07.00 departure from Gatwick to Bedford at some some point north of Gatwick? There always seems to be a couple of minutes difference between the Gatwick Express going through East Croydon and the Thameslink service arriving.

As the Gatwick Express goes through platform 1 and Thameslink stops on platform 2 there would be no blocking of this service at East Croydon?
The Thameslink goes via (and stops at) Redhill, the Gatwick goes via the Quarry line.
 

DelayRepay

Member
Joined
21 May 2011
Messages
904
It'a goodbye Thameslink from me too. I took a new job just before Christmas so instead of heading south into London I head north on the M1 (or the A5). I may be delayed occasionally by accidents on the motorway but it is far better than being delayed on an almost daily basis in both directions by driver shortages, train failures, infrastructure failures and all the other excuses we hear on a daily basis.

Like vrbaretto said the car is much less stressful even if the journey takes longer. The reason for changing jobs was financial but I do not miss Thameslink. My journey times have been much more consistent and comfortable. I don't have to wait on a crowded platform in the cold and rain in the morning watching the display change from "on time" to "delayed" to "cancelled".

Sadly on Monday I have a meeting in London so have not escaped them entirely.
 

43096

Established Member
Joined
23 Nov 2015
Messages
6,859
Understandably its far from ideal on strike days, but the industrial action will end probably sooner rather than later.
You optimism is admirable. I, though, can't see how the dispute is going to be resolved as all parties are far too entrenched in their positions.
 

Abpj17

Member
Joined
5 Jul 2014
Messages
995
How long is the drive taking? (I share the cynicism of others - traffic is very different in term time vs. quiet xmas/ny period)

While GTR are awful, some trains are more cursed than others so worth checking cancellation/delay %ages. I can't believe the northbound trains are busy after St P either tho?
 

vrbarreto

Member
Joined
25 Sep 2013
Messages
134
The drive has taken me between 1 hour 30 and 1 hour 50 so far.. I've done it before on a normal day and it's been around about these times as well.. The added benefit is that I've not had to walk to the bus stop and wait for a bus to the train station and do the same and the other end.

The Thameslink trains have not been busy north of St Pancras but we have also had a number of delays.. The power line down at Luton was a nightmare and also being left on the train at Cricklewood for 20 minutes and then being told that the train had been cancelled 20 minutes ago and that we should have caught another service (would have been good if someone had told us)

All in all I'd rather take my car now than deal with the Lottery of Thameslink.

the other option had been to bus, train and then tube it to St Pancras and catch the 08.29 Nottingham train.
 
Last edited:

185143

Established Member
Joined
3 Mar 2013
Messages
3,142
I was rather expecting the topic of this thread, by some miracle, to be that GTR had lost their franchise. You have disappointed my VERY wishful thinking brain!:D
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,446
Location
UK
I switched to driving into London for a few months and soon gave up. Even having the comfort of my own car, with climate control all year around, my own choice of music etc - I just preferred the convenience of the train EVEN WITH the need to get a bus to the station first.

For one, when I got stuck in traffic all bets were off. I had no idea when I'd be getting home and little way to know what had happened. Now it would be easier as Google Maps, TomTom etc has incredible traffic monitoring - but when I'm stuck in a jam, I can't do much compared to being on a train, where I can just use my phone and get things done.

In fact, being able to read a paper, catch up on emails, surf the net for news or use social media, the train wins every time.

I could also go for a drink after work and not worry.

I also got to work out my plan B and C routes for when things went wrong, and at least by using those, I felt like I was in control more than in a car.

But for a while driving seemed great. I had a nice car and could really enjoy the A1, and on a good day I'd beat my commute by train - or at least match it. That was incredibly rare though.

Parking costs were also sky high, so with petrol, it wasn't cheaper than having a season ticket either. And I risked annoying parking dents every day.

Swings and roundabouts really. For some commutes, a car is almost a necessity. My wife is looking for a new job that's west of us and the train option would be into London and back out, which would cost a fortune and take ages compared to driving. But she would likely suffer massively when there are problems on the roads, so I think she's already reconsidering whether to even apply.
 

Blamethrower

Member
Joined
13 Oct 2014
Messages
384
Location
Bedfordshire
London is the exception, I have a simple way to circumvent it.

Get a job outside!

I used to work in London, used Thameslink every day (either from St Albans or Bedford) and it was hell.

I now work in Milton Keynes, for one of the top brands in the world, have a lovely company car and get from door to door in 20 minutes.

Even though I earn less, I am 100% happier.

Yes there are jams now and again but being in the car and checking my route every morning, there is always another way round that you can take.

In a train you are just stuck with whatever happens and you can't make any difference. Most people say that's the same for cars but I disagree.

Always check traffic before you start, then use your own internal satnav to get round the traffic.

