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London Bridge - new timetable during reconstruction works commencing 5th January 2015

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tsr

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If its showing Electrostar then the system is working fine so doesn't need to be reported, it simply needs the PIS code inputting. However if its an altered working or late the driver may have choosen to get going and save a few minutes rather than setting up the PIS system.

That's not quite how it works on the Southern side. "Electrostar" is usually only shown (about 95% of the time that it is) if there is a Mitrac or local vehicle fault. The entering of the PIS code and subsequent display is the last sign that guards and dispatchers need on Southern to check that the driver is ready to go. It usually only takes a second or two to sort the PIS if it's working - if not the driver should use code 01 "Listen to announcements" and the platform staff / guard needs to check they are ready for dispatch.
 
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Deepgreen

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If its showing Electrostar then the system is working fine so doesn't need to be reported, it simply needs the PIS code inputting. However if its an altered working or late the driver may have choosen to get going and save a few minutes rather than setting up the PIS system.

Indeed, but the fault reporting I was referring to concerned the various station equipment at Redhill. However, from the passengers' point of view, for whatever reason, simply showing 'Electrostar' is useless, even if not classified as a 'fault'.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Best knock down all the houses that have been built on them!
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Incidentally one thing we do need to remember, and something I regularly tweet at times of distress on the Uckfield line, is that the service in general has improved significantly with more, longer and new trains etc.

However what this has lead to is the service running at near capacity and therefore if something does go wrong it is guaranteed to start to affect everything else. If there was lots of slack in the system, spare paths etc then it would be a lot easier to recover the service. At the same time though it is the fact the service is so busy that means plans for recovery are so important.

Some spare sidings already exist but aren't used: e.g. two at Reigate - overgrown with shrubs but largely intact, and one at Dorking - re-instated about two years ago, unused by anything for the following year and now used extremely sparsely.
 
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sarahj

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I agree that the frontline staff often get blamed by my fellow passengers. The announcement "shortage of train crew" is frequently taken by passengers to mean that the crew has gone sick or on holiday, or there aren't physically enough drivers, whereas it can, and usually does mean that they along with lots of passengers can't get to where they need to be because of disruption. The fact they can't get there then causes more disruption because their train is blocking a platform! Maybe all platforms where train crew change require a hoist to lift trains that are awaiting crew out the way! <D

Whats wrong with going on holiday? Not everyone wants to work on their days off and some have other things to do. When you go through periods of only having one day off in 7, you sometimes need that day just to wash your uniform. It's not that members of staff fault that the company does not have enough folks to cover the duties and thus have to rely on rest day working.

But, yes, there are also major issues where, when on duty, that you get delayed and cannot get to your next train. It always seems odd to us that at weekends and esp on sundays, drivers and conductors stick together, but on weekdays you might be working a train and have 3 drivers for a Ore to Victoria run.
 

Chrisgr31

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Whats wrong with going on holiday? Not everyone wants to work on their days off and some have other things to do. When you go through periods of only having one day off in 7, you sometimes need that day just to wash your uniform. It's not that members of staff fault that the company does not have enough folks to cover the duties and thus have to rely on rest day working.

Holiday was perhaps the wrong word, nothing wrong with going on holiday, but the impression the announcements give is that the staff haven't turned up, rather than they don't have enough staff, or they are stuck somewhere else etc. So the impression given is that its the staffs fault not managements.
 

physics34

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Some spare sidings already exist but aren't used: e.g. two at Reigate - overgrown with shrubs but largely intact, and one at Dorking - re-instated about two years ago, unused by anything for the following year and now used extremely sparsely.

i wonder if stewarts lane can be used more, for thinning out the service when there is too much disruption.. but then again, there wouldnt be enough drivers to drive the empties down there at this current rate!!!

Its a big shame there is nothing around New Cross Gate now, unless southern were to share the overground depot and in return overground use selhurst.

I think there is room at sutton for a couple of sidings on the left hand side when coming from carshalton beeches (im not sure if that used to be sidings), Epsom could be used more during the day, as could Gatwick and Three Bridges.

I wonder if the atlantic line platforms at Battersea Park station could have been used to berth stock aswell, if the points had been kept.
 
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sarahj

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Holiday was perhaps the wrong word, nothing wrong with going on holiday, but the impression the announcements give is that the staff haven't turned up, rather than they don't have enough staff, or they are stuck somewhere else etc. So the impression given is that its the staffs fault not managements.

Not helped by a local politician recently declaring that the delays were due to staff just not turning up and the company needed to get a grip. Made many of us quite angry. 'Its my day off, that's why I did not turn up for work today'.
 

Chrisgr31

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I do hear the Sussex, Surrey and Kent MPs spouting on about the service and think

"Well if you want an enhanced service you'd better be prepared to pay for it"!

Whilst management has its faults, communication regularly goes up the creek, they've fouled up twitter, journey check etc at the end of the day Southern may be making profits but as a percentage of turnover its nowhere near excessive.

If we want a dramatic improvement in service we will only get it by paying for it! After all we need spare rolling sock, spare staff, spare track!
 

southern442

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I'm not traveling by train this evening, but there seems to be yet more disruption. There is, of course, the token broken train (TBT) and also all trains to and from Milton Keynes are cancelled due to a staff shortage. Looking at the departure boards for East Croydon, there is an assortment of delays and cancellations, not nearly as bad as yesterday though luckily.
 

southern442

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Not helped by a local politician recently declaring that the delays were due to staff just not turning up and the company needed to get a grip. Made many of us quite angry. 'Its my day off, that's why I did not turn up for work today'.

When the reason for the cancellation given is a 'staff shortage' you shouldn't blame the staff, because it simply isn't the staff's fault. It should be well within GTR's capability to manage their staff adequately to sort out problems like these. As I said before, GTR drivers, guards and station staff do an excellent job with or without disruption.
 

gtr driver

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i wonder if stewarts lane can be used more, for thinning out the service when there is too much disruption.. but then again, there wouldnt be enough drivers to drive the empties down there at this current rate!!!

Its a big shame there is nothing around New Cross Gate now, unless southern were to share the overground depot and in return overground use selhurst.

I think there is room at sutton for a couple of sidings on the left hand side when coming from carshalton beeches (im not sure if that used to be sidings), Epsom could be used more during the day, as could Gatwick and Three Bridges.

I wonder if the atlantic line platforms at Battersea Park station could have been used to berth stock aswell, if the points had been kept.

It's a shame they couldn't use the opportunity to shift things around to allow two full length wide platforms with lifts at Battersea Park before thousands more descend on the new shops parks etc.

Plenty of space for new sidings just to the south of Norwood Junction but two problems strike me - vandals and easy access for drivers, don't fancy the walk in the dark and best place I can think for a staff halt is on the down slow where the turn back is.
 

physics34

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yep, platform 4 and 5 at Battersea are not fit for purpose really, and the stairs are really steep.
 

neilm

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Strange shows you how disorganised they are then as they do not tweet that anywhere..
 

LBSCR Times

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It does.

Your question should be, why is only half the franchise included on journey check.

Because certain Southern managers at the time didn't agree with it.
The point is that the information is available to staff though, but only via the internal Thameslink / Great Northern intranet!!
 

redbutton

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They are not 3 explanations for one event, they are 2 consequences of one event. I get particularly annoyed when trains are late due to "congestion" because congestion is not a reason for delay but a consequence. On the railway there should be no congestion because trains are timetabled. So the announcement should be "Trains are late because a broken down train has caused congestion and crew displacement."

The problem with being more specific than "congestion" is that congestion can occur for no discernible reason. It's only a week later when all the reports are submitted that it can be traced back to an OAP taking 30 seconds longer than timetabled to board a train, which then caused another train to slow for cautionary aspects, which then stopped another train miles back on a red, which then snowballed into thousands of delay minutes throughout the evening peak.

I get slowed and stopped for no apparent reason all the time. If I leave London Bridge even a minute late, I know there's a big possibility I'll be 10 late or more at the other end because I missed my path to New Cross Gate and/or further on at Norwood Jn/Windmill Bridge/East Croydon.


The other problem is many passengers dont realise the issue with crew displacement. I think they belive that the crews go up and down one line, whereas of course they don't. The only problem is because they dont delays on one line soon impacts on another.