It's just so much more rewarding, and you know that something will move shortly. Trains are awful in times of disruption and now I no longer use them, my own psychological condition is better.
 

vrbarreto

Member
Joined
25 Sep 2013
Messages
134
3 hours to Luton yesterday and just over an hour and a half back.. Mainly due to the accident at Junction 21 on the M25. Sitting in the car I was able to have a few meetings via handsfree phone.. Was nice and warm and comfortable..
 

Deepgreen

Established Member
Joined
12 Jun 2013
Messages
4,546
Location
Betchworth, Surrey
The Gatwick is booked in front because it's non-stop, it would be a little silly to put it behind a stopper.

Only another year or so and the Tulse Hill diversion will be no longer.
Indeed, and the Herne Hill/Tulse Hill route is utterly dire. However, the removal of the Thameslink trains will not alleviate the awful sequence of speed restrictions that plague the line! It seems second only to LO for consistently low running speeds that fail to reflect the potential of the route.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
London is the exception, I have a simple way to circumvent it.

Get a job outside!

I used to work in London, used Thameslink every day (either from St Albans or Bedford) and it was hell.

I now work in Milton Keynes, for one of the top brands in the world, have a lovely company car and get from door to door in 20 minutes.

Even though I earn less, I am 100% happier.

Yes there are jams now and again but being in the car and checking my route every morning, there is always another way round that you can take.

In a train you are just stuck with whatever happens and you can't make any difference. Most people say that's the same for cars but I disagree.

Always check traffic before you start, then use your own internal satnav to get round the traffic.

It's just so much more rewarding, and you know that something will move shortly. Trains are awful in times of disruption and now I no longer use them, my own psychological condition is better.
A wonderfully helpful suggestion - I simply can't imagine why everyone doesn't do exactly the same thing. After all, there must be an unlimited supply of jobs and road space outside London, so why would anyone have to work in Britain's capital city?!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
3 hours to Luton yesterday and just over an hour and a half back.. Mainly due to the accident at Junction 21 on the M25. Sitting in the car I was able to have a few meetings via handsfree phone.. Was nice and warm and comfortable..
Of course - hands-free 'phones - not actually illegal yet (sadly)! Not to mention the fuel no doubt spent idling for hours with the occasion creep forwards. Sounds ideal.
 
Last edited:

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,446
Location
UK
If going into London by any means is that stressful then, yes, it's maybe time to look for a job elsewhere.

But many jobs are in London and always will be. The hope that businesses would all move out of the capital has never happened (many still consider it a must to be located in the right part of London for status) and even that has its own problems. Live north of London, but need to get to an office that relocated to Slough or Reading? Or live south and need a job in Hertfordshire or Bucks?

Perhaps we should have been told the other great bit of advice; move closer to your job.

Ignore the issue of how much it costs to move house, and that you may change jobs every 5 years.

Oh, rent then, some will say.....

Perhaps some people want a nice home, that they intend to live in for some considerable time, and aren't quite so able to move about as other 'experts' will advise.
 

vrbarreto

Member
Joined
25 Sep 2013
Messages
134
Indeed, and the Herne Hill/Tulse Hill route is utterly dire. However, the removal of the Thameslink trains will not alleviate the awful sequence of speed restrictions that plague the line! It seems second only to LO for consistently low running speeds that fail to reflect the potential of the route.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


A wonderfully helpful suggestion - I simply can't imagine why everyone doesn't do exactly the same thing. After all, there must be an unlimited supply of jobs and road space outside London, so why would anyone have to work in Britain's capital city?!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


Of course - hands-free 'phones - not actually illegal yet (sadly)! Not to mention the fuel no doubt spent idling for hours with the occasion creep forwards. Sounds ideal.
Handsfree not illegal yet.. I can talk and watch the road at the same time :)

Also travel by train - just claim expenses

Travel by car.. Claim mileage..heated leather seats, automatic gearbox, decent sound system.. Radio 4 and Smooth FM. Not bothered by delays as I drive to Luton at the request of my employer so not really bothered if I get there late.. Also if the traffic is bad I leave early. Used a quarter of a tank there and back.. About £30 in fuel.. Return train fare and bus and taxi.. about £40.
 

Blamethrower

Member
Joined
13 Oct 2014
Messages
384
Location
Bedfordshire
Fortunately from Bedford to MK you can use H3 and avoid the usual traffic jams around J14
exactly
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
A wonderfully helpful suggestion - I simply can't imagine why everyone doesn't do exactly the same thing. After all, there must be an unlimited supply of jobs and road space outside London, so why would anyone have to work in Britain's capital city?!
Why do you work in London then?

We are talking about commuters here, mainly from the home counties. There are plenty of jobs in Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Luton, (probably not Bedford), Peterborough, Oxford, Hatfield, Stevenage, Reading If you're prepared to look for them and you're prepared to earn less

My wife works in London and could quite easily work in Oxford or Cambridge, yet she doesn't. I'm constantly trying to get her to give it up as she uses Thameslink every day.

There is a minute percentage of people who have no choice but to work in London, but for the majority, it's all about greed and the money you can earn.