The public also don't understand the concept of route knowledge. I tried to explain route knowledge to my dad once. He said "why do you need to know the route, don't the rails take care of that for you?" I've even had similar comments from station staff. The public don't understand that not every driver can go to every destination, so even though GTR have hired hundreds of drivers and most of them are "fully qualified", the trains that get cancelled are the non-core or upper link routes that they don't yet sign. But management are hesitant to release people for route learning while there's so much uncovered work. Catch 22.
 
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sarahj

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The problem with being more specific than "congestion" is that congestion can occur for no discernible reason. It's only a week later when all the reports are submitted that it can be traced back to an OAP taking 30 seconds longer than timetabled to board a train, which then caused another train to slow for cautionary aspects, which then stopped another train miles back on a red, which then snowballed into thousands of delay minutes throughout the evening peak.

I get slowed and stopped for no apparent reason all the time. If I leave London Bridge even a minute late, I know there's a big possibility I'll be 10 late or more at the other end because I missed my path to New Cross Gate and/or further on at Norwood Jn/Windmill Bridge/East Croydon.




The public also don't understand the concept of route knowledge. I tried to explain route knowledge to my dad once. He said "why do you need to know the route, don't the rails take care of that for you?" I've even had similar comments from station staff. The public don't understand that not every driver can go to every destination, so even though GTR have hired hundreds of drivers and most of them are "fully qualified", the trains that get cancelled are the non-core or upper link routes that they don't yet sign. But management are hesitant to release people for route learning while there's so much uncovered work. Catch 22.

The backlog of drivers at my depot unable to route learn to go up a link is scary. Someone worked it out and its in the years.
Even as a conductor being out of route its scary in a way. A few months ago we got stuck at southampton and had to come back via Eastleigh, which I don't sign. So I'm on 'my' train, with 'my' passengers and I don't know where I am. Punters were asking 'how long?' and I could not answer the question. We were using a 'passing' SWT guard as the pilot, (otherwise we would have to go ECS), who off course does not sign 377's. The driver wanted dispatch at Eastleigh, which was fun.:| So both me and the SWT person had to do some bizzare thing, with him telling me the sigs and route were correct, then me dispatching. oh and all in 12 coaches, which we had, had to attach at Southampton (which was another bizarre undertaking)
 

gtr driver

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The problem with being more specific than "congestion" is that congestion can occur for no discernible reason. It's only a week later when all the reports are submitted that it can be traced back to an OAP taking 30 seconds longer than timetabled to board a train, which then caused another train to slow for cautionary aspects, which then stopped another train miles back on a red, which then snowballed into thousands of delay minutes throughout the evening peak.

I get slowed and stopped for no apparent reason all the time. If I leave London Bridge even a minute late, I know there's a big possibility I'll be 10 late or more at the other end because I missed my path to New Cross Gate and/or further on at Norwood Jn/Windmill Bridge/East Croydon.




The public also don't understand the concept of route knowledge. I tried to explain route knowledge to my dad once. He said "why do you need to know the route, don't the rails take care of that for you?" I've even had similar comments from station staff. The public don't understand that not every driver can go to every destination, so even though GTR have hired hundreds of drivers and most of them are "fully qualified", the trains that get cancelled are the non-core or upper link routes that they don't yet sign. But management are hesitant to release people for route learning while there's so much uncovered work. Catch 22.

The other day I was bang on time at East Croydon and a woman with a pushchair decided to push it through the closing doors after I'd been given the tip and the alarm was sounding. This debacle cost two valuable minutes as regards my path at Windmill and Norwood Fork Junctions. And we were changing driver at Norwood Junction so that would have probably cost more time.

And as for missing paths leaving London Bridge late, it's a certainty because the signaller will give LOROL priority at New Cross Gate even if they're early and Thameslink priority at Norwood Junction even if they're late.