Yet you seem absolutely fine to give a massive wedge of that money to train companies. Baffling really

I could double my wages if I commute to London, but I'm happy with my life now. When commuting to London I felt the life drain out of me every time the driver applied the brakes at an unusual time.

Also, we're not talking blue collar jobs here, you only commute if you're earning at least I would say £40,000

So which one are you?
 
Last edited:

jimbo99

Member
Joined
6 Oct 2010
Messages
126
But I really dislike the new class 700.
Oh yes me too. There must be thread on this, I must have missed it. (Apologies if my rant below belongs elsewhere.)

Feels like a corridor on wheels. Narrow seats, no leg room, no tables, aggressive lighting. First time I boarded I thought surely people will perch coffees on seats. Sure enough as I walked down I was just in time to see someone "lose" their beverage into a seat.

Those stupid screens which give you useless underground information when you are travelling away from London but cannot tell you where the train is stopping (except, it seems, when the train is stopped at a station). Passengers often want to double check that a service is stopping at such-and-such whilst they are onboard. Knowing the next stop and destination is not enough. And even that is not always right - tonight going up from East Croydon, the screens were blank (except for a warning about CCTV) until roughly Elephant and Castle where we were told the next stop would be Blackfriars. Blackfriars came and went and still the next stop was Blackfriars. Leaving City Thameslink, the next stop still Blackfriars. (Got off, so didn't see what happened next.) On another journey, I was near a loo that was in regular use. The "loo indicator" showed that it was free at all times.

I sometimes do East Croydon to Luton. I really think that for the price and journey length, the accomodation is not appropriate. It's sad that the railways have come to this - even BEFORE considering all the disruption (delays/cancellation/routing via Tulse Hill) etc.
 

jon0844

Veteran Member
Joined
1 Feb 2009
Messages
24,446
Location
UK
There are some problems with the PIS on the trains, but it seems to be getting updated.

I agree that with such large screens, you should be seeing the stopping pattern as well as next stop. And it's sad that you can get the same problem as on other trains where it announces the wrong station as the next stop, right up to the destination.

TfL info going away from London is silly once you leave the zonal boundary, but there are plans to show more relevant rail information in the future.

And the problem with the toilet sounds like a faulty lock sensor, so it would have actually been worth reporting this fault on Twitter or something (giving the carriage number etc) so they could get it fixed. Maybe next time, as I'm sure it's a fault only a passenger might notice.
 

bramling

Established Member
Joined
5 Mar 2012
Messages
8,135
Location
Hertfordshire / Teesdale
I switched to driving into London for a few months and soon gave up. Even having the comfort of my own car, with climate control all year around, my own choice of music etc - I just preferred the convenience of the train EVEN WITH the need to get a bus to the station first.

For one, when I got stuck in traffic all bets were off. I had no idea when I'd be getting home and little way to know what had happened. Now it would be easier as Google Maps, TomTom etc has incredible traffic monitoring - but when I'm stuck in a jam, I can't do much compared to being on a train, where I can just use my phone and get things done.

In fact, being able to read a paper, catch up on emails, surf the net for news or use social media, the train wins every time.

I could also go for a drink after work and not worry.

I also got to work out my plan B and C routes for when things went wrong, and at least by using those, I felt like I was in control more than in a car.

But for a while driving seemed great. I had a nice car and could really enjoy the A1, and on a good day I'd beat my commute by train - or at least match it. That was incredibly rare though.

Parking costs were also sky high, so with petrol, it wasn't cheaper than having a season ticket either. And I risked annoying parking dents every day.

Swings and roundabouts really. For some commutes, a car is almost a necessity. My wife is looking for a new job that's west of us and the train option would be into London and back out, which would cost a fortune and take ages compared to driving. But she would likely suffer massively when there are problems on the roads, so I think she's already reconsidering whether to even apply.
I'm using the car more and more now. Up until last year train was my default option and I'd only use the car in special circumstances. Now it's the other way round. First of all I basically stopped using the train at weekends, mainly because of the GTR weekend cancellations farce but also because I've been finding weekend travel increasing unpleasant (overcrowded and trains increasingly filled with arsey people). Now thanks to the arrival of the uncomfortable 387s I'm using the car increasingly on weekdays too. Just this morning I had a nice easy car journey to Edgware then a hassle free journey into town on the Northern Line, on a comfortable train with good legroom, and at the time I was travelling plenty of spare seats throughout the journey, overall journey time was more-or-less comparable.

Tomorrow I may take the train if it looks like snow is likely, although of course once Thameslink comes to Great Northern then this will be a less attractive option, as we'll now be exposed to the third-rail network which basically shuts down in ice or snow.

I can well envisage that when the 700s arrive, I will find myself using the car most of the time, which is a pretty sad state of affairs as I'd *prefer* to use the train. Speaking from someone who is a rail enthusiast, if I'm getting to the stage when car is preferable then I can't imagine I'm the only one. In fact, I know I'm not, as I know others who are doing likewise for various reasons - either due to reliability issues or because they don't like the new trains.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top