Route knowledge is a curiosity. I had no idea how key it was until I started training. Anyone can make a train go but beyond that route knowledge is everything. More than anything in some senses as route knowledge is used every single moment of every single trip whilst breakdowns or out of course scenarios are far rarer.
 

southern442

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The backlog of drivers at my depot unable to route learn to go up a link is scary. Someone worked it out and its in the years.
Even as a conductor being out of route its scary in a way. A few months ago we got stuck at southampton and had to come back via Eastleigh, which I don't sign. So I'm on 'my' train, with 'my' passengers and I don't know where I am. Punters were asking 'how long?' and I could not answer the question. We were using a 'passing' SWT guard as the pilot, (otherwise we would have to go ECS), who off course does not sign 377's. The driver wanted dispatch at Eastleigh, which was fun.:| So both me and the SWT person had to do some bizzare thing, with him telling me the sigs and route were correct, then me dispatching. oh and all in 12 coaches, which we had, had to attach at Southampton (which was another bizarre undertaking)

It is a shame that there is not a quicker and easier way to route train drivers, so that when problems do arise there is not a huge staff shortage.
 

Chrisgr31

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It is a shame that there is not a quicker and easier way to route train drivers, so that when problems do arise there is not a huge staff shortage.

I assume that in this day and age there is no train simulator so it can be learnt on a machine somewhere, before being transferred to the real world?
 

gtr driver

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I assume that in this day and age there is no train simulator so it can be learnt on a machine somewhere, before being transferred to the real world?

Er, no! You can use a route diagram and a drivers eye video for reference but there is no substitute to physically riding in the cab to learn a route. There is a limit to how much you can achieve in a day in terms of taking it all in; sometimes you make little progress due to disruption; drivers can refuse you if they like; there are limits to the number in the cab; if there is a driver assessment in progress you cannot get in; and you are often taken off route learning to work trains on routes you already sign. And even once you've done the work you have to be assessed and there may not be an assessor available straight away. It can be a long slow process. Ultimately every TOC need all the route learners, instructors and assessors driving rather than learning much of the time because they are invariably short of staff.
 

infobleep

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The backlog of drivers at my depot unable to route learn to go up a link is scary. Someone worked it out and its in the years.
Even as a conductor being out of route its scary in a way. A few months ago we got stuck at southampton and had to come back via Eastleigh, which I don't sign. So I'm on 'my' train, with 'my' passengers and I don't know where I am. Punters were asking 'how long?' and I could not answer the question. We were using a 'passing' SWT guard as the pilot, (otherwise we would have to go ECS), who off course does not sign 377's. The driver wanted dispatch at Eastleigh, which was fun.:| So both me and the SWT person had to do some bizzare thing, with him telling me the sigs and route were correct, then me dispatching. oh and all in 12 coaches, which we had, had to attach at Southampton (which was another bizarre undertaking)
Whilst I'm sure you'd rather not be doing that, I find it fascinating. Good to hear that staff from other TOCs help out at times.
 

Frontera2

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It does.

Your question should be, why is only half the franchise included on journey check.

I'm more concerned with how many people see, to think that JC is wonderful! I despise it professionally and personally
 

infobleep

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I'm more concerned with how many people see, to think that JC is wonderful! I despise it professionally and personally
I like it because of the amount of information it gives me. It's far more detailed than National Rail Enquiries. Where else can I find out about short formations, cancellations to individual services, catering nit being available, station issues and even the underground.

Compare the info I can get from South West Trains, with the information that Southern provide. When there was disruption on a large scale, Southern use to go into broadcast only mode on Twitter. No such problem on South West Trains. Now I think Southern don't always do broadcast mode and just don't broadcast the info full stop. However I may have got the last bit wrong so please correct me anyone.

Of course I'm only seeing the front end not the back end. Perhaps the software is rubbish to put it politely. I can't stand poor quality software. I use enough of it. Also can't stand software where developers don't wish to fix bugs or get back to you when you have issues. I use some of this software too. Some was award winning but they just let it slip. Abandonware as they call it.

Equally thought I can't stand poor quality communication or lack of.
 
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neilm

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I'm more concerned with how many people see, to think that JC is wonderful! I despise it professionally and personally
Any information is good, the problem with southern is one thing goes wrong and they go into 'broadcast mode' and that is it you are on your own. Least with JC it is a website that you can access and find out details.
 

Stats

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I'm more concerned with how many people see, to think that JC is wonderful! I despise it professionally and personally

Can you explain why? Personally, anything that communicates more than the scant information Southern has done on their website for years would be very welcome.
 

blotred

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I use JC on SWT to determine short-formations and plan otherwise.
No such luck with Southern.
 
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